Effect of match-related contextual factors on positional performance in the national rugby league

Wedding, Corey, Gomez, M.A., Woods, C.T., Sinclair, Wade, and Leicht, Anthony (2023) Effect of match-related contextual factors on positional performance in the national rugby league. International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching, 18 (3). pp. 832-838.

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Objectives: To examine the effects of match-related contextual variables on positional groups and success in the National Rugby League (NRL).

Methods: Data relating to match location, match outcome, quality of opposition and match type (absolute score differential) from all matches across the 2015–2019 NRL seasons were collected, in addition to 14 previously identified Factors (technical performance indicators). A decision tree, grown using the Exhaustive Chi-square Automatic Interaction Detector (CHAID) algorithm, was used to model the effect of each of these match-related contexts on positional contribution according to match outcome.

Results: The accuracy of the exhaustive CHAID model in explaining the influence of positional groups on match outcome was 66%. The model revealed four primary splits: interchange forwards, utility backs, adjustables and a group containing the remaining three positional groups (forwards, backs, and interchange).

Conclusions: Results suggest that interchange forwards, utility backs and adjustables could have a definitive role within the team compared to the remaining positional groups in determining match outcome. In contrast to team-level research, there is a greater emphasis on the importance of defensive actions (e.g. try causes, tackles made) at a positional level than attacking performance indicators. The moderate classification accuracy justifies the use of this approach for examination of the interactions between match-related contextual variables, performance indicators and positional groups.

Item ID: 73560
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2048-397X
Keywords: Team sports; sport analytics; performance; match analysis; football; playing position
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Copyright Information: © The Author(s) 2022.
Date Deposited: 16 May 2022 03:59
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4207 Sports science and exercise > 420799 Sports science and exercise not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2099 Other health > 209999 Other health not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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