This collection has gathered all scientific research relating to GAA performance. Below you will find research articles in the areas of:
This collection will help you easily find and stay up-to-date with the full body of research in GAA.
For every study you will find the title, the authors name(s), the year of publication & the abstract. The abstract is simply a summary of the research paper; what the researchers did, and what they found. Scientific abstracts can often be quite confusing to read, so for your convenience the abstracts have been made more concise. For those of you who wish to read the full paper, you will also find a link to the online source of each paper.
Scientific studies use terms that you may not be familiar with or have a different meaning in the context of a study. We have included a key terminology section below to help you easily understand what the abstracts mean.
This collection will be updated on a monthly basis, but if you know of a study you feel we have missed that should be included, please email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
et al. :
This is an abbreviated Latin terms which means “and others”. Studies often have several authors, so this term is used instead of listing all the authors. The lead author is named and “et al.” is used to show there are other authors.
This symbol can be used to mean a few different things but at a basic level it means "plus or minus", this symbol is used to indicate the precision of an approximation (as in "The result is 10 ± 0.3", meaning the result is anywhere in the inclusive range from 9.7 to 10.3)
When authors say a difference is “significant” it does not necessarily mean it is a large difference. Rather, using the word “significant” means that the difference found was shown to be an actual difference due to the intervention used and not down to chance when examined using the statistical tests employed by the authors.
Principal Component Analysis of the Associations Between Kinetic Variables in Cutting and Jumping, and Cutting Performance Outcome.
(Welch et al., 2019)
The primary aim of this study was to determine which features within the ground reaction force (GRF) trace during cutting are related to performance outcome in different angled cuts. The secondary aim was to understand the relationship between GRF features in a series of maximum strength, explosive strength, and reactive strength tests, and cutting performance outcome. Twenty-five male intercounty Gaelic football players participated in the study. Participants completed 110 and 45 degree cutting tasks, single leg squat jumps, drop landings, drop jumps, and isometric midthigh pulls. A principal component (PC) analysis and simulation approach were applied to the data and correlations between PCs and cutting performance outcome measured. Lower vertical to horizontal impulse ratios in both cuts and greater forces over the first 50 ms of ground contact in the 110 degree cut correlated with enhanced cutting performance outcomes. Greater reactive strength index and height in the drop jump and greater impulses over the first 25 ms of ground contact in the drop landing correlated with enhanced cutting performance outcomes. These results highlight the importance of greater horizontal and rapid force production in cutting and greater reactive strength qualities to enhance cutting performance.
Principal Component Analysis of the Biomechanical Factors Associated With Performance During Cutting.
(Welch et al., 2019)
The main aim of the current study was to investigate the relationship between kinematic variables in cutting and performance outcome across different angled cuts through the use of principal component analysis and permutation testing. Twenty-five male intercounty Gaelic football players participated in the study. Three-dimensional motion capture was used to perform a biomechanical analysis of 110 and 45 degree cutting tasks. Principal component analysis and permutation testing revealed one principal component within the 45 degrees cut and 2 principal components within the 110 degrees cut that consistently correlated with performance outcome. Within the 45 degrees cut, the identified principal component was interpreted as relating to performance cues of maintaining a low center of mass during the concentric phase, using a shorter ground contact time, resisting a reduction in lateral center of mass to ankle and knee distance in the eccentric phase, and using faster and larger extensions of the hip and knee. Within the 110 degree cut, the first identified principal component was interpreted as relating to performance cues of maintaining a low center of mass during the concentric phase, using a shorter ground contact time, resisting a reduction in lateral center of mass to ankle and knee distance in the eccentric phase, and resisting hip flexion then using hip extension. The second principal component was interpreted as relating to a performance cue of leaning in the direction of the cut.
Investigation of the Effects of High-Intensity, Intermittent Exercise and Unanticipation on Trunk and Lower Limb Biomechanics During a Side-Cutting Maneuver Using Statistical Parametric Mapping.
(Whyte et al., 2018)
Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries frequently occur during side-cutting maneuvers when fatigued or reacting to the sporting environment. Trunk and hip biomechanics are proposed to influence ACL loading during these activities. However, the effects of fatigue and unanticipation on the biomechanics of the kinetic chain may be limited by traditional discrete point analysis. We recruited 28 male, varsity, Gaelic footballers to perform anticipated and unanticipated side-cutting maneuvers before and after a high-intensity, intermittent exercise protocol. Statistical parametric mapping (repeated-measures analysis of varience) identified differences in phases of trunk and stance leg biomechanics during weight acceptance. Unanticipation resulted in less trunk flexion and greater side flexion away from the direction of cut. This led to smaller (internal) knee flexor and greater (internal) knee extensor, hip adductor, and hip external rotator moments. The high-intensity, intermittent exercise protocol resulted in increased trunk flexion and side flexion away from the direction of cut, resulting in smaller (internal) knee extensor moments. One interaction effect was noted demonstrating greater hip extensor moments in the unanticipated condition post- high-intensity, intermittent exercise protocol. Results demonstrate that unanticipation resulted in trunk kinematics considered an ACL injury risk factor. A subsequent increase in frontal and transverse plane hip loading and sagittal plane knee loading was observed, which may increase ACL strain. Conversely, high-intensity, intermittent exercise protocol-induced trunk kinematic alterations resulted in reduced sagittal plane knee and subsequent ACL loading. Therefore, adequate hip and knee control is important during unanticipated side-cutting maneuvers.
