Comparison of In vs. Out of Conference Game Demands in Collegiate Division I Women’s Lacrosse
Abstract Objective: The purpose of this study is to assess differences in physiological demands and different performance variables between In-Conference (IC) and Out-of-Conference (OC) games throughout a season for a Division I collegiate women’s lacrosse team (n=13). Methods: Performance variables were analyzed Per Minute Played (PT) and data were collected using micro technology units and Heart Rate(HR) monitors during 18 total games, 11 OC games and 7 IC games. Results: Analyses indicated a higher workload for IC games than OC games for total distance (OC: 100.8 ± 8.0 m/min PT; IC: 145.5 ± 26.7 m/min PT), distance rate (OC: 0.85 m/min/min PT; IC: 1.15 m/min/min PT), High-Intensity (HI) distance (OC: 7.8 ± 2.8 m/min PT; IC: 10.9 ± 2.9 m/min PT), metabolic equivalent distance (OC: 155.4 ± 13.5 m/min PT; IC: 215.7 ± 32.6 m/min PT), accelerations (OC: 3.6 ± 0.3 reps/min PT; IC: 4.4 ± 0.5 reps/min PT), decelerations (OC: 0.7 ± 0.1 reps/min PT; IC: 1.0 ± 0.2 reps/min PT), and sprints in zone 5 (OC: 0.29 ± 0.0 reps/min PT; IC: 0.57 ± 0.2 reps/min PT), all p<0.001. Workload was also higher for HI sprints (OC: 0.09 ± 0.6 reps/min PT; IC: 0.12 ± 0.5 reps/min PT; p=0.005) and training impulse (OC: 7.0 ± 1.4 AU/min PT; IC: 11.6 ± 5.2 AU/min PT; p=0.009). Conclusion: The data suggests the more physiologically demanding games are those where the opponent is more evenly matched. The more even the player-to-player matchups are the greater likelihood of competition being present throughout the duration of the game, forcing each athlete to sustain higher workloads for longer periods of time. Having a better understanding of game demands can help coaches and trainers to better strategize training sessions and recovery periods to be as competitive as possible.