The biomechanical and physiological demands of roller hockey match play
There is a lack of scientific research into roller hockey. The aim of this thesis was to analyse the muscular demands of roller hockey match play, using four techniques. These were a) Match analysis: Two Premier League roller hockey matches were recorded using two stationary video cameras. Manual, field-by-field analysis established all the actions performed by players in a match situation, the percentage of match time spent performing each action, their frequency and the mean duration of each action. Also recorded was the direction travelled, while the intensity of each action was subjectively assessed. b) Heart rate analysis (n=5): heart rate was recorded every 5 s during training and competition. Heart rate and performance were also measured during a maximal progressive 20-m shuttle skate test and oxygen consumption (V02) was calculated. c) Kinesiology analysis (n=l): Two-dimensional video analysis was used to establish the phases, joint actions, and muscular activity of each roller hockey action. d) Telemetric surface electromyography (EMG) analysis (n=6): activity was monitored in 8 muscles during training practice and training matches. The results of the match analysis showed 71% of match play was spent rolling, and 70% was spent travelling forwards; 22% was conducted at high intensity. Minor differences were found in match play activity between forwards and defenders, and between winners and losers. Comparisons between activity in the 1st and 2nd halves showed significantly more sprinting in the 1st half (p<0.05) and significantly more rolling and low intensity activity in the 2nd half (p<0.05). Mean heart rates during competitive matches (176 beats/min) were significantly higher (p<0.05) than during training matches (166 beats/min). The maximal 20-m shuttle skate test produced a mean predicted V02max, of 54 ml/kg/min, and maximal heart rates similar to competitive matches. The kinesiology analysis established 8 muscles central in roller hockey; these muscles were monitored in the EMG analysis. Electromyography revealed that performance of roller hockey actions during training produced the greatest EMG activity in the pectoralis major, while sprinting and forehand slap shots were the most demanding actions. Combining the results of the electromyography analysis with the match analysis revealed the high physical demands of shooting and the skating actions of pushing and sprinting. This thesis constituted the first long-term study of roller hockey, and it provided evidence that may be used in developing technique and improving sport specific fitness.