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Concept: The Players


The study aimed to evaluate the test-retest reliability of a newly developed 356 Soccer Shooting Test (356-SST), and the discriminative ability of this test with respect to the soccer players' proficiency level and leg dominance. Sixty-six male soccer players, divided into three groups based on their proficiency level (amateur, n = 24; novice semi-professional, n = 18; and experienced semi-professional players, n = 24), performed 10 kicks following a two-step run up. Forty-eight of them repeated the test on a separate day. The following shooting variables were derived: ball velocity (BV; measured via radar gun), shooting accuracy (SA; average distance from the ball-entry point to the goal centre), and shooting quality (SQ; shooting accuracy divided by the time elapsed from hitting the ball to the point of entry). No systematic bias was evident in the selected shooting variables (SA: 1.98±0.65 vs. 2.00±0.63 m; BV: 24.6±2.3 vs. 24.5±1.9 m s-1; SQ: 2.92±1.0 vs. 2.93±1.0 m s-1; all p>0.05). The intra-class correlation coefficients were high (ICC = 0.70-0.88), and the coefficients of variation were low (CV = 5.3-5.4%). Finally, all three 356-SST variables identify, with adequate sensitivity, differences in soccer shooting ability with respect to the players' proficiency and leg dominance. The results suggest that the 356-SST is a reliable and sensitive test of specific shooting ability in men’s soccer. Future studies should test the validity of these findings in a fatigued state, as well as in other populations.

Concepts: Measurement, Metrology, Evaluation methods, Psychometrics, Reliability, Test-retest, Multiplication, The Players


PURPOSE:: To evaluate the time international canoe polo players spend performing various game activities, measure heart rate (HR) responses during games, and describe the physiological profile of elite players. METHODS:: Eight national canoe polo players were videotaped and wore HR monitors during 3 games at a World Championship and underwent fitness testing. The mean age, height, and weight was 25 ± 1 y, 1.82 ± 0.04 m, and 81.9 ± 10.9 kg, respectively. RESULTS:: Time motion analysis of 3 games indicated that the players spent 29 ± 3% of the game slow/moderate forward paddling, 28 ± 5% contesting, 27 ± 5% resting and gliding, 7 ± 1% turning, 5 ± 1% backwards paddling, 2 ± 1% sprinting, and 2 ± 1% dribbling. Sixty nine (± 20)% of the game time was played at a HR intensity above the HR which corresponded to ventilatory threshold (VT), that was determined during the peak VO2 test. Peak oxygen uptake and VT was 3.3 ± 0.3 and 2.2 ± 0.3 L·min, respectively, on a modified Monark arm crank ergometer. Arm crank peak 5 s anaerobic power was 379 W. CONCLUSION:: The majority of the time spent during international canoe polo games involved slow to moderate forward paddling, contesting for the ball, and resting and gliding. Canoe polo games are played at a high intensity indicated by the HR responses, and the physiological characteristics suggest that these athletes had high levels of upper body aerobic and anaerobic fitness levels.

Concepts: VO2 max, Game, Anaerobic exercise, The Players, Ball games, Polo, Canoe polo, Anaerobic


The present study aims to assess motor activity of volleyball players using an original video recording method developed by the authors. 28 volleyball players taking part in four matches of the Polish Volleyball League were examined. The recorded data were analyzed in view of the mean total distance covered by volleyball players on different court positions during a match, set and rally. The results showed that volleyball players cover the mean total distance of 1221 ± 327 m (mean ± SD) in a three-set match, and 1757 ± 462 m in a four-set match. A statistically significant difference (p ≤ 0,005) was found between the distance covered by the middle blockers and setters, defenders, spikers and libero players in a match and in a set. The study revealed a tendency to lengthen the distance by the players in the final sets, which is indicative of the extended time of individual rallies. The mean distance covered in a single rally amounted to 10,92 ± 0.9 m in four matches (between 9,12 m and 12,56 m).Considering the limited size of the field of play, volleyball players cover relatively long distances during a match as well as individual sets, with the shortest distance covered by middle blockers, and the longest by setters.From a practical application point of view detailed topographic analysis of a player’s movements on the court as well as precise data on the time of activity and rest breaks provide the coach with valuable information on the ways of development of arrhythmic, changing and dynamic training loads.

