Physical workload and fatigue pattern characterization in a top-class women's football national team: a case study of the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup

Farzad Yousefian, Hannah Hüttemann, Mats Borjesson, Pontus Ekblom, Magni Mohr, Dan Fransson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: With the growing scientific interest in women’s football it is critical to understand the match demands and fatigue patterns
during a top-class women’s competition.
METHODS: Physical characteristics and performance of top-class women football matches during the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup was
investigated from data collected using global positioning system for 21 outfield players during the tournament.
RESULTS: Relative total distance (TD; m·min-1) was moderately lower (P≤0.05, ES:0.6) in the final match (96.1±5.0 m·min-1) compared to
the first (104.1±5.9 m·min-1) match. Performance in relative total high-speed running (THSR; m·min-1) declined -27.5% (P≥0.05) throughout the tournament following peak performance in the third match (M3) (5.3±1.7 m·min-1). Match performance between halves was reduced
-25.4±0.13% (P≤0.05, ES:1.2-2.3) across all measures in M3. Relative high-intensity running (HIR; 25.9±3.5 m·min-1) and THSR (9.8±1.5
m·min-1) were greater (P≤0.05, ES:0.2-0.7) for forwards, while midfielders performed greater (P≤0.05, ES:0.6) relative total distance (102.0±5.5
m·min-1), compared to central defenders (HIR: 16.1±3.7 m·min-1; THSR: 3.1±1.6 m·min-1; TD: 92.5±5.7 m·min-1). Reductions in relative HIR
between halves (-10.9%), within the first half (-31.0%), and the start and end of the match (-36.9%) were most pronounced for midfielders
(P≤0.05, ES:0.6-2.3). Across all matches, relative THSR performance was reduced, with moderate to large differences (P≤0.001, ES: 0.7-0.8)
observed between halves, within the first half, and throughout the match.
CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, specific fatigue patterns observed within and between matches throughout the women’s World Cup, may be
influenced by playing positions, the rank of the opposition, as well as the stage of the tournamen
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1081-1090
JournalThe Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness
Volume61
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

Keywords

  • soccer
  • muscle fatigue
  • Athletic performance

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Physical workload and fatigue pattern characterization in a top-class women's football national team: a case study of the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this