Metabolic power of female footballers in various small-sided games with different pitch surfaces and sizes

Jorge Lopez Fernandez, Javier Sánchez-Sánchez, Leonor Gallardo, Jorge García Unanue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)


Small-sided-games (SSGs) seem to be a useful tool for replicating most types of scenarios found in sport competitions, but it is not that clear in female soccer. Game surface and pitch size seem to affect the intensity of SSGs, but no one has yet analysed the influence of these two variables together. The objective of this research was to analyse the metabolic power demands of various SSGs on possession play without goal-keepers, played on three different surfaces. Sixteen sub-elite female players performed three different four-a-side games (400 m 2, 600 m 2, and 800 m 2) on three different surfaces (ground [GR]; natural grass [NG]; and artificial turf [AT]), recording a total of 96 events. Metabolic variables were recorded through a global positioning system (GPS). The GR condition obtained the lowest outputs for all variables in all of the SSGs. Furthermore, NG resulted in higher outcomes than AT for Average Metabolic Power (SSG 400 [+ 0.65; p= 0.019]; SSG 600 [+ 0.70; p= 0.04]); and equivalent distance (SSG 400 [+ 33.0; p= 0.02]; SSG 600 [+ 36.53; p= 0.04]). Moreover, SSG 400 obtained lower results than SSG 600 and SSG 800 for both AT and NG. In conclusion, playing on GR reduces the metabolic power of SSGs, While NG seems to be the most suitable surface for attaining highest metabolic responses for sub-elite female players. On the other hand, too big a pitch size may not increase the metabolic demands of the game.
Original languageEnglish
Article number24
Number of pages9
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 17 Apr 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


  • artificial turf
  • four-a-side games
  • GPS
  • soccer
  • sports pavement


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