• Comparison of distance travelled, speed and heart rate among three outfield positions in amateur female hockey players

      Fallows, Stephen; Morris, Mike; Nicholas, Ceri; Boran, Angie (University of Chester, 2012-11)
      The aim of this research is to observe physical demands of amateur female hockey players during a hockey match. The research compares distance travelled, speed and heart rate (HR) between the three playing positions (forward, midfield, defence). Spencer, Rechichi, Lawrence, Dawson, Bishop and Goodman (2005) state that published research on physical demands of hockey is limited. There is even more limited research on women’s hockey and none based at amateur club level competition. SPIproX Global Positioning System (GPS) was used to measure the physical outputs of players during amateur female field hockey matches. Players were observed during competitive club level hockey matches over two thirty-five minute halves. The 36 players played in three different divisions 5, 9 and 13 of the Irish Leinster hockey league (age 28 ± 8.40 years, height 166 ± 7cm, body mass 63.0 ± 7.8kg; mean ± SD). Twelve players were randomly selected from each position (forward, midfield, defence). The mean distance covered per position was 6009 ± 796m for forwards, 6660 ± 542 m for midfield and 5896 ± 801m for defence. The results show that all midfield players have higher mean speed, (1.66 0.12m/s), than all forwards (1.58 ± 0.14 m/s) and defence (1.53 ± 0.19 m/s), though not significant (P > 0.05). Midfield players (169 ± 17 bpm) and forwards (169 ± 8 bpm) have higher mean HR, than defence (162 15 bpm). The defence were the most unique of the positional groups. They covered the least total distance, had the lowest average speed and lowest HR responses. The results, though lower, concurred with most of the literature reviewed in terms of positional differences in physical outputs and physiological demands. Differences in amateur versus international status may reflect differences in the findings in the current study. The implications of the current study suggest that position specific training and conditioning may be required. The lower level of physical outputs may suggest that training at elite level versus amateur level need to be specific to the level of the players.