Analysis of congested schedule on competition external load in field hockey. [Análisis de la carga externa de competición en un periodo de congestión en hockey hierba].


  • Blanca Romero-Moraleda Department of Physical Education, Sport and Human Movement, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
  • Esther Morencos-Martínez Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
  • Lorena Torres-Ronda Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living, College of Sport and Exercise Science, Victoria University, Melbourne, VIC
  • David Casamichana Universidad Europea del Atlántico. Santander

Palabras clave:

Team sport, GPS, congestion, tournament, fatigue



This study aimed to investigate the variation in players’ physical demands profile during a major national men field hockey tournament which consisted of 3 matches on consecutive days. Ten Spanish National League hockey players participated in the study (age: 24.2 ± 2.6 years; body mass: 74.2 ± 5.7 kg; height 176.8 ± 5.1 cm). Participants´ physical demands were monitored using global positioning system devices (SPI Elite, GPSports). Activity was categorized into total distance (m), relative total distance (m·min-1), low speed running (LSR; <15.0 km·h-1 m·min-1); moderate speed running (MSR; 15.1-18.9 km·h-1 m·min-1), high speed running (HSR; >19 km·h-1 m·min-1), sprinting relative to minute played (SR; >23.0 km·h-1 m·min-1) and number of sprints (SN; >23.0 km·h-1/ n/min). The number of acceleration and deceleration efforts were analyzed using intensity thresholds (low: 1-1.9 m·s-2 n·min-1; moderate: 2-2.9 m·s-2 n·min-1; high: >3 m·s-2 n·min-1). The data were analyzed using one-way repeated measures ANOVA coupled with magnitude-based inferences. Players reduced distance covered at moderate- and high-speed running, sprints relative minute played and the number of moderate accelerations, and moderate and high decelerations per minute played in the third match compared to the first match. The results of this investigation show that intensity activity were the most affected variables with congestion schedule.


El objetivo del presente estudio fue analizar el perfil de variación de las demandas físicas durante un torneo en hockey hierba, consistente en 3 partidos en días consecutivos. Díez jugadores de la liga nacional de hockey hierba participaron en el estudio (edad: 24.2 ± 2.6 años; peso: 74.2 ± 5.7 kg; altura 176.8 ± 5.1 cm). Las demandas físicas de los participantes en la competición fueron monitorizadas a través de los sistemas de posicionamiento global (SPI Elite, GPSports). La actividad fue categorizada en: distancia total (m), distancia total relativa (m·min-1), distancia a baja intensidad (LSR; <15.0 km·h-1 m·min-1); distancia a intensidad moderada (MSR; 15.1-18.9 km·h-1 m·min-1), distancia a alta intensidad (HSR; >19 km·h-1 m·min-1) y esprín relativo a minuto jugado ( NS >23.0 km·h-1/min m·min-1). El número de aceleraciones y desaceleraciones fue analizado basado en umbrales de intensidad (bajo: 1-1.9 m·s-2 n·min-1; moderado: 2-2.9 m·s-2 n·min-1; alto: >3 m·s-2 n·min-1). Las comparaciones de medias se realizaron mediante medidas repetidas (ANOVA-un factor) junto con inferencias basadas en magnitudes. Los jugadores recorrieron menos distancia a moderada y alta intensidad en el tercer partido respecto al primer partido. También realizaron menos esprines por minuto, así como aceleraciones de intensidad moderada y deceleraciones de moderada y alta intensidad entre dichos partidos. Los resultados de esta investigación sugieren que las actividades de alta intensidad son las variables más afectadas en una situación de alta densidad competitiva.


Akenhead, R.; Harley, J., & Tweddle, S. (2016). Examining the external training load of an English Premier League football team with special reference to acceleration. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research/National Strength & Conditioning Association, 30(9), 2424-2432.

Akenhead, R.; Hayes, P. R.; Thompson, K. G., & French, D. (2013). Diminutions of acceleration and deceleration output during professional football match play. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 16(6), 556–561.

Almeida, C. H.; Ferreira, A. P., & Volossovitch, A. (2014). Effects of match location, match status and quality of opposition on regaining possession in UEFA champions league. Journal of Human Kinetics, 41(1), 203–214.

Andrzejewski, M., Konefał, M., Chmura, P., Kowalczuk, E., & Chmura, J. (2016). Match outcome and distances covered at various speeds in match play by elite German soccer players. International Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport16(3), 817-828.

Aughey, R. J. (2011). Increased high-intensity activity in elite Australian football finals matches. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 6(3), 367–379.

Barrett, S.; Midgley, A.; Reeves, M.; Joel, T.; Franklin, E.; Heyworth, R., & Lovell, R. (2016). The within-match patterns of locomotor efficiency during professional soccer match play: Implications for injury risk? Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 19(10), 810-5.

Bradley, P. S., & Noakes, T. D. (2013). Match running performance fluctuations in elite soccer: indicative of fatigue, pacing or situational influences? Journal of Sports Sciences, 31(15), 1627–1638.

