International field hockey players perform more high-speed running than national level counterparts
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Exercise and Health Sciences
This study compared the activity profile of national and international male field hockey athletes. Sixteen players (mean (±SD) age, stature, and body mass: 22 ± 4 y, 178 ± 8 cm, and 78 ± 9 kg, respectively) competing in the national-level Australian Hockey League (AHL) and 16 players [mean (±SD) age, stature, and body mass: 27 ± 4 y, 179 ± 5 cm, and 77 ± 5 kg, respectively] competing in the international Champions Trophy (CT) tournament participated in this study. Global positioning systems assessed total distance (TD), meters per minute (m·min−1), and high-speed running distance (HSR; >4.17 m·s−1). Differences in multistage fitness test performance, movement between competition, positions, and halves were assessed using effect size and percent difference ±90% confidence intervals. The CT players had a 10.1% greater multistage fitness test, 13.9% and 42.0% more TD and HSR, respectively, than AHL. During CT, strikers performed 10.1 ± 7.4% less HSR than midfielders and 26.6 ± 8.2% more HSR than defenders. The AHL defenders covered less TD and HSR distance compared with strikers and midfielders (8.1 ± 3.6% and 8.4 ± 2.6%; 36.1 ± 11.1% and 51.5 ± 12.1%, respectively). The AHL strikers, midfielders, and defenders (19.9 ± 8.8%, 32.1 ± 7.9%, and 30.3 ± 10.7%, respectively), all performed less HSR distance than their CT counterparts. Finally, TD decreased from the first to second halves across all positions (6.1−7.5%) in both competitions. International competition increases the running profile of hockey players, with greater HSR at the elite level and positional differences including decreased running during the second half in both competitions.