Concepts: Statistics, Statistical significance, Real number, Players, Distance, Player, The Players, Volleyball


The analysis of positional data in association football allows the spatial distribution of players during matches to be described in order to improve the understanding of tactical-related constraints on the behavioural dynamics of players. The aim of this study was to identify how players' spatial restrictions affected the exploratory tactical behaviour and constrained the perceptual-motor workspace of players in possession of the ball, as well as inter-player passing interactions. Nineteen professional outfield male players were divided into two teams of 10 and 9 players, respectively. The game was played under three spatial constraints: a) players were not allowed to move out of their allocated zones, except for the player in possession of the ball; b) players were allowed to move to an adjacent zone, and; c) non-specific spatial constraints. Positional data was captured using a 5 Hz interpolated GPS tracking system and used to define the configuration states of players for each second in time. The configuration state comprised 37 categories derived from tactical actions, distance from the nearest opponent, distance from the target and movement speed. Notational analysis of players in possession of the ball allowed the mean time of ball possession and the probabilities of passing the ball between players to be calculated. The results revealed that the players' long-term exploratory behaviour decreased and their short-term exploration increased when restricting their space of interaction. Relaxing players' positional constraints seemed to increase the speed of ball flow dynamics. Allowing players to move to an adjacent sub-area increased the probabilities of interaction with the full-back during play build-up. The instability of the coordinative state defined by being free from opponents when players had the ball possession was an invariant feature under all three task constraints. By allowing players to move to adjacent sub-areas, the coordinative state became highly unstable when the distance from the target decreased. Ball location relative to the scoring zone and interpersonal distance constitute key environmental information that constrains the players' coordinative behaviour. Based on our results, dynamic overlap is presented as a good option to capture tactical performance. Moreover, the selected collective (i.e. relational) variables would allow coaches to identify the effects of training drills on teams and players' behaviour. More research is needed considering these type variables to understand how the manipulation of constraints induce a more stable or flexible dynamical structure of tactical behaviour.

Concepts: Time, Psychology, The Target, Dynamics, Constraint, Instability, Theory of Constraints, The Players


Reciprocity or conditional cooperation is one of the most prominent mechanisms proposed to explain the emergence of cooperation in social dilemmas. Recent experimental findings on networked games suggest that conditional cooperation may also depend on the previous action of the player. We here report on experiments on iterated, multi-player Prisoner’s dilemma, on groups of 2 to 5 people. We confirm the dependence on the previous step and that memory effects for earlier periods are not significant. We show that the behavior of subjects in pairwise dilemmas is qualitatively different from the cases with more players; After an initial decay, cooperation increases significantly reaching values above 80%. The strategy of the players is rather universal as far as their willingness to reciprocate cooperation is concerned, whereas there is much diversity in their initial propensity to cooperate. Our results indicate that, for cooperation to emerge and thrive, three is a crowd.

Concepts: Game theory, Sociology, The Evolution of Cooperation, Players, Prisoner's dilemma, Nash equilibrium, The Players, Tit for tat


The study aimed to identify the influence of prior knowledge of exercise duration associated with initial information about momentary match status (losing or winning) on the pacing behaviour displayed during soccer game-based activities. Twenty semi-professional male players participated in four game scenarios divided in two sessions. In the first game scenario, players were not informed about the time duration or initial match status. In the second, players were only informed they would be required to play a small-sided game for 12 minutes. In the third, players were told they would play a small-sided game for 12 minutes and that one of the teams was winning 2 to 0. Finally, in the fourth game scenario, players were instructed they would play a small-sided game for 12 minutes and the score lines used at the start of the previous game scenario were reversed. The results showed a tendency for the unknown task duration to elicit greater physical responses in all studied variables, compared with knowing the task duration. Knowing the task duration and starting the game winning or losing did not affect the players' activity profile between the two conditions. Thus, during small-sided soccer games, knowledge (or not) about the exercise duration alters the pacing behaviour of the players. Moreover, short and undisclosed-length exercise durations resulted in the adoption of more aggressive pacing strategies, characterised by higher initial exercise intensities. Furthermore, previous information on match status does not seem to interfere with pacing patterns if the players are aware of the exercise duration. Coaches may use knowledge of exercise duration to manipulate the small-sided games' demands.

