Biology of Sport
eISSN: 2083-1862
ISSN: 0860-021X
Biology of Sport
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1/2023
vol. 40
 
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abstract:
Original paper

A novel application of entropy analysis for assessing changes in movement variability during cumulative tackles in young elite rugby league players

Bruno Fernández-Valdés
1, 2, 3
,
Ben Jones
4, 5, 6, 7, 8
,
Sharief Hendricks
4, 8
,
Dan Weaving
4, 5
,
Carlos Ramirez-Lopez
4, 9
,
Sarah Whitehead
4, 5
,
Jacob González
10
,
Jose Gisbert-Orozco
2
,
Michela Trabucchi
11
,
Gerard Moras
2

1.
School of Health Sciences, TecnoCampus, Pompeu Fabra University, Spain
2.
National Institute of Physical Education of Catalonia (INEFC), Barcelona, Spain
3.
Unió Esportiva Santboiana, DH Rugby, Sant Boi de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain
4.
Carnegie Applied Rugby Research (CARR) centre, Institute for Sport, Physical Activity and Leisure, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, UK
5.
Leeds Rhinos RLFC, Leeds, UK
6.
England Performance Unit, The Rugby Football League, Leeds, UK
7.
School of Science and Technology, University of New England, Armidale, NSW, Australia
8.
Division of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, Department of Human Biology, Faculty of Health Sciences, the University of Cape Town and the Sports Science Institute of South Africa, Cape Town, South Africa
9.
Yorkshire Carnegie RUFC, Leeds, UK
10.
FC Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
11.
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), Barcelona, Spain
Biol Sport. 2023;40(1):161–170.
Online publish date: 2022/02/18
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The aim of this study was to identify between-position (forwards vs. backs) differences in movement variability in cumulative tackle events training during both attacking and defensive roles. Eleven elite adolescent male rugby league players volunteered to participate in this study (mean  ±  SD, age; 18.5 ± 0.5 years, height; 179.5 ± 5.0 cm, body mass; 88.3 ± 13.0 kg). Participants performed a drill encompassing four blocks of six tackling (i.e. tackling an opponent) and six tackled (i.e. being tackled by an opponent while carrying a ball) events (i.e. 48 total tackles) while wearing a micro-technological inertial measurement unit (WIMU, Realtrack Systems, Spain). The acceleration data were used to calculate sample entropy (SampEn) to analyse the movement variability during tackles performance. In tackling actions SampEn showed significant between-position differences in block 1 (p = 0.0001) and block 2 (p = 0.0003). Significant between-block differences were observed in backs (block 1 vs 3, p = 0,0021; and block 1 vs 4, p = 0,0001) but not in forwards. When being tackled, SampEn showed significant between-position differences in block 1 (p = 0.0007) and block 3 (p = 0.0118). Significant between-block differences were only observed for backs in block 1 vs 4 (p = 0,0025). Movement variability shows a progressive reduction with cumulative tackle events, especially in backs and when in the defensive role (tackling). Forwards present lower movement variability values in all blocks, particularly in the first block, both in the attacking and defensive role. Entropy measures can be used by practitioners as an alternative tool to analyse the temporal structure of variability of tackle actions and quantify the load of these actions according to playing position.
keywords:

Dynamical systems, Motor Control, Team Sport, Technology, Measurement

 
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