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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2020 September;60(9):1247-53

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.20.10514-0


lingua: Inglese

Physical demands of para-footballers with cerebral palsy in a small-sided game

Matías HENRÍQUEZ 1, 2, Sonny RIQUELME 1, 3, Marco ABARCA 4, Felipe MORALES 5, Raúl REINA 6

1 Pedro Aguirre Cerda National Rehabilitation Center, Santiago, Chile; 2 Chilean Paralympic Committee, Santiago, Chile; 3 School of Kinesiology, Finis Terrae University, Santiago, Chile; 4 Department of Kinesiology, Atacama University, Copiapó, Chile; 5 School of Kinesiology, Faculty of Health and Odontology, Diego Portales University, Santiago, Chile; 6 Sport Research Center, Miguel Hernandez University, Elche, Spain

BACKGROUND: Cerebral palsy (CP) Football is a para-sport performed by individuals with physical impairments of athetosis, ataxia, or hypertonia. However, little is known about the physical demands of para-footballers with CP, and no previous study has analysed those demands in a small-sided game (SSG). This study aims to describe physical parameters using a global positioning system device in a SSG played by CP football players.
METHODS: Fourteen male international para-footballers with CP took part in this study, which analysed their performance in an SSG of 3 vs. 3 players plus a goalkeeper per team. Also, a group of 12 football players participated as a control group.
RESULTS: The total distance covered by the CP footballers during the SSG was 1931.1±213.6 m, and the distance covered per minute was 71.2±9.3 m/min, having lower scores than the control group. The maximum speed reached was 20.1±1.8 km/h, with a metabolic power of 6.2±0.9 W/kg and lower scores than the control group. Players with the minimal eligible impairment in this para-sport (i.e., sport class FT8) covered a greater distance in high-speed zones compared to players with more severe impairments.
CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrated that para-footballers with CP exhibited lower physical performance in an SSG compared to regular football players. Additional studies are necessary to identify the best format of an SSG for football players with CP and its application for training and evidence-based classification.

KEY WORDS: Geographic information system; Athletic performance; Para-athletes; Cerebral palsy; Disabled persons

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