Biomechanical factors associated with time to complete a change of direction cutting maneuver.
(Marshall et al., 2014)
Cutting ability is an important aspect of many team sports, however, the biomechanical determinants of cutting performance are not well understood. This study aimed to address this issue by identifying the kinetic and kinematic factors correlated with the time to complete a cutting maneuver. In addition, an analysis of the test-retest reliability of all biomechanical measures was performed. Fifteen elite multidirectional sports players (Gaelic hurling) were recruited, and a 3-dimensional motion capture analysis of a 75 degree cut was undertaken. The factors associated with cutting time were determined using bivariate Pearson's correlations. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) were used to examine the test-retest reliability of biomechanical measures. Five biomechanical factors were associated with cutting time (2.28 +/-0.11 seconds): peak ankle power, peak ankle plantar flexor moment, range of pelvis lateral tilt, maximum thorax lateral rotation angle, and total ground contact time. Intraclass correlation coefficient scores for these 5 factors, and indeed for the majority of the other biomechanical measures, ranged from good to excellent (ICC >0.60). Explosive force production about the ankle, pelvic control during single-limb support, and torso rotation toward the desired direction of travel were all key factors associated with cutting time. These findings should assist in the development of more effective training programs aimed at improving similar cutting performances. In addition, test-retest reliability scores were generally strong, therefore, motion capture techniques seem well placed to further investigate the determinants of cutting ability.
Injury / Medical
Ankle Sprain Has Higher Occurrence During the Latter Parts of Matches: Systematic Review With Meta-Analysis.
(de Noronha et al., 2019)
Ankle sprains are common injuries in sports, but it is unclear whether they are more likely to occur in a specific period of a sporting game.This study aimed to systematically review the literature investigating when in a match ankle sprains most likely occurred.Databases were searched up to August 2016, with no restriction of date or language. The search targeted studies that presented data on the time of occurrence of ankle sprains during sports matches. Data from included studies were analyzed as a percentage of ankle sprain occurrence by halftime and by quarters. Meta-analyses were run using a random effects model. The quality assessment tool for quantitative studies was used to assess the article's quality.The searches identified 1142 studies, and 8 were included in this review. A total of 500 ankle sprains were reported during follow-up time, which ranged from 1 to 15 years, in 5 different sports (soccer, rugby, futsal, American football, and Gaelic football). The meta-analyses, including all 8 studies, showed that the proportion of ankle sprains during the first half was smaller than the second half. For the analyses by quarters, the proportion of ankle sprains in the first quarter was considerably smaller than the second, third, and fourth quarters.The results of this review indicate that ankle sprains are more likely to occur later in the game during the second half or during the latter minutes of the first half.
Commotio Cordis Caused During Hurling Game
(Connellan et al., 2019)
A teenage boy had a cardiac arrest following a blow to the chest from a hurling ball (sliotar). Prompt resuscitation and automated external defibrillation enabled a full recovery. This is the first reported case of commotio cordis caused by a sliotar although it is described in other sports. Primary prevention of commotio cordis (CC) and secondary prevention of cardiac death are discussed.
Arthroscopic anterior shoulder stabilisation in overhead sport athletes: 5-year follow-up.
(Clesham and Shannon, 2019)
Shoulder instability following traumatic glenohumeral dislocation is a common injury sustained by athletes particularly in contact and collision sports. Overhead contact sports such as gaelic football and hurling pose a unique hazard to the glenohumeral joint, increasing the risk of dislocation.The aim of this study was to assess return to sport, level of play, recurrence and functional outcomes in gaelic football and hurling athletes in comparison with players of other sports.A retrospective cohort study was carried out from 2007 to 2016. Follow-up was conducted via telephone interview using the Western Ontario Shoulder Instability Index (WOSI) score used to assess functional outcomes as well as return to sport, level of return and recurrence.Ninety patients were included with follow-up which was obtained on 61 patients (68%) with a mean follow-up of 5.04 years. 91.8% played sport at the time of injury, 55.4% of those (31 patients) played a gaelic sport with 44.6% (25 patients) playing other sports. 76.8% returned to their sport, 80.4% of these able to return at their pre-injury level. Recurrence occurred in 10 patients (16.4%). WOSI scores were not significantly different between groups. No significance in recurrence between groups was noted.Favourable outcomes can be expected for overhead contact sport athletes undergoing anterior arthroscopic stabilisation for recurrent instability. Players from these groups returned to sport sooner than those from other sports and no difference in recurrence was noted. The level at which they can expect to return to is favourable with most athletes reaching their pre-injury level.
