Home > Journals > The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness > Past Issues > Articles online first > The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2021 Dec 16



To subscribe
Submit an article
Recommend to your librarian


Publication history
Cite this article as



The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2021 Dec 16

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.21.12888-9


language: English

Small-sided games in female soccer players: a systematic review

Vicente de DIOS-ÁLVAREZ 1, 2 , Miguel LORENZO-MARTÍNEZ 1, Alexis PADRÓN-CABO 1, Ezequiel REY 1

1 Faculty of Education and Sport Sciences, University of Vigo, Pontevedra, Spain; 2 Real Club Celta de Vigo & Fundación Celta, Vigo, Pontevedra, Spain


BACKGROUND: This systematic review aimed to analyse the literature on small-sided games (SSGs) from a physiological and physical perspective in female soccer players.
METHODS: A systematic review of Web of Science, PubMed, Scopus and SPORTDiscus was performed according to PRISMA (Preferred, Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analysis) guidelines. Studies informed about physical and/or, physiological responses during SSGs played by young and/or adult amateur and/or professional female soccer players were included. Information regarding study information, population, intervention data, instruments, variables analysed and outcomes were elucidated.
RESULTS: The search returned 2944 records. After screening against set criteria, a total of 13 manuscripts were fully reviewed. The present review grouped studies according to the three following age categories taking sample’s mean age into account: Under-19 as young players and senior female players (> 19 years old). The most common topics of analysis were (1) player number; (2) pitch area and game surface; (3) sex differences; (4) training regimens.
CONCLUSIONS: This review provides useful information on the complex relationship between technical, physical and physiological interactions in SSGs and how manipulating these types of variables can improve the soccer training process. Limitations: The number of studies included was small, and it is unknown if the sample size was justified.

KEY WORDS: Football; Women; Performance analysis; Training; Drill-based games

top of page