Carling, C.; Espié, V.; Le Gall, F.; Bloomfield, J., & Jullien, H. (2010). Work-rate of substitutes in elite soccer: A preliminary study. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 13(2), 253–255.

Cummins, C.; Orr, R.; O’Connor, H., & West, C. (2013). Global positioning systems (GPS) and microtechnology sensors in team sports: a systematic review. Sports Medicine, 43(10), 1025–1042.

Dellal, A.; Lago-Peñas, C.; Rey, E.; Chamari, K., & Orhant, E. (2015). The effects of a congested fixture period on physical performance, technical activity and injury rate during matches in a professional soccer team. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 49(6), 390–394.

Hopkins W.G. (2006) Spreadsheets for analysis of controlled trials, with adjustment for a subject characteristic. Sportsci,10, 46-50.

Hopkins, W. G.; Marshall, S. W.; Batterham, A. M., & Hanin, J. (2009). Progressive statistics for studies in sports medicine and exercise science. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 41(1), 3-13.

Ihsan, M.; Tan, F.; Sahrom, S.; Choo, H. C.; Chia, M., & Aziz, A. R. (2017). Pre-game perceived wellness highly associates with match running performances during an international field hockey tournament. European Journal of Sport Science, 17(5), 593–602.

Jennings, D.; Cormack, S. J.; Coutts, A. J., & Aughey, R. J. (2012). GPS analysis of an international field hockey tournament. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 7(3), 224–231.

Jennings, D. H.; Cormack, S. J.; Coutts, A. J., & Aughey, R. J. (2012). International field hockey players perform more high-speed running than national-level counterparts. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 26(4), 947–952. [pii]

Jones, R.; Greig, M.; Mawéné, Y.; Barrow, J., & Page, R. M. (2019). The influence of short-term fixture congestion on position specific match running performance and external loading patterns in English professional soccer. Journal of Sports Sciences, 37(12),1338-1346.

Linke, D., & Lames, M. (2016). Substitutions in elite male field hockey–a case study. International Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport, 16(3), 924–934.

Lythe, J., & Kilding, A. E. (2011). Physical demands and physiological responses during elite field hockey. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 32(07), 523–528.

MacLeod, H.; Bussell, C., & Sunderland, C. (2007). Time-motion analysis of elite women’s field hockey, with particular reference to maximum intensity movement patterns. International Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport, 7(2), 1–12.

Martínez-Cabrera, F. I, Núñez-Sánchez, F. J., Losada, J., Otero-Esquina, C., Sánchez, H., & De, M. H. (2018). Use of Individual Relative Thresholds to Assess Acceleration in Young Soccer Players According to Initial Speed. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research. [Epub ahead of print]

Morencos, E., Casamichana, D., Torres, L., Romero-Moraleda, B., Haro, X., & Rodas, G. (2019). Kinematic demands of international competition in women's field hockey. Apunts. Educació Física i Esports, (137), 56-70.

Nedelec, M.; McCall, A.; Carling, C.; Legall, F.; Berthoin, S., & Dupont, G. (2014). The Influence of Soccer Playing Actions on the Recovery Kinetics After a Soccer Match. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 28(6), 1517-23.

Polglaze, T.; Dawson, B.; Buttfield, A., & Peeling, P. (2017). Metabolic power and energy expenditure in an international men’s hockey tournament. Journal of Sports Sciences, 36(2),140-148.

Sanchez, M., Hernández, D., Carretero, M., & Sanchez-Sanchez, J. (2019). Efecto del nivel de oposición sobre el rendimiento físico y el comportamiento técnico-táctico de futbolistas jóvenes. Apunts Educación Física y Deportes, 137, 71–84.

Sánchez-Sánchez, J.; Sánchez, M.; Hernández, D.; Ramirez-Campillo, R.; Martínez, C., & Nakamura, F. Y. (2019). Fatigue In U12 Soccer-7 Players During Repeated One-Day Tournament Games - A Pilot Study. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 33(11), 3092–3097.

Scott, M. U.; Scott, T. J.; & Kelly, V. G. (2016). The validity and reliability of global positioning systems in team sport: a brief review. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 30(5), 1470–1490.

Spencer, M.; Rechichi, C.; Lawrence, S.; Dawson, B.; Bishop, D., & Goodman, C. (2005). Time-motion analysis of elite field hockey during several games in succession: a tournament scenario. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 8(4), 382–391.

Twist, C., & Highton, J. (2013). Monitoring fatigue and recovery in rugby league players. International  Journal of Sports Physiology and  Performance,8, 467-474.

Vinson, D.; Gerrett, N., & James, D. V. B. (2018). Influences of playing position and quality of opposition on standardized relative distance covered in domestic women’s field hockey: Implications for coaches. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 32(6),1770-1777.

Waldron, M., & Highton, J. (2014). Fatigue and pacing in high-intensity intermittent team sport: an update. Sports Medicine, 44(12), 1645–1658.

Winter, E. M., & Maughan, R. J. (2009). Requirements for ethics approvals. Taylor & Francis.

Biografía del autor/a

Esther Morencos-Martínez, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid

Departamento de Salud y Rendimiento Humano