Description(Tactical) representativeness of small-sided games for full-sized matches Presentatie: Invited symposium at the 19th annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science (ECSS) 2 - July 2014, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Tactische analyses van kleine partijspelen en echte wedstrijden. Small-sided games (SSG) are played on smaller pitches with a smaller number of players with regular or adapted rules and are normally implemented in training programs. SSG’s expose players to situations they encounter frequently in real matches. Therefore, it is likely to be an effective training exercise for improving players' physical, technical, and tactical capacities required in real matches. Technological developments facilitate in-game data collection via high-quality positional data obtained through video- or sensor-based tracking technologies. Yet, limited evidence is available for the actual "representativeness" of SSG’s for full-sized matches. In particular the interaction process between two teams. Several variables have been proposed to quantify the interaction process based on positional data, including length-width ratios, stretch indices, centroid positions and inter-team distances (e.g. Folgado et al., 2014; Frencken et al., 2013). A recurrent observation is that teams’ positions are most strongly entrained strongest in longitudinal direction (goal-to-goal) in SSG’s and real matches. As such, this direction seems to be the dominant direction of play. In addition, prior to goals and goal-scoring opportunities a swapping of centroid positions occurs in 53% of the occasions. The same, less prominent pattern was found prior to 21% of goal-scoring opportunities in a full-sized soccer match. These findings indicate tactical representativeness between SSG’s and full-sized matches. Contrastingly, research demonstrates that pitch size affects the spatio-temporal interaction pattern between teams, i.e a shorter pitch increases longitudinal in-phase movement of teams’ centroids. In addition, a crossover effect of length and width manipulations of pitch size was observed, i.e. changes in pitch length or width initiate a response by teams’ behaviour both longitudinally and laterally. Moreover, differences are observed in interaction patterns between age-categories (U19 vs U17 and U13 vs U11 vs U9) when controlled for pitch size (e.g. Folgado et al., 2014). No such evidence has been provided at match level until now. Therefore, it can be concluded that current evidence is inconclusive and incongruent until now. Research towards tactical, technical and physical representativeness is warranted and should focus on the relative contribution of individual players in tactical team performance and comparisons of team-tactical interaction patterns.
- training analysis
- match analysis