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THE JOURNAL OF SPORTS MEDICINE AND PHYSICAL FITNESS

A Journal on Applied Physiology, Biomechanics, Preventive Medicine,
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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2017 May 05

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.17.07187-0

Copyright © 2017 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Hormonal responses to a rugby match: a brief review

Maamer SLIMANI 1, Foued CHEOUR 2, Wassim MOALLA 3, Julien S. BAKER 4

1 Tunisian Research Laboratory ‘‘Sport Performance Optimization’’, National Centre of Medicine and Science in Sports (CNMSS), El Menzah, Tunisia; 2 High Institute of Applied Biology of Médenine, Medenine, Tunisia; 3 UR15JS01, Education, Motricity, Sport and Health, High Institute of Sport and Physical Education, University of Sfax, Sfax, Tunisia; 4 University of the West of Scotland, Institute of Clinical Exercise and Health Science, Hamilton Campus, Hamilton, UK


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BACKGROUND: Rugby is an intermittent team sport, commonly stressing the endocrine system by physiological efforts. However, no review has synthesized the available literature on the hormonal responses to a rugby match. The purpose of this review was to examine the hormonal responses to a rugby match. Mediator and moderator variables for the rugby match­ hormonal responses relationship were also discussed.
METHODS: The systematic search was conducted using different databases and according to the Population/Intervention or Exposure/Comparison/Outcome(s) [PICO] criteria.
RESULTS: The data obtained in the present review shows that match contests were the moderator variable between rugby match­ testosterone changes relationship. Particularly, official matches decreased pre­to­post testosterone levels by 43.9%, while simulated matches increased pre­to­post testosterone levels by 33.6%. There were no significant differences between official and simulated contests for the cortisol response to a rugby match which could be explained in part by the small numbers of included studies and participants (71 high­level male players). Thus, it has been shown that a rugby match provides considerable stress to the endocrine system, which lasts up 38­48 h into the recovery period.
CONCLUSIONS: The hormonal assessment of rugby players is a valid tool for monitoring stress during a rugby match and provides the opportunity to identify how athletes cope with stress induced by a competition. The information also provides potential for various mental/recovery strategies that may contribute to performance enhancement.


KEY WORDS: Stress - Psychophysiology - Rugby - Competition

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Cite this article as

Slimani M, Cheour F, Moalla W, Baker JS. Hormonal responses to a rugby match: a brief review. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 2017 May 05. DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.17.07187-0 

Corresponding author e-mail

maamer2011@hotmail.fr