The influence of field size, player number and rule changes on the physiological responses and movement demands of small-sided games for cricket training

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Sports Sciences, 2013, 31 (6), pp. 629 - 638
Issue Date:
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This study investigated the physiological responses and movement demands associated with modified versions of small-sided games for cricket training, termed 'Battlezone'. Eleven (22.2 ± 3.6 years; 1.80 ± 0.06 m; 81.7 ± 11.4 kg) male, cricket players volunteered to perform each of four modified 8-over scenarios of Battlezone. Modifications to Battlezone included reducing the field size, removal of a fielder, a combination of these modifications and additional rule changes. Heart rate, blood lactate concentration, rating of perceived exertion (RPE) and the movement patterns of participants were measured during each scenario. The total distances covered per 8-over bout ranged from 626 ± 335 m for wicketkeepers to 1795 ± 457 m for medium-fast bowlers; although similar distances (P & 0.05) were covered within positions between the four different scenarios. Between scenarios, the greatest mean speed, heart rate and blood lactate responses occurred when the rules were changed, resulting in increased movement patterns (P < 0.05), most notably for batsmen and wicketkeepers. In contrast, altering the playing field size or player number did not significantly influence (P & 0.05) these responses. These results suggest that the physical demands of cricket-specific training can be increased via rule variations including hit-and-run activities, more so than field size or player number. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
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