To examine the influence of quarter outcome and the margin of the score differential on both the physical activity profile and skill performance of players during professional Australian Football matches.
Skill involvements (total disposals/min, long kicks/min, marks/min, running bounces/min and player rank/min) were greater in quarters won (all p<0.01). In contrast, the players high speed running distance per minute (>14.5 km h(-1), HSR/min), sprints/min and peak speed were higher in losing quarters (all p<0.01). Smaller score margins were associated with increased physical activity (m/min, HSR/min, and body load/min, all p<0.05) and decreased skill efficiency (handball clangers/min and player rank/min, all p<0.05).
Professional AF players are likely to have an increased physical activity profile and decreased skill involvement and proficiency when their team is less successful.