Emilija Stojanović

DOI Number
First page
Last page


This study aimed to investigate fluctuations in external demands and heart rate (HR) response across two game periods (half-times) in recreational football players. Eighteen recreationally active, male college students (goalkeepers: n = 2; outfield players: n = 16; age: 20.9 ± 1.5 yr; height: 179.4 ± 5.0 cm; body mass: 76.9 ± 8.1 kg; fat mass: 15.3 ± 5.5%) participated in this study. Two sessions were used to administer 4-a-side small-side games (SSG). Differences in activity demands and HR response were analyzed using a paired sample t-test. The magnitude of the differences in each dependent variable was quantified with effect size (ES) analyses and interpreted as: trivial, <0.2; small, 0.2–0.59; moderate, 0.6–1.19; large, 1.2–1.99; very large, >2. An ES analysis showed, small to moderate, significant decreases in distance covered at 0-6.00 km·h-1 (ES = -0.54, small), 6.01-12.00 km·h-1 (ES = -0.99, moderate), 12.01-18.00 km·h-1(ES = -0.66, moderate), >24 km·h-1 (ES = -0.72, moderate), total distance (ES = -0.91, moderate) and high-intensity accelerations (ES = -0.60, moderate) during the second rather than the first half. In addition, unclear significant decreases in HRmean, and percentage of time spent working 81-90% HRmax were observed across two game periods. Our findings indicate game-related fatigue, whereby players demonstrated a consistent HR response across two game periods despite diminutions in activity demands during the second half. Similarities in HR response across two game periods might be due to the lower physical fitness of recreational players, eliciting slower HR recovery.


football, physical fitness, college students

Full Text:



Akenhead, R., Hayes, P.R., Thompson, K.G., & French, D. (2013). Diminutions of acceleration and deceleration output during professional football match play. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 16(6), 556-561.

Buchheit, M. (2010). The 30–15 intermittent fitness test: 10 year review. Myorobie Journal, 1(9), 278.

Dellal, A., Hill-Haas, S., Lago-Penas, C., & Chamari, K. (2011). Small-sided games in soccer: amateur vs. professional players' physiological responses, physical, and technical activities. The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 25(9), 2371-2381.

Hill-Haas, S. V., Dawson, B., Impellizzeri, F. M., & Coutts, A. J. (2011). Physiology of small-sided games training in football. Sports Medicine, 41(3), 199-220.

Hopkins, W., Marshall, S., Batterham, A., & Hanin, J. (2009). Progressive statistics for studies in sports medicine and exercise science. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 41(1), 3-13.

Jones, M.R., West, D.J., Crewther, B.T., Cook, C.J., & Kilduff, L.P. (2015). Quantifying positional and temporal movement patterns in professional rugby union using global positioning system. European Journal of Sport Science, 15(6), 488-496.

Milanović, Z., Pantelić, S., Čović, N., Sporiš, G., & Krustrup, P. (2015). Is recreational soccer effective for improving VO2 max? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Sports Medicine, 45(9), 1339-1353.

Milanović, Z., Sporiš, G., & Weston, M. (2015). Effectiveness of high-intensity interval training (HIT) and continuous endurance training for VO2max improvements: a systematic review and meta-analysis of controlled trials. Sports Medicine, 45(10), 1469-1481.

Nikolaidis, P.T., Clemente, F.M., van der Linden, C.M., Rosemann, T., & Knechtle, B. (2018). Validity and reliability of 10-hz global positioning system to assess in-line movement and change of direction. Frontiers in Physiology, 9, 228. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2018.00228

Pantelić, S., Rađa, A., Erceg, M., Milanović, Z., Stojanović, E., Krustrup, P., et al. (2019). Relative pitch area plays an important role on movement pattern and intensity in recreational football. Biology of Sport, 36(2), 119-124.

Pavlović, L., Stojiljković, N., Aksović, N., Stojanović, E., Valdevit, Z., Scanlan, A. T., & Milanović, Z. (2018). Diurnal variations in physical performance: Are there morning-to-evening differences in elite male handball players? Journal of Human Kinetics, 63(1), 117-126.

Puente, C., Abián-Vicén, J., Areces, F., López, R., & Del Coso, J. (2017). Physical and physiological demands of experienced male basketball players during a competitive game. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 31(4), 956-962.

Rahnama, N., Reilly, T., Lees, A., & Graham-Smith, P. (2003). Muscle fatigue induced by exercise simulating the work rate of competitive soccer. Journal of Sports Science, 21(11), 933-942.

Randers, M., Andersen, T. B., Rasmussen, L., Larsen, M., & Krustrup, P. (2014). Effect of game format on heart rate, activity profile, and player involvement in elite and recreational youth players. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, 24(Supp. 1), 17-26.

Randers, M.B., Brix, J., Hagman, M., Nielsen, J.J., & Krustrup, P. (2017). Effect of boards in small-sided street soccer games on movement pattern and physiological response in recreationally active young men. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000002401.

Randers, M.B., Nielsen, J.J., Bangsbo, J., & Krustrup, P. (2014). Physiological response and activity profile in recreational small‐sided football: No effect of the number of players. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, 24(Supp. 1), 130-137.

Randers, M.B., Nybo, L., Petersen, J., Nielsen, J.J., Christiansen, L., Bendiksen, M., et al. (2010). Activity profile and physiological response to football training for untrained males and females, elderly and youngsters: influence of the number of players. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, 20(Supp. 1), 14-23.

Randers, M. B., Ørntoft, C., Hagman, M., Nielsen, J.J., & Krustrup, P. (2018). Movement pattern and physiological response in recreational small-sided football–effect of number of players with a fixed pitch size. Journal of Sports Sciences, 36(13), 1549-1556.

Thorlund, J.B., Aagaard, P., & Madsen, K. (2009). Rapid muscle force capacity changes after soccer match play. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 30(04), 273-278.

Yücesoy, M., Erkmen, N., Aktas, S., Güven, F., & Durmaz, M. (2019). Interval versus continuous small-sided soccer games with same pitch size and number of players. Facta Universitatis Series Physical Education and Sport, 631-640.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.22190/FUPES190307004S


ISSN   1451-740X (Print)

ISSN   2406-0496 (Online)