Effect of Small-sided Games Rule Changes on Time Spent in Different Intensity Zones, Frequency of Technical Actions and Distance Covered during Soccer Training

Muhammad Taufiq Cheng Abdullah, Kok Lian Yee, Chen-Soon Chee


Purpose: The efficacy of SSGs has been difficult to assess as researchers have used a wide-ranging number of players, pitch dimensions and game rules, making comparisons complicated.  Therefore this study compared four SSG rules [one (SSG1T), two (SSG2T), three (SSG3T), and unlimited touches (SSGFT)] on time spent in different heart-rate (HR) intensity zones, frequency of technical actions and distance covered involving the starting 11 players and the reserve goalkeeper of a national soccer league team. Methods: The participants (age: 24.3±4.0 yr; height: 171.2±5.9 cm: weight: 61.9±7.4 kg) were measured for previously mentioned dependent variables during each SSG format.  Results: Analysis found no significant difference among the four SSGs formats [F(3, 27) = 2.897, p = .053] for time spent in the low-intensity zone, but significant differences were observed for time spent in moderate [F(3, 27) = 13.642, p = .001] and high [F(3, 27) = 13.431, p = .001] intensity zones. Significantly more time was spent in the high intensity zone [F(3, 27) = 13.431, p = .001] when players performed SSG2T and SSGFT when compared SSG1T (p = .002 and p = .009) respectively.  SSG1T induced most unsuccessful passing [F(3,27) = 500.498, p = .001] but no differences was observed among SSG2T, SSG3T and SSGFT.  SSG2T, SSG3T and SSG3T obtained significantly more shots on goal shots on goal [F(3,27) = 25.398, p = .001], with SSGFT achieving higher numbers than the other three formats.  There were no significant differences in goals scored (p = .537) and distance covered (p = 0.574) for all SSG formats.  Conclusion: The main findings of this study revealed that all four SSG formats stimulated moderate to high heart rate intensities that could induce positive aerobic and anaerobic adaptations depending on frequency of technical actions and players’ skill level.  Therefore coaches could select specific SSG formats to help players achieved intended intensity and technical objectives programmed for different phases of periodized training.


Games training, rule changes, intensity, soccer skills, fitness


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.15282/mohe.v9i2.467