Proximity-to-goal as a constraint on patterns of behaviour in attacker–defender dyads in team games

HEADRICK, Jonathon, DAVIDS, Keith, RENSHAW, Ian, ARAÚJO, Duarte, PASSOS, Pedro and FERNANDES, Orlando (2012). Proximity-to-goal as a constraint on patterns of behaviour in attacker–defender dyads in team games. Journal of Sports Sciences, 30 (3), 247-253.

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Link to published version:: 10.1080/02640414.2011.640706


The aim of this study was to determine whether spatiotemporal interactions between footballers and the ball in 1 vs. 1 sub-phases are influenced by their proximity to the goal area. Twelve participants (age 15.3 ± 0.5 years) performed as attackers and defenders in 1 vs. 1 dyads across three field positions: (a) attacking the goal, (b) in midfield, and (c) advancing away from the goal area. In each position, the dribbler was required to move beyond an immediate defender with the ball towards the opposition goal. Interactions of attacker-defender dyads were filmed with player and ball displacement trajectories digitized using manual tracking software. One-way repeated measures analysis of variance was used to examine differences in mean defender-to-ball distance after this value had stabilized. Maximum attacker-to-ball distance was also compared as a function of proximity-to-goal. Significant differences were observed for defender-to-ball distance between locations (a) and (c) at the moment when the defender-to-ball distance had stabilized (a: 1.69 ± 0.64 m; c: 1.15 ± 0.59 m; P < 0.05). Findings indicate that proximity-to-goal influenced the performance of players, particularly when attacking or advancing away from goal areas, providing implications for training design in football. In this study, the task constraints of football revealed subtly different player interactions than observed in previous studies of dyadic systems in basketball and rugby union.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Centre for Sports Engineering Research
Identification Number: 10.1080/02640414.2011.640706
Depositing User: Carole Harris
Date Deposited: 01 Oct 2013 11:39
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2013 11:39

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