Non-metric multidimensional performance indicator scaling reveals seasonal and team dissimilarity within the National Rugby League

Woods, Carl T., Robertson, Sam, Sinclair, Wade H., and Collier, Neil French (2018) Non-metric multidimensional performance indicator scaling reveals seasonal and team dissimilarity within the National Rugby League. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 21 (4). pp. 410-415.

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Abstract

Objectives: Analysing the dissimilarity of seasonal and team profiles within elite sport may reveal the evolutionary dynamics of game-play, while highlighting the similarity of individual team profiles. This study analysed seasonal and team dissimilarity within the National Rugby League (NRL) between the 2005 to 2016 seasons.

Methods: Total seasonal values for 15 performance indicators were collected for every NRL team over the analysed period (n = 190 observations). Non-metric multidimensional scaling was used to reveal seasonal and team dissimilarity.

Results: Compared to the 2005 to 2011 seasons, the 2012 to 2016 seasons were in a state of flux, with a relative dissimilarity in the positioning of team profiles on the ordination surface. There was an abrupt change in performance indicator characteristics following the 2012 season, with the 2014 season reflecting a large increase in the total count of ‘all run metres’ (d = 1.21; 90% CI = 0.56 – 1.83), ‘kick return metres’ (d = 2.99; 90% CI = 2.12 – 3.84) and decrease in ‘missed tackles’ (d = -2.43; 90% CI = -3.19 – -1.64) and ‘tackle breaks’ (d = -2.41; 90% CI = -3.17 – -1.62). Interpretation of team ordination plots showed that certain teams evolved in (dis)similar ways over the analysed period.

Conclusions: It appears that NRL match-types evolved following the 2012 season and are in a current state of flux. The modification of coaching tactics and rule changes may have contributed to these observations. Coaches could use these results when designing prospective game strategies in the NRL.

Item ID: 49477
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1878-1861
Keywords: data visualisation, sport analytics, team sports, performance analysis
Date Deposited: 28 Jun 2017 04:18
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: 92 HEALTH > 9299 Other Health > 929999 Health not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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