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Collins, D.K., Doran, D.A., Morton, J., McRobert, A.P., Reilly, T.P. (2012) Work Rate Analysis of Elite Hurling Match-Play. In G. Whyte (Ed.). Presented at the In: Procceedings of ICSEMIS 2012 Pre-Olympic Conference: Sport Inspiring a Learning Legacy. 19-24th July, Glasgow, UK.


Global positioning system (GPS) monitoring of movement patterns is a method for quantifying the work-rate of athletes. This data provides a conceptual framework for the development and prescription of sport specific training regimes.


The aims of the study were to quantify the movement activity displayed by elite hurling players and to examine the occurrence of high-intensity activity during match-play.


Fifty-three, male outfield elite hurling players wore 15 Hz GPS (GPSports, Australia) units in 3 non-competitive games (70 min). The movement activities were categorized as passive (0-7 km·h-1), slow (7-12 km·h-1), medium (12-17 km·h-1), fast (17-22 km·h-1) and maximal (22-40 km·h-1). For each activity, total distance, percentage of distance and percentage of total time were calculated. Activities were further classified into low-intensity (LI: 0-17 km·h-1) and high-intensity (HI: 17-40 km·h-1) activity. Variations between each half were analysed using a paired t-test and is presented as mean and standard deviation. Statistical significance was set at p<0.05.


The average distance covered during the game was 8017 ± 1145 m, with a range of 6067 – 10636 m. A significant difference in the total distance covered, (p<.001) between the first (4112.2 m ± 612) and second halves (3905 m ± 556) was observed. A significant difference in the distance covered in LI (p<.001) and HI (p=.001) activity between the first (LI: 3430 m ± 550; HI: 682 m ± 197 m) and second half (LI: 3261 m ± 514; HI: 649 m ± 189) was also observed.


Elite hurling requires intermittent bouts of low-intensity movement patterns interspersed with periods of complex high-intensity activity. This indicates that field based fitness tests or training regimen should be both multi-modal and intermittent in nature to simulate the demands of match-play. Decrements in performance may be related to fatigue and requires further investigation.

Table1. The physical demands of hurling represented by distance, percentage distance and percentage time.

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