Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2023) 22, 614 - 625   DOI: https://doi.org/10.52082/jssm.2023.614

Research article
Adequate Interval between Matches in Elite Female Soccer Players
Trevor C. Chen1, , Tai-Ying Chou2, Kazunori Nosaka3
Author Information
1 Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei City, Taiwan
2 Department of Athletic Performance, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei City, Taiwan
3 Centre for Human Performance, School of Medical and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, WA, Australia

Trevor C. Chen
✉ PhD Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, National Taiwan Normal University, P.O. Box 97-71 Wenshan Wansheng, Taipei City 11699, Taiwan
Email: tcchen@ntnu.edu.tw
Publish Date
Received: 03-07-2023
Accepted: 11-09-2023
Published (online): 01-12-2023
 
 
ABSTRACT

The present study compared four different intervals between three simulated soccer matches for changes in muscle damage and performance parameters. Thirteen well-trained female university soccer players performed three bouts of 90-min Loughborough Intermittent Shuttle Test (LIST) with four different intervals between bouts; one (1d), two (2d), three (3d) and four days (4d), with >12-weeks between conditions in a counterbalanced order. Heart rate, blood lactate, rating of perceived exertion and distance covered in each LIST were measured. Changes in several muscle damage markers (e.g., maximal voluntary isometric torque of the knee extensors: MVC-KE, muscle soreness), performance parameters (e.g., Yo-Yo intermittent recovery test level 1: Yo-Yo IR1), and blood measures (e.g., osmolality, high sensitivity cardiac troponin T) before the first LIST, 1 h after each LIST, and one to five days after the third LIST were compared among the conditions. The total distance covered during the first two LISTs was not different among the conditions, but that during the third LIST was shorter (P < 0.05) for the 1d (9,416 ± 885 m) and 2d conditions (9,737 ± 246 m) than the 3d (10,052 ± 490 m) and 4d conditions (10,432 ± 538 m). Changes in all measures were smaller (P < 0.05) in the 3d and 4d conditions (e.g., the decrease in MVC-KE at one day after the third LIST was -13 ± 4% and -10 ± 3%, respectively) when compared with the 1d and 2d conditions (-20 ± 7%, -18 ± 5%). Performance parameters showed smaller (P < 0.05) changes in the 4d (e.g., the decrease in Yo-Yo IR1 at one day after the third LIST was -9 ± 3%) and 3d (-13 ± 6%) conditions when compared with the 1d (-19 ± 4%) and 2d (-20 ± 8%) conditions. These results suggest that muscle damage and fatigue accumulate when soccer matches are performed three consecutive days or every other day, but if more than three days are inserted between matches, this could be minimized.

Key words: 90-minute Loughborough intermittent shuttle test, muscle damage, counter movement jump, 30-m dash, Yo-Yo intermittent recovery test level 1


           Key Points
  • Changes in markers representing fatigue, muscle damage, performance and internal organ condition were greater over three simulated soccer matches when the interval between matches was one or two days than three or four days.
  • Muscle damage and fatigue appear to accumulate more with a shorter interval of less than three days between matches.
  • Less than three-day interval between matches impairs performance and increases injury risks greater, which should be considered in scheduling a soccer tournament.
 
 
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