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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2021 Apr 19

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.21.12189-9

Copyright © 2021 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

New aspects for match analysis to improve understanding of game scenario and training organization in top-level male water polo players

Giovanni MELCHIORRI 1, 2, 3, Valerio VIERO 2, 4 , Daniele BIANCHI 4, Virginia TANCREDI 5, Marco BONIFAZI 2, 6, Alessandro CAMPAGNA 2, tamara TRIOSSI 2, 4

1 Department of Systems Medicine, School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy; 2 Italian Swimming Federation, Rome, Italy; 3 Don Gnocchi Foundation IRCS, Milan, Italy; 4 School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy; 5 Department of Systems Medicine and Centre of Space BioMedicine, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy; 6 Department of Medical, Surgical and Neuroscience Sciences, University of Siena, Siena, Italy


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BACKGROUND: We intended to verify through time-motion analysis the characteristics of the sequences of actions in terms of occurrence during water polo matches: number, duration, and possible relationships with technical-tactical aspects.
METHODS: Water polo matches played at the 18th FINA World Championships 2019 were chosen for examination, and the analysis involved both single actions and Trains of Actions (ToAs). A ToA is a sequence of actions that occurs during the match without actual game interruption.
RESULTS: A total of 1261 game actions were evaluated in the 17 matches analyzed. In 89% of cases the actions occurred in ToAs while in 11% of cases they took place as single actions. On average, each match included 74.4±5.3 actions; of these, only 7.9±3.4 (C.I. at 95%: lower bound 6.1 and upper bound 9.6) were single actions while 66.2±5.5 occurred in sequences (ToA2 = 29.6 ± 9.0%; ToA3 = 26.1 ± 9.7%; ToA4 = 16.5 ± 10.6%). The winning team performed on average more actions than the losing one (42.1±6.1 vs 32.0±6.4; effect size: 1.67; p value: 0.001). The ToAs had different compositions, from 2 to 18 actions, and then very different durations, from about 1 minute up to 8 minutes. 66% of goals were scored after ToAs and 34% after single actions.
CONCLUSIONS: The study of ToAs provides useful information on the physiological demand of the game, which may help to plan and organize physical training making it as specific as possible. The description of ToAs, can help coaches to better define the game scenario and understand which technical and tactical measures are needed to improve game organization.


KEY WORDS: Team sport; Game actions; Specific training; Physiological demand

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