The aim of this study was to describe the game related statistics and match analysis of rugby world cups finals from 1987 to 2015. Video recordings of all (n = 8 matches) rugby world cup finals were used for the purpose of this study. Games were analysed using the video analysis software (Sports code V8.9, Sportstec, Australia) and supplementary data were collected from the official reports published by the International Rugby Board and from webpages of Rugby World Cups. Magnitude of differences between the winners and losers was assessed mechanistically. Only 5 tries in total were scored in the last 8 rugby world cup finals. The main two modes of scoring points were penalty kicks and drop goals. Winning teams attempted more penalty kicks, yet seemed to miss more. The number of drop goals was similar between winning and losing teams. These findings highlight the significance of having an on form place-kicker and from a defensive perspective, conceding fewer penalties in kickable positions. Winners of the Rugby World Cup final won more scrums and lost few line-outs, emphasising the importance of winning the set-pieces. Further establishment of these variables and their influence on performance may be used to evaluate team performances and plan more effective tactical approaches to competition
The main objective of this study was to provide an extensive isokinetic profile of the hip joint in youth soccer players, where the literature is limited. Additionally, this study investigated the effect of age on isokinetic peak torque values of hip abductor and adductor muscles and on reciprocal muscle group torque ratios in youth soccer players at different angular velocities (30 vs. 90o/s) and muscle actions (concentric vs. eccentric). Sixty young elite male soccer players were assigned into three equal groups (n = 20): children, young adolescents and older adolescents, and performed five maximal concentric and eccentric hip-abductions and adductions at 30o/s and 90o/s. The results showed a significant increase (p < 0.05) in peak torque values from childhood to adolescence, with the exception of young adolescents vs. older adolescents where no differences were observed. The reciprocal ratios were not affected by age, but improved with an increase in angular velocity with the exception of the CON/ECC ratio that was higher at 30o/s. The data presented in this study provide an extensive isokinetic profile of hip abductor and adductor muscle strength in youth soccer players to assist both coaches and sports medicine professionals in strength monitoring and training.
Petros G. Botonis, Argyris G. Toubekis and Theodoros I. Platanou
We investigated the effectiveness of a short-duration training period including an overloaded (weeks 1 and 2) and a reduced training load period (weeks 3 and 4) on wellness, swimming performance and a perceived internal training load in eight high-level water-polo players preparing for play-offs. The internal training load was estimated daily using the rating of perceived exertion (RPE) and session duration (session-RPE). Perceived ratings of wellness (fatigue, muscle soreness, sleep quality, stress level and mood) were assessed daily. Swimming performance was evaluated through 400-m and 20-m tests performed before (baseline) and after the end of weeks 2 and 4. In weeks 3 and 4, the internal training load was reduced by 19.0 ± 3.8 and 36.0 ± 4.7%, respectively, compared to week 1 (p = 0.00). Wellness was improved in week 4 (20.4 ± 2.8 AU) compared to week 1 and week 2 by 16.0 ± 2.2 and 17.3 ± 2.9 AU, respectively (p =0.001). At the end of week 4, swimming performance at 400-m and 20-m tests (299.0 ± 10.2 and 10.2 ± 0.3 s) was improved compared to baseline values (301.4 ± 10.9 and 10.4 ± 0.4 s, p < 0.05) and the overloading training period (week 2; 302.9 ± 9.0 and 10.4 ± 0.4 s, p < 0.05). High correlations were observed between the percentage reduction of the internal training load from week 4 to week 1 (-25.3 ± 5.5%) and the respective changes in 20-m time (-2.1 ± 2.2%, r = 0.88, p < 0.01), fatigue perception (39.6 ± 27.1%), muscle soreness (32.5 ± 26.6%), stress levels (25.6 ± 15.1%) and the overall wellness scores (28.6 ± 21.9%, r = 0.74-0.79, p < 0.05). The reduction of the internal training load improved the overall perceived wellness and swimming performance of players. The aforementioned periodization approach may be an effective training strategy in the lead-up to play-off tournaments.
Amine Ghram, James D Young, Rahman Soori and David G Behm
The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of unilateral ankle fatigue versus the knee muscles with and without vision on bipedal postural control. Elite judo athletes who competed at the national level with at least 10 years of training experience, were randomised into KNEE (n = 10; 20 ± 2 years) and ANKLE (n = 9; 20 ± 3 years) groups, who performed dynamic isokinetic fatiguing contractions (force decreased to 50% of initial peak torque for three consecutive movements) of the knee flexors and extensors or ankle dorsiflexors and plantar flexors, respectively. Static bipedal postural control (French Posturology Association normative standards) with eyes open and eyes closed was examined before and immediately after the fatiguing task. Postural variables examined were the centre of pressure (CoP) sway in the medio-lateral and antero-posterior directions, total CoP area sway and CoP sway velocity. Although unilateral ankle and knee fatigue adversely affected all bipedal postural measures, with greater disturbances with eyes closed, there were no significant main group or interaction effects between KNEE and ANKLE groups. Unilateral lower limb fatigue adversely affected bipedal balance, with knee extension/flexion fatigue affecting bipedal postural control to a similar extent as unilateral ankle dorsiflexion/plantar flexion fatigue. Hence unilateral fatigue can affect subsequent bilateral performance or also have implications for rehabilitation exercise techniques. Our findings may be limited to judo athletes as other populations were not tested.
