Saturday, November 9, 2013

What's new on small-sided games?

A number of interesting papers have been published on small-sided games. Without ignoring the importance of each one of them, I would like to focus more on the paper published by Fradua and colleagues in the Journal of Sports Sciences (Fradua et al., 2013).

The aim of the study was to examine, among others, the individual playing area and length and width of the rectangles during professional football (soccer) matches.

Matches from 5 different 1st Spanish division teams were analysed and the main findings were:
  • The individual playing area ranged from 79 to 94 m2.
  • Rectangle length and width varied at different playing zones (1-6; zone 1 was the zone nearest the goal of the team in possession of the ball & zone 6 was the one nearest the opponent's goal).

Practical implications
  • Pitch sizes should vary and range between 80 (zone 3 & 4) and 90 m2 (zones 1, 2, 5 & 6)
  • Length to width ratio should also be adjusted to 1:1 (zones 1, 2, 5 & 6) and 1:1.3 (zone 3 & 4)

Fradua, Zubillaga, Caro, Fernandez-Garcia, Ruiz-Ruiz, Tenga (2013). Designing small-sided games for training practical aspects in soccer: extrapolating pitch sizes from full-size professional matches. J Sports Sci 31(6): 573-581

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