Activity and recovery cycles and skill involvements of successful and unsuccessful elite rugby league teams: a longitudinal analysis of evolutionary changes in National Rugby League match-play

Gabbett, Tim J. and Hulin, Billy T. (2017) Activity and recovery cycles and skill involvements of successful and unsuccessful elite rugby league teams: a longitudinal analysis of evolutionary changes in National Rugby League match-play. Journal of Sports Sciences, 1-11. doi:10.1080/02640414.2017.1288918


Author Gabbett, Tim J.
Hulin, Billy T.
Title Activity and recovery cycles and skill involvements of successful and unsuccessful elite rugby league teams: a longitudinal analysis of evolutionary changes in National Rugby League match-play
Journal name Journal of Sports Sciences   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1466-447X
Publication date 2017-02-09
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/02640414.2017.1288918
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Start page 1
End page 11
Total pages 11
Place of publication Abingdon, Oxon, United Kingdom
Publisher Routledge
Language eng
Abstract We investigated changes in activity and recovery cycles and skill involvements: (1) during National Rugby league (NRL) match-play from 2004 to 2014 and (2) among successful and unsuccessful teams over the same period. Teams were divided into 4 tiers according to final ladder position: (A) 1st–4th, (B) 5th–8th, (C) 9th–12th and (D) 13th–16th. Total, mean and maximum ball-in-play time decreased, while recovery time increased from 2004 to 2014. Offensive and defensive skill involvements changed differentially over time with moderate to large reductions in the number of play-the-balls, offloads and missed tackles, and moderate to large increases in the number of passes, tackles made and ineffective tackles. The gap between Tier A and Tier D decreased for mean activity time and the proportion of short (<45 s) ball-in-play periods. Conversely, the gap between Tier A and Tier D increased for skill involvements, with Tier A completing more play-the-balls, and Tier D performing a greater number of offloads, and total, missed and ineffective tackles. Our results demonstrate the decreasing ball-in-play demands of NRL competition over 11 seasons. However, our data also highlight the narrowing gap in ball-in-play demands, and increasing gap in skill involvements between the top tier and bottom tier teams.
Keyword Performance analysis
Team sports
Time-motion analysis
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
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Created: Tue, 14 Feb 2017, 14:03:50 EST by Sandrine Ducrot on behalf of School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences