Re-examination of the post half-time reduction in soccer work-rate

Ric Lovell, Stephen Barrett, Matthew Portas, Matthew Weston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)
326 Downloads (Pure)


Objectives: To re-examine the work-rate of soccer players immediately after a passive half-time interval with an alternative approach to data reduction and statistical contrasts. Design: Time-motion analysis data (5. Hz global positioning system), were collected from 20 elite youth players (age: 17 ± 1 years) during 21 competitive league fixtures (5 ± 3 matches per player). Methods: Physical performances were categorised into total distance covered, total low-speed running (0-14.9kmh-1) and total high-speed running (15.0-35.0kmh-1). These dependent variables were subsequently time averaged into pre-determined periods of 5-, 15- and 45-min duration, and expressed in relative (mmin-1) terms to allow direct comparisons between match periods of different lengths. During the 15-min half-time interval players were passive (seated rest). Results: There was a large reduction in relative total distance covered (effect size - standardised mean difference - 1.85), low-speed running (effect size -1.74) and high-speed running (effect size -1.37) during the opening 5-min phase of the second half (46-50. min) when compared to the first half mean (0-45. min). When comparing the 51-55 and 56-60-min periods, effect sizes were trivial for relative total distance covered (effect size -0.13; -0.04), low-speed running (effect size -0.10; -0.11) and small/trivial for high-speed running (-0.39; 0.11). Conclusions: Using a more robust analytical approach, the findings of this study support and extend previous research demonstrating that players work-rate was markedly lower in the first 5-min after a passive half-time interval, although we observed this phenomenon to be transient in nature. Time-motion analysts might re-consider their data reduction methods and comparators to distinguish within-match player work-rate trends.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)250-254
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Science and Medicine in Sport
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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