This article considers the cultural and social crisis facing the sporting celebrity, with specific reference to the Australian athlete in the field of swimming. In that sense, this paper argues that parallels in other political systems for ruthless, sustained success, and the loss occasioned by it to individual sports figures, should be considered. Liberal democracies can still be perpetrating systems of sporting depression and mental illness, undermining their representatives in a relentless drive for performance and medals. The problem lies in what might be best described as a sporting industrial complex, one that emerged in Australia with the professionalization of sports.
Participation rates in a number of health-related behaviors, such as physical activity, have shown recent declines. To promote participation, psychological health behavior change theories have been developed to understand and help identify relevant psychological processes. Such processes can then be targeted within interventions utilizing specific behavior change techniques (BCTs). Although the use of these theories and BCTs is useful in facilitating change, such work could be enhanced through the inclusion and consideration of philosophical positions. Existentialism suggests that the absurdity and meaningless of human life allows the individual to create their own meaning within a behavior. This philosophical position thus places meaning and individual purpose at the center of human behavior. The purpose of this article is to connect the theoretical insights and BCTs outlined within health psychological behavior change theories with the philosophical position of existentialism. The integration of this philosophical position, and potentially many others, with psychological ideas may provide useful insights into the promotion of health-related behaviors.
Sun J. Kang, Jason A. Rice, Marion E. Hambrick and Chulhwan Choi
Niche sports have limited opportunities to promote their sport offerings via traditional communication channels and may rely upon alternatives such as social media to accomplish their marketing goals (Puchan, 2004). Williams and Chinn (2010) developed a relationship marketing conceptual framework to examine social media usage and marketing within a sports context. This study used the framework with the burgeoning sport of CrossFit and examined three primary organizational relationship-marketing activities: (a) Information, (b) Interaction, and (c) Promotion. The purpose of this study was to investigate the use of social media by key members of the CrossFit community. The study addressed the following research questions: RQ1. What are the usage categories similarities and differences observed across the social media platforms? RQ2. What are the group usage similarities and differences observed across the social media platforms? and RQ3. What are the group usage similarities and differences observed across the usage categories? A content analysis of 5,565 Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube messages was used to explore these activities. The CrossFit social media users—CrossFit Games, regions, boxes, athletes, and sponsors—used the platforms primarily to provide information about the sport and interact with the community, while promotion was employed less frequently. CrossFit and other niche sports can use social media to provide information and build community within their sports, before attempting to create online communities and promote their products.
Female mating strategies and partner preferences are influenced by many factors. Depending on the life context, the preference for either a long-term or a short-term relationship, the willingness to have off-spring, or the current fertility conditions can be key factors. Differences can largely be traced to the perception of physical masculinity and the ability to provide and raise offspring. This study seeks to obtain data that will help to describe changes in the female perception of the attractiveness of facial photographs of male elite golfers (non-contact sport) and MMA fighters (combative sport) in connection with the following factors: age, sexual activity/passivity, use of hormonal contraceptives, duration of actual relation-ship, and number of children. Data for this study were collected using an anonymous questionnaire that included photos of the athletes in a random order and a 1-10 rating scale (10 indicating the most attractive). The research sample consisted of 1,035 female participants. The statistical significance was analyzed using the Kruskal-Wallis and Mann-Whitney U tests, Eta2, and Cohen's d for the average ratings of the contact and non-contact athletes. The female participants slightly preferred the golfers’ pictures. This preference grew significantly with age and number of children. A possible explanation for these results may be the participants’ decreasing fertility or the willingness to have another child in the Czech socio-culture. In such cases, the strong masculine features typical of combative athletes could be less important. In contrast to some earlier findings, contraceptive use did not affect the perception of male attractiveness compared to the entire sample's average ratings, furthermore, neither did sexual activity/passivity.
Over the past two decades, there has been a growing interest in the use of sport and other forms of physical activity to reach development goals and to support peace-building and peace-keeping processes. The sport for development and peace (SDP) sector is continuously growing in terms of the types of stakeholders involved and the number of projects implemented.
This paper examines the SDP sector using Bourdieu’s field theory and his concept of habitus and capital. For this, a qualitative analysis of semi-structured interviews with 10 people involved in SDP was used. Their perception of the stakeholders in the field and the connections between them are analyzed through the lens of field theory. The analysis particularly focuses on the perceived role of the former United Nations Office of Sport for Development and Peace (UNOSDP), which was closed during the data analysis.
This paper reviews empirical research exploring primary/elementary school aged children movement competence assessment over the twenty year period, 1997-2017. The review occurs within the context of a recent global report into children’s physical activity, sedentary behaviour, and movement competence revealing many children reach adolescence with poor movement competence attainment. A qualitative, narrative review of this extant literature on children’s movement competence research was undertaken. Themes were interpretatively drawn from an examination of the summaries. The number of different test types and protocols used in this field of research complicates the comparison of findings and outcomes of the research. The most common reported upon factor in movement competence was gender. Evidence of an association between movement competence, physical activity intensity and habitual physical activity was found. The sameness of the findings over the past twenty years leads us to suggest that new and novel research methods would enhance understanding in this area, particularly with regards to programs that are successful in moving more children towards movement competence benchmarks.