Match score affects activity profile and skill performance in professional Australian Football players Academic Article uri icon


  • Objectives

    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.


    Prospective, longitudinal.


    Physical activity profiles were assessed via microtechnology (Global Positioning System and accelerometer) from 40 professional AF players from the same team during 15 Australian Football League games. Skill performance measures (involvement and effectiveness) and player rank scores (Champion Data(©) Rank) were provided by a commercial statistical provider. The physical performance variables, skill involvements and individual player performance scores were expressed relative to playing time for each quarter. The influence of the quarter result (i.e. win vs. loss) and score margin (i.e. small: <9 points, moderate: 10-18 points, and large: >19 points) on activity profile and skill involvements and skill efficiency performance of players were examined.


    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.


  • Sullivan, Courtney
  • Bilsborough, Johann C
  • Cianciosi, Michael
  • Hocking, Joel
  • Cordy, Justin
  • Coutts, Aaron J

publication date

  • 2014