• The application of regression based normative profiling for international male Taekwondo performance

      Thomson, Edd; Milligan, Matthew (University of Chester, 2014-09-30)
      The purpose of this study was to compare the predictive accuracy of two regression based normative profiling methodologies (O’Donoghue & Cullinane, 2011; 2- Nonparametric regression) for the assessment of elite male Taekwondo performance. Following ‘inter-operator’ reliability analysis, retrospective performance data (319 performance indicators; 167 matches) was used for forty-eight elite senior male Taekwondo athletes (<58kg - <80kg) during participation across 22 major competitions between 2010 and 2013. The world rankings of all athletes were converted into relative quality ratings (RQ), with an RQ differential calculated for all respective matches. A Chi-Square χ2 test of independence was employed to identify the existence of a significance association between relative quality and match outcome. All data was then subjected to either Pearson’s r (O’Donoghue & Cullinane, 2011) or Kendall’s Tau (τ) (Non-Parametric regression) correlation analysis, where the performance indicators (n=34) deemed to bear the most meaningful relationships with relative quality were then included within the both profiling methodologies. The ‘standard error of estimate’ (SEE) and SEE% values were computed for all performance indicators and subjected to both Mann Whitney-U and binomial testing comparisons, from which the most accurate method was recruited to analyse a selected athlete. A Chi-square test of independence identified the validity of including relative quality within regression based performance profiling (χ2; P < .01). Non-parametric regression was found to exhibit moderately superior mean SEE and SEE% values, in addition to superior SEE and SEE% values for a greater proportion of the performance indicators of interest. It was concluded that non-parametric regression offered an advance upon previous profiling methodologies for the assessment of elite male Taekwondo performance.
    • The ball in play demands of elite rugby union

      Worsfold, Paul R.; Finnigan, Nicola; Nicholls, Scott (University of Chester, 2014-09)
      The purpose of this investigation was to quantify the competitive ‘ball in play’ (BIP) locomotive demands of elite rugby union and establish whether differences exist between overall match demands and those experienced during BIP. A total of 144 performances from eight English Premiership Clubs were tracked using global positioning systems (GPS) during 42 competitive matches (2010/11 season). Player positions were categorised in three ways: (1) Forwards and Backs; (2) Front Row, Second Row and Back Row Forwards, Scrumhalf, Inside and Outside Backs and (3) individual playing position (position numbers 1-15). Results indicated a number of significant (P < 0.05) differences between the Forwards and Backs including; the relative distances (m . min-1) and distributions (%) of the standing/walking, jogging and sprinting speed zones. The scrumhalf covered the greatest relative distance (93.1 m . min-1), which was 44 % more than the lowest (Second Row). The tight head prop (1:20.7) illustrated the greatest mean work to rest ratio (WRR) whereas the lowest was identified for the loose head prop (1:4.7). Furthermore, the fly half demonstrated the greatest proportion of sprinting activities (1.4 % of total locomotion). Overall, the study provides insight into the BIP demands of rugby union, highlighting a greater percentage of high intensity (striding and sprinting) activities performed within a game than previously established. The findings demonstrate notable position-related differences and further reinforce the need for individualised player conditioning programmes.
    • The impact of field vision on performance within an English Premier league academy soccer team: A case study

      Worsfold, Paul R.; Spearritt, Daniel (University of Chester, 2013-09-30)
      Previous perceptual-cognitive skill research in sport has often applied laboratory-based protocols to examine differences amongst elite and sub-elite performers. Contemporary research within the area has started to move away from such protocols and has begun analysing visual search behaviours within competitive adult soccer matches. The purpose of the current study was to develop an understanding of visual search behaviour in relation to performance outcome amongst elite level youth soccer players, within competitive match performance. Thirteen matches from an English Premier League academy soccer team (under 15 age group) were analysed using a specifically designed notational analysis system created in Microsoft Excel. Visual explorations conducted by individual players were collated, followed by their subsequent action when in possession of the ball. The results show significant visual exploration differences between higher and lower ability elite level youth players (p=0.000). The results of a series of categorical logistic regression analyses also show a clear positive relationship exists between visual exploratory behaviours that are initiated prior to a player receiving the ball and performance with the ball. This relationship remains when assessed amongst several match conditions including overall pass completion, attacking third pass completion and forward pass completion. Practical implications for coaches, scouts and players are discussed.