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Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Sport and fitness sciences

Publication Details

Published Open Access:


The current study examined the extent to which pitch dimensions can influence the physical and estimated energetic demands of hurling small-sided games. Training data (n = 990) were collected from 24 (age 25.5 ± 3.2 years; height 178.9 ± 3.2 cm; body mass 78.5 ± 4.5 kg) hurling players using 4-Hz global positioning system technology (VX Sport, Lower Hutt, New Zealand). Total distance (m), high-speed running distance (m; ≥ 17 km/h), very high-speed running distance (m; ≥ 22 km/h), total accelerations (n), acceleration distance (m), peak and mean velocity (km/h) were considered. In addition changes in velocity were analysed by assessing the acceleration actions during SSG. This allowed for the assessment of estimated energy expenditure (kJ/kg) and the equivalent distance covered a different metabolic power thresholds. The main findings show that traditional speed-based data increased as pitch dimensions were increased (p = 0.002; d = 4.53 ± 0.46; very large). Furthermore, as relative player area increased there was an increase in estimated energy expenditure (p = 0.004; d = 2. 16 ± 0.20; very large) and average metabolic power metrics (p = 0.002; d = 1.13 ± 0.46; moderate). Distances covered at metabolic power categories (TP) increased with small-sided games pitch dimension (p = 0.002; d = 0.3 ± 0.06; small). The study enables coaches to better understand the physical demands imposed on players during specific hurling small-sided games pitch dimensions, and highlights that traditional speed-based data underestimate the running demands of small-sided games.