The relationship between (GPS) match activity profile and performance in the AFL
Perth, Australia, 2West Coast Eagles Football Club, Australia 1. INTRODUCTION Many studies that have used Global Positioning System (GPS) technology have investigated its validity and reliability for use in team sports. These studies (Coutts and Duffield, 2010; Petersen et al., 2009) suggest distance based measures should predominantly be used to monitor individual player workloads and intensities and that high speed running variables should be based on broad (rather than narrow) speed zone categories. Further, quantifying acceleration with current GPS technology was not supported, as the noted errors were high. No study has yet tracked individual player movement-pattern profiles within a single Australian Football League (AFL) team in relation to performance over the course of multiple seasons. This study aimed to identify the most relevant GPS match activity variables to individual performance. By better understanding the relationship between GPS derived match activity profiles and player performance, sports science staff may be able to streamline GPS use and provide more meaningful information for coaches and players. 2. METHODS Due to variations in the number of GPS units available, and restrictions on the number of players able to wear GPS, the methodology varied slightly over the course of the study period. Between 10 and 22 players from one AFL team wore GPS in each game of the 2009 and 2010 AFL seasons. Each player was allocated to one of two positional zones (free-roaming or stationary) to allow for interpositional and intra-positional comparisons.