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J Sports Sci. 2009 Aug;27(10):1095-104. doi: 10.1080/02640410903207416.

Activity profiles and physical demands of elite women's water polo match play.

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School of Sport Science, Exercise and Health, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia.


The aim of this study was to quantify the movement patterns of contemporary elite women's water polo match play. Thirty-three player matches (centre, n = 15 and perimeter, n = 18) were analysed using video-based time-motion analysis. Frequency and duration of individual movements and distance swum were assessed. Mean match time and playing time were 69:48 +/- 04.30 min:s and 33:14 +/- 14:40 min:s, respectively. Players performed 330 +/- 158 discrete movements per match, representing a change in movement every 6.2 s. There were 54 +/- 25 high-intensity activities per match, or one every 38.4 s. These findings characterise women's water polo as a high-intensity intermittent sport. Total distance swum per match was 699.3 +/- 296.8 m. Positional differences showed a predominance of wrestling in centre players (4:13 vs. 1:53 min:s; P < 0.001) and sprint swimming in perimeter players (2:09 vs. 0:52 min:s; P < 0.001). Players performed 6.7 +/- 3.5 repeated high-intensity activity bouts per match, suggesting that this facet of play is important in water polo. Overall, exercise intensity decreased as a match progressed, suggesting the likelihood of fatigue during the latter stages. These findings provide important information for the planning and monitoring of training in women's water polo.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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