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Reliability of internal and external load parameters in 6 a-side and 7 a-side recreational football for health

Abstract

Sedentariness and related chronic disorders have a massive impact on healthcare costs worldwide. Contrariwise to endurance-based activities, there are little information and evidence on recreational football amongst middle-aged healthy males. The aim of this study was to assess the reliability of internal and external load parameters during 6 a-side and 7 a-side recreational football formats. 20 subjects were enrolled (mean ± SDs; age = 37 ± 5 years, weight = 77 ± 12 kg, and height = 175 ± 10 cm). Participants completed a match (55 min) and replicated the same match (55 min) a week later. The football matches took place on an artificial grass outdoor field (pitch size of 40 × 25 m). The analysis performed using GPS considered several internal and external load parameters: heart rate (HR), total distance (TD), high speed running (HSR), number of accelerations (> 2 m s−2), and metabolic power (MT). We found good scores of reliability in several parameters in both 6 and 7 a-side, respectively: mean HR (ICC = 0.66 and 0.76), TD (ICC = 0.82 and 0.68, respectively), accelerations (ICC = 0.65 and 0.69, respectively), MT (ICC = 0.76 and 0.83), HSR (ICC = 0.79 and 0.78), and HMD (ICC = 0.80 and 0.78). This study revealed good/excellent scores of absolute reliability, a small mean of change, and small/trivial effect size for internal and external load parameters during the replication analysis of the football formats. Therefore, this study showed that 6 a-side and 7 a-sides are reliable recreational football formats (inter-day reliability). This new evidence can be utilised in the design of football protocols for health.

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Acknowledgements

We thank all the subjects enrolled during the study for their support.

Author information

Correspondence to Marco Beato.

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The author declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Beato, M. Reliability of internal and external load parameters in 6 a-side and 7 a-side recreational football for health. Sport Sci Health 14, 709–714 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11332-018-0466-x

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Keywords

  • GPS technology
  • Team sports
  • Soccer
  • Futsal