Feasibility of a Global Positioning System to assess the spatiotemporal characteristics of Polo performance

Russell Best, Regan Standing

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Abstract

The implementation of global positioning systems (GPSs) has become widely supported in a variety of sports, owing to the insight it provides into athlete workloads, training parameters, and playing styles. Despite widely reported use of GPS in equine settings, few studies have quantified the reliability of spatiotemporal characteristics in a dynamic environment of high-intensity gameplay. Owing to the unique game demands of Polo for both riders and horses, this study aimed to assess the interunit reliability between a traditional GPS placement between the shoulder blades and a Polo-specific placement on players' belts, to inform the feasibility of GPS implementation within Polo. GPS data were collected across 37 unique rider-horse interactions. GPS metrics included distance covered, speeds attained, and number of sprints performed. Data were further categorized with respect to equine-specific speed zones. All metrics agreed across multiple reliability measures and were deemed qualitatively reliable (intraclass correlation coefficient > 0.70 and coefficient of variation < 10%), with sprint count displaying 100% agreement between units. Findings suggest the spatiotemporal characteristics of Polo can be reliably measured via GPS through a traditional or belt-based placement, which leaves the decision of GPS placement at riders' discretion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-62
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Equine Veterinary Science
Volume79
Early online date23 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019

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