The effects of air travel on performance measures of elite Australian rugby league players

McGuckin, Teneale Alyce, Sinclair, Wade Heath, Sealey, Rebecca Maree, and Bowman, Paul (2014) The effects of air travel on performance measures of elite Australian rugby league players. European Journal of Sport Science, 14 (Supplement 1). S116-S122.

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Abstract

The current study explored the effects of short haul air travel within the same country on elite Australian rugby league (RL) players (n=12) during two away and two home games of elite competition. Physiological tests of handgrip strength and leg power were assessed along with psychological tests and perceptions of leg soreness and tiredness on the day before the game (Time 1 and Time 2) and on game day (Time 3). Game statistics of tackles and metres gained were assessed for the games analysed. Significant differences were found for daily analyses of life demands for athletes (DALDA) worse than normal responses at Time 2 (2.50±3.23 vs. 3.50±3.93; P=0.04), Karolinska Sleepiness Scale (KSS) at Time 2 (2.88±1.51 vs. 3.71±1.37; P=0.011) and leg tiredness at Time 3 (3.38±1.66 vs. 2.35±1.70; P=0.004) between home and away games. The analysis of game statistics identified that more metres were gained during home games (83.6±49.1 vs. 63.0±30.1; P=0.02) and more tackles made while playing away (18.4±9.2 vs. 14.3±6.7; P=0.016). The results suggest that short haul air travel without crossing time zones results in symptoms of travel fatigue but does not appear to negatively impact on elite RL players ability to perform strength and power tasks. Different game tactics (attacking vs. defensive) occurred between home and away games however, it is unclear whether travel fatigue or a home advantage (HA) is associated with this finding.

Item ID: 22895
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: travel fatigue, home advantage, game performance
ISSN: 1536-7290
Date Deposited: 21 Aug 2012 05:20
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science > 110699 Human Movement and Sports Science not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9501 Arts and Leisure > 950102 Organised Sports @ 100%
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