Number of Players and Relative Pitch Area per Player: Comparing Their Influence on Heart Rate and Physical Demands in Under-12 and Under-13 Football Players
Puente Varona, Asier
Usabiaga Arruabarrena, Oidui
Plos One 11(1) : (2016) // Article ID e0127505
The aim of the present study is to analyse the influence of different large-sided games (LSGs) on the physical and physiological variables in under-12s (U12) and -13s (U13) soccer players. The effects of the combination of different number of players per team, 7, 9, and 11 (P7, P9, and P11, respectively) with three relative pitch areas, 100, 200, and 300 m(2) (A100, A200, and A300, respectively), were analysed in this study. The variables analysed were: 1) global indicator such as total distance (TD); work:rest ratio (W:R); player-load (PL) and maximal speed (V-max); 2) heart rate (HR) mean and time spent in different intensity zones of HR (<75%, 75-84%, 84-90% and >90%), and; 3) five absolute (<8, 8-13, 13-16 and >16 Km h(-1)) and three relative speed categories (<40%, 40-60% and >60% V-max). The results support the theory that a change in format (player number and pitch dimensions) affects no similarly in the two players categories. Although it can seem that U13 players are more demanded in this kind of LSG, when the work load is assessed from a relative point of view, great pitch dimensions and/or high number of player per team are involved in the training task to the U12 players. The results of this study could alert to the coaches to avoid some types of LSGs for the U12 players such as:P11 played in A100, A200 or A300, P9 played in A200 or A300 and P7 played in A300 due to that U13>U12 in several physical and physiological variables (W:R, time spent in 84-90% HRmax, distance in 8-13 and 13-16 Km h(-1) and time spent in 40-60% V-max). These results may help youth soccer coaches to plan the progressive introduction of LSGs so that task demands are adapted to the physiological and physical development of participants.