A COMPARISON OF THE PHYSIOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF DIFFERENT PLAYING SURFACES ON WATER-BASED AND SAND-BASED TURF WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO FATIGUE
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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This study is the first to compare the physiological effects of different types of artificial turfs used in field hockey with special reference to fatigue. In football, there have been previous ambiguous results on the effect of pitch type on the physiological responses, performance variables and perceptions of players. The results of the present study display small differences in performance and physiological responses between pitches, showing how surface characteristics may influence fatigue. Largely, the results as to whether fatigue and other physiological responses are affected by surface type have shown no direction and are inconclusive. Nine female hockey players completed the Soccer Simulation Protocol (Stone et al. 2011) on water-based and sand-based turf. Measurement of 40m maximal sprint times were taken before and after the simulation to provide an indication of the levels of fatigue experienced and whether there is an increase in the fatigue response on a particular pitch type. A lower average heart rate was recorded during the simulation on the water-based pitch in blocks 1 and 2 compared to the sand-based turf. Average heart rate readings found for block 1 were (169 ± 7 vs. 179 ± 9 beats.min -1; P<0.05) and block 2 (176 ± 5 vs. 183 ± 9 beats.min -1; P<0.05) respectively. Declines in repeated sprint and sprint-agility run performance were found on the sand-based turf in block 2 but no differences were found on the water-based surface between blocks. There was a higher % decrement score for the repeated sprints on the water-based pitch in block 1 compared to the sand-based surface in block 1(6.89 ± 1.76% vs. 4.67 ± 0.71%, respectively; P<0.05). For the pre and post 40m sprint performance, no difference was found between pitch type, however, on the water-based surface there was a significant decline in 40m sprint time after the simulation compared to before ( 6.5 ± 0.53s vs. 6.07 ± 0.71s, respectively; P<0.05).
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