Networks as a novel tool for studying team ball sports as complex social systems

PASSOS, P, DAVIDS, Keith, ARAÚJO, D, PAZ, N, MINGUÉNS, J and MENDES, J (2011). Networks as a novel tool for studying team ball sports as complex social systems. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 14 (2), 170-176.

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This paper describes and evaluates the novel utility of network methods for understanding human interpersonal interactions within social neurobiological systems such as sports teams. We show how collective system networks are supported by the sum of interpersonal interactions that emerge from the activity of system agents (such as players in a sports team). To test this idea we trialled the methodology in analyses of intra-team collective behaviours in the team sport of water polo. We observed that the number of interactions between team members resulted in varied intra-team coordination patterns of play, differentiating between successful and unsuccessful performance outcomes. Future research on small-world networks methodologies needs to formalize measures of node connections in analyses of collective behaviours in sports teams, to verify whether a high frequency of interactions is needed between players in order to achieve competitive performance outcomes.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Centre for Sports Engineering Research
Identification Number:
Page Range: 170-176
Depositing User: Carole Harris
Date Deposited: 01 Oct 2013 13:54
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 19:45

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