Concepts: English-language films, Activity, Players, Duration, Game, Player, The Players, The Unknown


The effects that different constraints have on the exploratory behavior, measured by the variety and quantity of different responses within a game situation, is of the utmost importance for successful performance in team sports. The aim of this study was to determine how the number of teammates and opponents affects the exploratory behavior of both professional and amateur players in small-sided soccer games. Twenty-two professional (age 25.6 ± 4.9 years) and 22 amateur (age 23.1 ± 0.7 years) male soccer players played three small-sided game formats (4 vs. 3, 4 vs. 5, and 4 vs. 7). These trials were video-recorded and a systematic observation instrument was used to notate the actions, which were subsequently analyzed by means of a principal component analysis and the dynamic overlap order parameter (measure to identify the rate and breadth of exploratory behavior on different time scales). Results revealed that a higher the number of opponents required for more frequent ball controls. Moreover, with a higher number of teammates, there were more defensive actions focused on protecting the goal, with more players balancing. In relation to attack, an increase in the number of opponents produced a decrease in passing, driving and controlling actions, while an increase in the number of teammates led to more time being spent in attacking situations. A numerical advantage led to less exploratory behavior, an effect that was especially clear when playing within a team of seven players against four opponents. All teams showed strong effects of the number of teammates on the exploratory behavior when comparing 5 vs 7 or 3 vs 7 teammates. These results seem to be independent of the players' level.

Concepts: Time, Effect, Measurement, Affect, Principal component analysis, Quantity, Game, The Players


Aim: This study investigated how performance was affected after soccer players, in a postprandial state, ingested a 7% carbohydrate (CHO) solution compared to a placebo (0% CHO) during a simulated soccer match. Methods: Using a double-blind placebo-controlled design, 22 trained male league soccer players (age: 24 ± 7 years, wt: 73.4 ± 12.0 kg, VO2max: 51.8 ± 4.3 mL O2/kg/min) completed two trials, separated by 7 days, during which they ingested, in random order, 700 mL of either a 7% CHO or placebo drink during a simulated soccer match. Ratings of perceived exertion (RPE), agility, timed and run to fatigue were measured during the trials. Results: Change in agility times was not altered by CHO vs. placebo ingestion (0.57 ± 1.48 vs. 0.66 ± 1.00, p = 0.81). Timed runs to fatigue were 381 ± 267 s vs. 294 ± 159 s for the CHO and placebo drinks, respectively (p = 0.11). Body mass modified the relationship between time to fatigue and drink ingestion (p = 0.02 for drink × body mass), such that lower body mass was associated with increased time to fatigue when the players ingested CHO, but not placebo. RPE values for the final stage of the simulated soccer match were 8.5 ± 1.7 and 8.6 ± 1.5 for the CHO and placebo drinks respectively (p = 0.87). Conclusions: The group data showed that the 7% CHO solution (49 g CHO) did not significantly improve performance during a simulated soccer match in league soccer players who had normal pre-match nutrition. However, when adjusting for body mass, increasing CHO intake was associated with improved time to fatigue during the simulated soccer match.

Concepts: Time, Eating, Ingestion, Mass, Simulation, Placebo, Drink, The Players


The prevalence of overweight is increasing and the effectiveness of various weight management and exercise programs varied. An augmented reality smartphone game, Pokémon Go, appears to increase activity levels of players. This study assessed the players and ex-players' frequencies and durations of staying outdoors, and walking/jogging before and during the time they played Pokémon Go, evaluated the physical activity levels of players, ex-players and non-players, and investigated the potential factors which determined their play statuses.

Concepts: Energy, Obesity, Physical exercise, Overweight, Players, The Players


Humans are involved in various real-life networked systems. The most obvious examples are social and collaboration networks but the language and the related mental lexicon they use, or the physical map of their territory can also be interpreted as networks. How do they find paths between endpoints in these networks? How do they obtain information about a foreign networked world they find themselves in, how they build mental model for it and how well they succeed in using it? Large, open datasets allowing the exploration of such questions are hard to find. Here we report a dataset collected by a smartphone application, in which players navigate between fixed length source and destination English words step-by-step by changing only one letter at a time. The paths reflect how the players master their navigation skills in such a foreign networked world. The dataset can be used in the study of human mental models for the world around us, or in a broader scope to investigate the navigation strategies in complex networked systems.

Concepts: Africa, Thought, Navigation, World, C, The Players, Geodesy, Mental model