The Effect of Small Size Court on Physical and Technical Performances in Trained Youth Soccer Players

Heita Goto

[Received February 8, 2017; Accepted May 1, 2018] 

The aim of the present study was to compare physical and technical performances during 11-a-side matches (11M) and 6-a-side small-sided games (SGs) with various pitch sizes in trained young soccer players. Ten outfield players (age = 16.2 ± 0.6 years) performed 11M (area per player = 325 m2) and SGs with three different pitch sizes (area per player = 325 (SGL), 165 (SGM) and 81 (SGS) m2). A Global Positioning System (15 Hz) and video recording were employed to analyse physical and technical performances, respectively. Total distance covered was significantly longer during 11M than SGM and SGS, and high speed running distance was significantly greater during 11M than SGS (P < 0.05 for all). A greater acceleration frequency (1-2 and 2-3 m·s-2) was observed during SGS compared to 11M (P < 0.05). A significantly less number of shots was attempted during 11M than SGM and SGS, and the number of tackles, touches and passes, and ball involvement were significantly less during 11M than SGS (P < 0.05 for all). Therefore, SGs can provide similar physical and technical stimulus to 11M as long as area per player is similar. Whereas, a reduction in area per player of SGs in comparison with 11M results in less running distances, and greater acceleration frequency and technical demands during SGs compared to 11M.

Keywords: Acceleration, Association football, GPS technology, Motion analysis

[Football Science Vol.15, 18-25, 2018]