Quantification of competitive game demands of NCAA division I college football players using global positioning systems

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Journal Article

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Wellman, A., Coad, S., Goulet, G. C., McLellan, C. (2016). Quantification of competitive game demands of NCAA division I college football players using global positioning systems. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 30(1), 11-19.

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2016 HERDC submission

© Copyright, 2015 National Strength and Conditioning Association




The aim of the present study was to examine the competitive physiological movement demands of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I college football players using portable global positioning system (GPS) technology during games and to examine positional groups within offensive and defensive teams, to determine if a player's physiological requirements during games are influenced by playing position. Thirty-three NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision football players were monitored using GPS receivers with integrated accelerometers (GPSports) during 12 regular season games throughout the 2014 season. Individual data sets (n 295) from players were divided into offensive and defensive teams and subsequent position groups. Movement profile characteristics, including total, low-intensity, moderate-intensity, high-intensity, and sprint running distances (m), sprint counts, and acceleration and deceleration efforts, were assessed during games. A one-way ANOVA and post-hoc Bonferroni statistical analysis were used to determine differences in movement profiles between each position group within offensive and defensive teams. For both offensive and defensive teams, significant (p ≤ 0.05) differences exist between positional groups for game physical performance requirements. The results of the present study identified that wide receivers and defensive backs completed significantly (p ≤ 0.05) greater total distance, high-intensity running, sprint distance, and high-intensity acceleration and deceleration efforts than their respective offensive and defensive positional groups. Data from the present study provide novel quantification of position-specific physical demands of college football games and support the use of position-specific training in the preparation of NCAA Division I college football players for competition.

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This document has been peer reviewed.