Physical Movement Demands of Elite-Level Netball Match-Play as Measured by an Indoor Positioning System

Brooks E.R., Benson A.C., Fox A.S., Bruce L.M.

Physical movement demands in elite netball match-play have been limited to notational analysis or accelerometer-derived measures, due in part to the indoor environment in which they are played. Commercially available local positioning systems (LPS) using ultra-wideband communication have been designed to bring similar capabilities as global positioning systems (GPS) to indoor environments. This study aims to quantify both spatiotemporal and traditional accelerometer-derived measures to assess the movement demands of all playing positions during Australian national netball league matches. Total distance, meterage per minute, acceleration density, acceleration density index, acceleration load, jumps, velocity bands, acceleration bands, and PlayerLoad variables have been presented for each position. Mean total distance covered in match-play differed substantially between positions. The centre position accumulated the highest mean distance (5462.1 ± 169.4 m), whilst the Goal Shooter consistently covered the lowest mean distance (2134 ± 102.6 m). Change of direction relative to movement area was highest for the two most restricted positions based on average acceleration per 10 m covered during match-play (Goal Shooter: 7.21 ± 0.88 m · s−2 and Goal Keeper: 6.75 ± 0.37 m · s−2, remaining positions: 5.71 ± 0.14 m · s−2). The positional profiles outlined in this study can assist skill and conditioning coaches to prescribe training sessions that will optimize the athlete’s physical preparation for the demands of competition.

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