Activity and recovery profiles of State-of-Origin and National Rugby League match-play

Journal article

Gabbett, Tim J.. (2015) Activity and recovery profiles of State-of-Origin and National Rugby League match-play. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 29(3), pp. 708 - 715.
AuthorsGabbett, Tim J.

Gabbett, TJ. Activity and recovery profiles of State-of-Origin and National Rugby League Match-play. J Strength Cond Res 29(3): 708–715, 2015—State-of-Origin is the highest standard of rugby league competition played anywhere in the world. This study investigated the activity profiles of State-of-Origin and compared them against regular National Rugby League (NRL) fixture matches. Video footage from State-of-Origin and NRL matches were coded for activity and recovery cycles. Time when the ball was continuously in play was considered activity, whereas any stoppages during matches were considered recovery. Ball-in-play periods in matches of different playing standards were analyzed by comparing State-of-Origin matches, NRL matches (with representative players available), and NRL matches (with representative players unavailable). The mean, maximum, and total ball-in-play time of State-of-Origin matches were longer than NRL matches (effect size [ES] ≥ 0.75) with and without the availability of representative players. State-of-Origin matches were associated with a greater proportion (ES ≥ 1.54) of long duration (46–300 seconds) ball-in-play periods, and a smaller proportion (ES ≥ 1.69) of short duration (<45 seconds) ball-in-play periods than NRL matches when representative players were both available and unavailable for selection. When representative players were available for club selection, NRL matches were associated with a smaller proportion of short duration ball-in-play periods (ES = 1.14) and a larger proportion of long duration ball-in-play periods (ES = 0.89), compared with NRL matches when representative players were unavailable. The results of this study provide empirical support for the higher playing intensity of State-of-Origin matches in comparison with regular NRL fixture matches. Furthermore, these findings demonstrate the lower quality of NRL matches during the State-of-Origin period, when representative players are unavailable for selection for their club team. From a practical perspective, these results quantify the difference in activity profiles between State-of-Origin and NRL competitions and demonstrate the need to prepare rugby league players to perform prolonged passages of high-intensity exercise during match-play.

Keywordsball-in-play; conditioning; physical demands; activity profiles
JournalJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Journal citation29 (3), pp. 708 - 715
PublisherLippincott Williams and Wilkins
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Scopus EID2-s2.0-84933045062
Page range708 - 715
Research GroupSports Performance, Recovery, Injury and New Technologies (SPRINT) Research Centre
Publisher's version
File Access Level
Place of publicationUnited States of America
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