High Intensity Speed Patterns of Rugby League
INTRODUCTION RESULTS CONCLUSION
Rugby league players cover different ranges of speeds The analysis of high intensity speed patterns of rugby league
Independent sample T-tests were performed
during different plays of the game and across different showed that there was an association between the different
between metres gained in each zone and
positions. Speed patterns in rugby league have been studied 120%
speed zones, position and play. It showed that backs reach
previously using different forms of analysis techniques and higher speeds for longer periods of time and gained more
measures (1,2). The studies looked at the high intensity 100% metres during a game compared to forwards. It was also found
Zone 3 and zone 4 showed no significance.
speed patterns using time motion analysis and different that although backs may reach higher speeds and may spend
•Metres gained in zone 5 showed a non
forms of technology to track the players and speeds (1, 2). 80% more time at the higher speeds in a game, forwards changed
significant result between the means of
Across the studies it showed that rugby league players were speeds and reached higher speeds more frequently.
forwards (M= 12.0, SD= 5.944) and backs
rarely required to sprint for more than 40m and that backs 60% Zone
(M= 15.79, SD= 8.728; t (38) = -1.516, p=
reach faster speeds more frequently during a game (2). No 3 The results of the analysis oppose previous research that
research has been done on speed zones in relation to 40% Zone suggested backs reached higher absolute speeds more
position and play in rugby league using the Global 4 frequently (2). The results have also shown the spread of time
Independent samples T-test were performed
Positioning Systems (GPS). 20% Zone and metres gained in each of the speed zones for each position
to compare positions and time and metres
5 while in attack or defence. It has indicated that forwards reach
gained in each speed zone. 0%
To gain knowledge of which speed zones are covered in higher speeds in attack without the ball than any other play
different plays in the game by which position will enable Forwards Backs Forwards Backs Forwards Backs and that backs reach higher speeds during defensive plays.
•There was no significance between the
coaches to organise tactics and to prepare sufficiently for
means of backs (M= 2.25, SD= 1.39) and
games. Attack with Ball Attack without Ball Defence The results of the analysis can aid in the conditioning of the
forwards (M= 1.88, SD= 1.09; t (38) = -
players as the requirements of the positions have been
0.908, p = 0.236) in zone 5.
The objectives are to determine the metres gained and time identified. The findings can help coaches develop tactics as
• Zone 6 also had no significance between
spent in each high intensity speed zone and to determine if Figure 1: Percentage of metres gained by forwards and backs while carrying out different the analysis showed which positions used each speed zone for
forwards (M= 1.5, SD= 0.707) and backs
position and play are related to the metres gained and time plays. The figure shows forwards cover more metres while in attack without the ball different plays. In association with the development of tactics
(M= 1.25, SD = 0.500; t (4) = 0.516, p= compared to backs who gain more metres while in defence.
spent in each speed zone. within positions it can also help coaches determine which
positions are best at carrying out certain plays in a game
assisting in reaching maximal potential to obtain desired
METHODS Chi squared analysis showed a trend
between metres gained in zone 3 and
The analysis was conducted on 15 Elite rugby league
120% position (χ2 (2) = 6.599, p = 0.037).
players who were fitted with GPSports GPS units in games
across the national rugby league 2009 season. 1024 events 100% •68.9% (SR 1.5) of 10-25 metres gained in
were coded from different games from the season
zone 3 showed a trend towards backs.
(n=1024).. The positions were grouped into forwards and 80%
•31.1% (SR= -1.8)of 10-15 metres gained
backs for analysing purposes. Zone
60% in zone 3 showed a less likely trend
3 towards backs.
The variables measured were: 40% Zone
•Speed zones 3-6: 4 Chi square analysis showed a trend
Zone 3: 14-22km 20% Zone between time in each zone and play. (χ2
Zone 4: 23-29km
0% 5 (6) = 15.471, p= 0.017).
Zone 5: 29-38km
• 60.0% (SR = 1.9) of time spent in zone 3
Zone 6: Above previously measured maximum speed Forwards Backs Forwards Backs Forwards Backs tended to be associated with attack with the
•Time in speed zones: Seconds in zones 3-6
•Distance in speed zones: m in zones 3-6
Attack with Ball Attack without Ball Defence REFERENCES
•Position: forward, back
•Play: Attack with ball, Attack without ball, Defence 1.Dave, S, Craig, T, Shayne, H, Ceri, N Kevin, L. Semi-
Figure 2: Percentage of time spent in each speed zone by forwards and backs while automated time-motion analysis of senior elite rugby league Int
Statistical analysis was conducted using SPSS version 17. performing different plays. Figure 2 shows that forwards spend more time in zone 6 during J. of Performance Analysis of Sport 9:47-59. 2009
T-tests and Chi squared tests were conducted to test the attack without the ball and that backs spend more time at higher speeds during defence.
relationships between each speed zone, position and play 2.Gabbett, T. Science of Rugby League football: A review. J.
of Sport Sciences. 23: 961-976 2005