Interpersonal distance regulates functional grouping tendencies of agents in team sports

PASSOS, Pedro, MILHO, João, FONSECA, Sofia, BORGES, João, ARAÚJO, Duarte and DAVIDS, Keith (2011). Interpersonal distance regulates functional grouping tendencies of agents in team sports. Journal of Motor Behavior, 43 (2), 155-163.

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Link to published version:: 10.1080/00222895.2011.552078


The authors examined whether, similar to collective agent behaviors in complex, biological systems (e.g., schools of fish and colonies of ants), performers in team sports displayed functional coordination tendencies, based on local interaction rules during performance. To investigate this issue, they used videogrammetry and digitizing procedures to observe interpersonal interactions in common 4 versus 2 + 2 subphases of the team sport of rugby union, involving 16 participants aged between 16 and 17 years of age. They observed pattern-forming dynamics in attacking subunits (n = 4 players) attempting to penetrate 2 defensive lines (n = 2 players in each). Data showed that within each attacking subunit, the 4 players displayed emergent functional grouping tendencies that differed between the 2 defensive lines. Results confirmed that grouping tendencies in attacking subunits of team games are sensitive to different task constraints, such as relative positioning to nearest defenders. It was concluded that running correlations were particularly useful for measuring the level of interpersonal coordination in functional grouping tendencies within attacking subunits.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Centre for Sports Engineering Research
Identification Number: 10.1080/00222895.2011.552078
Depositing User: Carole Harris
Date Deposited: 01 Oct 2013 13:43
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2013 13:43

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