A systematic review of match-play characteristics in women’s soccer

Harkness-Armstrong, A., Till, K., Datson, N., Myhill, N. and Emmonds, S. (2022) A systematic review of match-play characteristics in women’s soccer. PLoS One, 17 (6). ISSN 1932-6203

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This review aimed to (1) systematically review the scientific literature evaluating the match-play characteristics of women’s soccer, (2) determine the methods adopted to quantify match-play characteristics of women’s soccer, and (3) present the physical, technical and tactical characteristics of women’s soccer match-play across age-groups, playing standards and playing positions. A systematic search of electronic databases was conducted in May 2021; keywords relating to the population, soccer and match-play characteristics were used. Studies which quantified physical, technical or tactical performance of women’s soccer players during match-play were included. Excluded studies included adapted match-play formats and training studies. Sixty-nine studies met the eligibility criteria. Studies predominantly quantified match-play characteristics of senior international (n=27) and domestic (n=30) women’s soccer match-play, with only seven studies reporting youth match-play characteristics. Physical (n=47), technical (n=26) and tactical characteristics (n=2) were reported as whole-match (n=65), half-match (n=21), segmental (n=17) or peak (n=8) characteristics. Beyond age-groups, playing standard, and playing position, fourteen studies quantified the impact of contextual factors, such as environment or match outcome, on match-play characteristics. Distance was the most commonly reported variable (n=43), as outfield women’s soccer players covered a total distance of 5480-11160 m during match-play. This systematic review highlights that physical match-performance increases between age-groups and playing standards, and differs between playing positions. However, further research is warranted to understand potential differences in technical and tactical match-performance. Coaches and practitioners can use the evidence presented within this review to inform population-specific practices, however, they should be mindful of important methodological limitations within the literature (e.g. inconsistent velocity and acceleration/deceleration thresholds). Future research should attempt to integrate physical, technical and tactical characteristics as opposed to quantifying characteristics in isolation, to gain a deeper and more holistic insight into match-performance.

Publication Type: Articles
Additional Information: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Research Article, Biology and life sciences, Social sciences, Physical sciences, Engineering and technology, Research and analysis methods, Medicine and health sciences
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV557 Sports
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Q Science > Q Science (General)
Divisions: Academic Areas > Institute of Sport > Research Theme > Enhancing Sport Performance
Research Entities > Centre for Health and Allied Sport and Exercise Science Research (CHASER)
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Naomi Datson
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2022 14:18
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2024 09:37
URI: https://eprints.chi.ac.uk/id/eprint/6337

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