Age-related team-tactical differences in full-sized matches

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Introduction Research showed that physical performance of young soccer players are lower than that of older soccer players in full-sized matches (Goto et al, 2015; Buchheit et al., 2010). Besides, older soccer players show different team tactical behaviour in small-sided games (Folgado et al., 2014; Olthof et al., 2015). However, age-related differences in tactical performance in full-sized matches have not been investigated so far. Therefore, the aim of this study is to investigate team tactical behaviour of age groups in 11 vs. 11. Methods One hundred and one players were assigned to four age categories (under-13, under-15, under-17 and under-19) and each age category played three 11 vs. 11 friendly games of 10 minutes in training sessions. Positional data were collected with the LPM-system. Tactical performance measures, such as the inter-team distance, surface area, length and width, were calculated for each age group. Differences between age groups were investigated using ANOVA and post-hoc analysis with Bonferroni correction. Results & Discussion All tactical performance measures showed significant differences between age groups. Post hoc analyses revealed that under-17 and under-19 showed significantly larger inter-team distances than under-13 and under-15 (6.23±0.48 and 5.99±0.66 vs. 3.74±0.33 and 3.94±0.55m, p<.01). This means that the distance between teams increased with older age. In addition, surface areas were larger for under-17 and under-19 than for under-13 and under-15 (1023.78±93.27 and 979.46±83.99 vs. 832.02±55.10 and 801.86±60.44m2, p<0.5). Significantly larger width was found for under-17 and under-19 than under-15 (42.86±2.46 and 41.88±2.44 vs. 34.94±2.29m, p<.05). This indicate that older teams adopted a larger dispersion on the pitch. Conclusion With an increase in age, inter-team distance, surface area and width of the teams increased. This is in line with previous research where tactical differences were found between age groups in small-sided games (Folgado et al., 2014; Olthof et al., 2015). Older age categories play the full-sized match with different tactical behaviour than younger soccer players. Increased physical performance in older age categories likely underlies these team tactical differences. References Goto H, Morris J, Nevill M. J Sports Sci. 2015;33(12):1248-1258 Buchheit M, Mendez-Villanueva A, Simpson B. Int J Sports Med. 2010;31:818-825
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventWorld Conference on Science and Soccer - University of Rennes 2, Rennes, France
Duration: 31-May-20172-Jun-2017
Conference number: 5th


ConferenceWorld Conference on Science and Soccer
Abbreviated titleWCSS
Internet address

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