Running Performance of Male Versus Female Players in Australian Football Matches: A Systematic Review
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Background: Australian Football is a fast paced, intermittent sport, played by both male and female populations. The aim of this systematic review was to compare male and female Australian Football players, competing at elite and sub-elite levels, for running performance during Australian Football matches based on the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA).
Methods: Medline, SPORTDiscus, and Web of Science searches, using search terms inclusive of Australian Football, movement demands and microsensor technology, returned 2535 potential manuscripts, of which 33 were included in the final analyses.
Results: Results indicated that male athletes performed approximately twice the total running distances of their female counterparts, which was likely due to the differences in quarter length (male elite = 20 min, female elite = 15 min (plus time-on). When expressed relative to playing time, the differences between males and females somewhat diminished. However, high-speed running distances covered at velocities > 14.4 km·h−1 (> 4 m·s−1) were substantially greater (≥ 50%) for male than female players. Male and female players recorded similar running intensities during peak periods of play of shorter duration (e.g., around 1 min), but when the analysis window was lengthened, females showed a greater decrement in running performance.
Conclusion: These results suggest that male players should be exposed to greater training volumes, whereas training intensities should be reasonably comparable across male and female athletes.
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