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J Sci Med Sport. 2013 Jul;16(4):382-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jsams.2012.10.003. Epub 2013 Feb 5.

Widening margin in activity profile between elite and sub-elite Australian football: a case study.

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Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living, School of Sport and Exercise Science, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia.



It is not known if the activity profile of elite Australian football players changes across two levels of competition. The aims of this study were therefore to: (1) classify the activity profile of elite and sub-elite Australian football for players from one elite Australian football club; and (2) compare the activity profile of elite footballers across both elite and sub-elite competitions.


Quantitative case-study approach.


Movement was recorded by 5Hz global positioning system and expressed relative to game time for total; and high-velocity running distance (4.17-10.00ms(-1)) and maximal accelerations (2.78-10.00ms(-2)). The difference was expressed as a percentage and effect size statistic with confidence intervals.


Elite Australian football players had 8% greater total 11% more high intensity running; and 16% more maximal accelerations during matches in 2009 compared to 2008. Players at a sub-elite level had no change in total; 9% less high intensity running but 23% greater maximal accelerations during the same period. In 2008 there was a 5% lower total covered by players in sub-elite competition; no difference in high intensity running; and 28% less maximal accelerations compared to elite. In 2009 the gap was larger for distance of running as sub-elite had 15% less total and 20% less high intensity running than elite. Similar to 2008, sub-elite players had 23% less maximal accelerations in 2009.


The activity profile of players in the elite competition has increased over these two seasons, but not in the sub-elite. This has implications for teams where players must move between competitions during the season.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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