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:
Review paper

Effects of pitch size on soccer players’ physiological, physical, technical, and tactical responses during small-sided games: a meta-analytical comparison

Filipe Manuel Clemente
1, 2
,
Gibson Moreira Praça
3
,
Rodrigo Aquino
4
,
Daniel Castillo
5
,
Javier Raya-González
6
,
Markel Rico-González
7
,
José Afonso
8
,
Hugo Sarmento
9
,
Ana Filipa Silva
1, 10
,
Rui Silva
1
,
Rodrigo Ramirez-Campillo
11, 12

1.
Escola Superior Desporto e Lazer, Instituto Politécnico de Viana do Castelo, Rua Escola Industrial e Comercial de Nun’Álvares, 4900-347 Viana do Castelo, Portugal
2.
Instituto de Telecomunicações, Delegação da Covilhã, Lisboa 1049-001, Portugal
3.
Sports Department, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
4.
Department of Sports, Center of Physical Education and Sports, Federal University of Espírito Santo, Vitória, Espírito Santo, Brazil
5.
Faculty of Education, Universidad de Valladolid, 42004, Soria, Spain
6.
Faculty of Health Sciences, Universidad Isabel I, Burgos, Spain
7.
Department of Physical Education and Sport, University of the Basque Country, UPV-EHU, Lasarte 71, 01007 Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain
8.
Centre for Research, Education, Innovation and Intervention in Sport, Faculty of Sport of the University of Porto, Porto, Portugal
9.
University of Coimbra, Research Unit for Sport and Physical Activity. Faculty of Sport Sciences and Physical Education, Coimbra, Portugal
10.
The Research Centre in Sports Sciences, Health Sciences and Human Development (CIDESD), Vila Real 5001- 801, Portugal
11.
Department of Physical Activity Sciences. Universidad de Los Lagos. Santiago, Chile
12.
Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences Laboratory, School of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Rehabilitation Sciences, Universidad Andres Bello, Santiago 7591538, Chile
Biol Sport. 2023;40(1):111–147
Online publish date: 2022/01/21
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One of the most often-used task constraints in designing small-sided games (SSGs) is the manipulation of pitch size to promote increases or decreases in the relative area per player. Such adjustments cause hanges in the acute responses during SSGs. This systematic review with meta-analysis aimed to compare the effects of smaller vs. larger pitch sizes on soccer players’ physiological, physical, technical, and tactical responses during SSGs. Comparisons between smaller and larger pitches were not considered based on a specific size, but also between using at least two dimensions in the same comparative study, aiming to understand differences between using smaller and larger (independently of the specific dimensions). The data sources utilized were PubMed, PsycINFO, Scielo, Scopus, SPORTDiscus, and Web of Science. The database search initially yielded 249 titles. From those, 41 articles were eligible for the systematic review and meta-analysis. Results revealed that, compared to smaller pitches, SSGs played on larger pitches induced greater values for heart rate (p < 0.001; ES = 0.50), rate of perceived exertion (p < 0.001; ES = 0.70), total distance (p < 0.001; ES = 1.95), high-speed running (p < 0.001; ES = 1.20), stretch index (p < 0.001; ES = 1.02) and surface area (p < 0.001; ES = 1.54). No significant differences were found between pitch size regarding the numbers of accelerations (p = 0.232; ES = 0.45), decelerations (p = 0.111; ES = 0.85), passes (p = 0.897; ES = 0.02), dribbles (p = 0.823; ES = -0.05), or positional centroid (p = 0.053; ES = 0.56). Larger pitch sizes can be implemented as a meaningful task constraint to increase the internal and external load experienced by soccer players during SSGs, as well as to increase the dispersion of players while acting together. These results were found independent of format and age group.
keywords:

football, soccer, athletic performance, human physical conditioning, motor learning, motor skills

 
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