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Updated: Jun 28, 2020

Collins, K., Doran, D.A., McRobert, A.P., Morton, J., Reilly, T.P. (2011) Time-motion analysis of elite hurling match-play. Presented at the In: Proceedings of the 16th Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science, 6-9th July, Liverpool/UK, 2011.

Introduction Time-motion analysis is a useful method for quantifying the work-rate of a sport and provides a conceptual framework for the development and prescription of specific training regimes. Therefore, the aims of the present study were two-fold, first to quantify the type and frequency of movement activity displayed by elite hurling players in competition and second, to examine the occurrence of high-intensity activity during elite match-play to provide an insight into any fatigue related changes in performance. Methods Fifteen, male (age: 27 ± 4 years) outfield hurling players (six defenders, three midfielders and six forwards) participating in the knock out stages of the All-Ireland hurling championships were video recorded throughout an entire game (70 mins). One camera was used per player to follow each of the players throughout the game. The camera was positioned above the half-way line to enable the players to be clearly monitored irrespective of position on the field of play. The player’s activities were coded (SportsCode, Warriewood, NSW, Australia) into one of seven movement categories: stationary, walking, shuffling, cruising, run/sprint, backward motion and sideways movement. For each activity, the frequency, mean duration and percentage of total time were calculated. Activity was further classified as low-intensity (stationary, walking, shuffling, backward and sideways movement) or high-intensity (cruising, run/sprint). Data were analysed using a one-way analysis of variance and are presented as means and standard deviations. Statistical significance was set at p<0.05. Utilizing Cohen’s kappa the intra-observer reliability never exceeded 2.1% for the activity categories. Results Participants spent 6.6 ± 2.6% of total match time standing stationary, 43.8 ± 4.3% walking, 14.8 ± 4.4% shuffling, 9 ± 2.8% jogging, 7.3 ± 2.5% run/sprint, 3.3 ± 0.8% in sideways movement and 15.1 ± 2.5% in backwards movement. On average, there was a transition every 3.7 sec between different activities. Of these transitions, the ratio between high-intensity activities to low-intensity activities was approximately 1:5.3. No significant difference in the percentage time spent performing low-intensity and high-intensity activity between the 1st and 2nd half was observed. Discussion Involvement in elite hurling requires intermittent bouts of complex high-intensity movement patterns interspersed with periods of low-intensity activity. These initial findings indicate that any field based fitness tests or training programmes devised should be both multi-modal and intermittent in nature to simulate the demands of match-play. The current data represent a valuable contemporary characterization of the activity profiles of hurling players and will be of interest to elite level coaches.

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