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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2017 May;57(5):543-9

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.16.06233-2


language: English

The metabolic power and energetic demands of elite Gaelic football match play

Shane MALONE 1, 2, Barry SOLAN 2, Kieran COLLINS 2, Dominic DORAN 1, 2

1 The Tom Reilly Building, Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK; 2 Gaelic Sports Research Centre, Department of Science, Institute of Technology Tallaght, Dublin, Ireland


BACKGROUND: Metabolic power has not yet been investigated within elite Gaelic football. The aim of the current investigation was to compare the metabolic power demands between positional groups and examine the temporal profile of elite Gaelic football match play.
METHODS: Global positional satellite system (GPS) data were collected from 50 elite Gaelic football players from 4 inter-county teams during 35 elite competitive matches over a three season period. A total of 351 complete match samples were obtained for final analysis. Players were categorized based on positional groups; full-back, half-back, midfield, half-forward and full-forward. Instantaneous raw velocity data was obtained from the GPS and exported to a customized spreadsheet which provided estimations of both speed based, derived metabolic power and energy expenditure variables (total distance, high speed distance, average metabolic power, high power distance and total energy expenditure).
RESULTS: Match mean distance was 9222±1588 m, reflective of an average metabolic power of 9.5-12.5 W·kg-1, with an average energy expenditure of 58-70 Kj·kg-1 depending on position. There were significant differences between positional groups for both speed-based and metabolic power indices. Midfielders covered more total and high-speed distance, as well as greater average and overall energy expenditure compared to other positions (P<0.001). A reduction in total, high-speed, and high-power distance, as well as average metabolic power throughout the match (P<0.001) was observed.
CONCLUSIONS: Positional differences exist for both metabolic power and traditional running based variables. The middle three positions (midfield, half-back and half-forward) possess greater activity profiles when compared to other positional groups. The reduction in metabolic power and traditional running based variables are comparable across match play. The current study demonstrates that metabolic power may contribute to our understanding of Gaelic football match-play.

KEY WORDS: Football - Muscle strength - Exercise test

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