The Physical and Physiological Match-Play Locomotor Activity Profiles of Elite Domestic Male Field Hockey

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A new four-quarter match format in field hockey has meant that the locomotor activity profiles of the sport are inconsistent with the literature. The aim of this investigation was to identify the physical and physiological demands of national-level male hockey players. Thirty-two male players participated in the study. Participants were monitored with GPS and heart rate monitors. Variables analysed were total time, total distance (m), relative total distance (m.min -1), total distance in velocity bands (m), and activity intensity (m.min -1). Mean and maximum heart rate were calculated as well as total time and percentage time spent in heart rate zones relative to HR max. Players spent 52 ± 11 min in play. The total distance covered was 5986 ± 1105 m (116 ± 12 m.min -1) with 21.4 ± 6.8 m.min -1 of high intensity activity. Defenders covered the lowest relative total distance (p < 0.001) and attackers the highest (p < 0.001). Relative total distance in Q4 was 5% lower than in Q1and Q2 (p < 0.05) with moderate intensity exercise (8.1-15.5 km.h -1) being 11% lower in Q4 compared to Q1 and Q2. The mean HR and HR max of players were 167 ± 10 and 194 ± 11 bpm respectively. Players had a lower mean HR in Q3 (164bpm) and Q4 (164bpm) compared to Q1 (169bpm) and Q2 (168bpm; p < 0.001). The current study provides novel data outlining the physical and physiological activity profiles of national-level male field hockey players across playing positions as well as quarters of play. The results highlight a need to consider positional differences when implementing a training programme for players at national level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-280
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Sports Science and Medicine
Issue number2
Early online date28 Apr 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2023


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