Filipe Manuel Clemente, Hugo Sarmento, Israel Teoldo Costa, Ana Rita Enes and Ricardo Lima
The purpose of this study was three‐fold: (i) to test the between‐sessions variability of 3 vs. 3 and 6 vs. 6 formats in under‐11 players, (ii) to assess the within‐session variability of 3 vs. 3 and 6 vs. 6 formats, and (iii) to investigate the variations of technical actions between formats. Sixteen soccer players (10.1 ± 0.3 years old) participated in this study. Both formats of play were played twice within an interval of one week to test the between‐session variability and the variables of conquered balls (CBs), received balls (RBs), lost balls (LBs), attacking balls/passes (ABs) and shots (Ss) were analyzed using the Performance Assessment in Team Sports instrument in all matches. Moderate variations on the sum of sets during the 3 vs. 3 and 6 vs. 6 formats were observed in all variables. Considering the variations of technical actions made between sets in the 3 vs. 3 format, likely moderate increases were found in set 2 vs. 1 in terms of RB (37.5%, [‐2.7;94.2]), and likely small decreases were found in set 3 vs. 2 for the same variable (‐18.3%, [‐37.8;7.3]). In the 6 vs. 6 format, only possibly small increases were found for set 3 vs. 1 in S (22.5%, [‐7.0;61.3]). Generally (sum of sets), the variables standardized per minute revealed almost certain very large decreases in the 6 vs. 6 vs. the 3 vs. 3 format in the variables of CB (‐67.9%, [‐75.3;‐55.9]), LB (‐66.0%, [‐73.9;‐55.7]), RB (‐65.6%, [‐74.8;‐ 53.1]) and S (‐87.6%, [‐93.1;‐77.7]). The results of this study suggest that both formats of play are too noisy to be reproducible. The 3 vs. 3 format largely increased the number of individual technical actions.