Sports-Related Concussion in Adolescent Gaelic Games Players.
(O'Connor et al., 2019)
Gaelic games are some of the most popular sports played by Irish adolescents, and the Gaelic Athletic Association has undertaken educational initiatives to improve awareness of a sports-related concussion (SRC). However, SRC underreporting is common among adolescent athletes internationally, potentially due to poor knowledge or attitudes toward SRC. This study aimed to examine previous experiences with, knowledge of, and attitudes toward reporting SRCs, as well as views on future education in adolescent Gaelic games players and their parents. Adolescent male and female Gaelic games players (n = 113) and parents (n = 151) completed an anonymous questionnaire examining previous experiences with, knowledge of, and attitudes toward reporting SRCs, as well as views on future SRC education initiatives. Overall, 57.5% of adolescent Gaelic games players suspected they had suffered an SRC previously, and a greater number of suspected SRCs were reported than were medically diagnosed. Adolescent players (mean score, 11.4/14) and their parents (mean score, 11.8) displayed good knowledge of SRC signs and symptoms. However, adolescents were less likely to report an SRC during an important game or if an important game was coming up. Both adolescents and their parents would like more SRC education, particularly in the format of online videos or medical professional-led workshops. Underreporting of SRC occurs in adolescent players, despite good knowledge of SRC signs and symptoms. Education is required to highlight the importance of completing a return-to-play program after an SRC regardless of match importance. A multifaceted educational strategy that targets the wider Gaelic games community in the preferred formats identified by key stakeholders is required.
Structured training volume in early adolescence: a risk factor for femoroacetabular impingement?
(Mullins et al., 2019)
The of this study was to determine whether athletes undergoing surgical intervention for FAI completed more hours of structured training in adolescence than matched healthy athletes. Sixty-seven athletes (25.53 ± 4.8 years) undergoing surgical intervention for symptomatic FAI were asked to recall the number of hours engaged in structured training between the ages of 10-12 and 13-15 years old (FAI group). Resultswere compared to an age (24.56 ± 4.5 years), gender and activity level matched control group (n=71) with no history of chronic hip/groin pain or hip stiffness and who were currently engaged in similar levels of training and competition. The FAI group reported significantly more structured training hours between the ages of 10-12 years than controls (6.55 ± 3.1 versus 5.69 ± 3.7 hrs/week) but no differences were observed for training volume between the ages of 13-15 years (8.45 ± 3.4 vs 8.03 ± 3.7 hrs/week). The authors concluded that higher volumes of structured training in early adolescence are a potential risk factor for the development of symptomatic FAI later in the player pathway.
Are internal load measures associated with injuries in male adolescent Gaelic football players?
(O'Keefe et al., 2019)
This study aimed to examine internal loads in male adolescent Gaelic footballers and their association with musculoskeletal injury. Written training diaries were completed by 97 male adolescent Gaelic footballers weekly and injuries, defined as any injury sustained during training or competition causing restricted performance or time lost from play, were assessed by a Certified Athletic Therapist. Daily load was determined for each player (session rating of perceived exertion by session duration) and summed to give weekly load. Univariate and multiple logistic regressions were conducted to determine the association with injury. Twenty-two injuries were recorded with match injuries significantly more common than training injuries. Periodic variations in weekly load and injuries were evident throughout the season. Univariate analysis identified weekly load, monotony and absolute change in load greater than the team average were significant injury risk factors. Multiple logistic regression with 2-weekly and 3-weekly cumulative loads, absolute change, monotony, strain, ACWR and age as independent variables identified internal load measures (monotony, strain and absolute change) were associated with injury with high specificity (96.0%) but low sensitivity (25.0%). The findings highlight the need to monitor team and individual loads to avoid sudden week-to-week changes or excessive weekly loads. Open communication between players, parents, coaches and sports medicine clinicians enables effective load monitoring that can reduce injury risk and may subsequently minimise dropout, improve team success and overall sport enjoyment and promote life-long sports participation.
Differences in Athletic Performance Between Sportsmen With Symptomatic FemoroacetabularImpingement and Healthy Controls.
(Mullins et al., 2019)
Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) is a commonly recognized condition in athletes characterized by activity-related hip pain and stiffness, which if left untreated can progress to hip osteoarthritis. The aim of the study was to determine the effect of symptomatic FAI on performance in young athletes based on the hypothesis that athletes with FAI would show deficits in performance compared with healthycontrols.The functional performance of a cohort of preoperative, competitive sportsmen with symptomatic FAI, was compared with that of a group of age, sex and activity-level matched controls. Participants performed functional tests including a 10-m sprint, a modified agility T-test, a maximal deep squat test and a single-leg drop jump (reactive strength index). Hip range of motion was assessed by measuring maximal hip flexion, abduction, and internal rotation (at 90 degree hip flexion). The FAI group was significantly slower during the 10-m sprint (3%) and agility T-test (8%); flexion, abduction, and internal rotation values for the FAI group were reduced compared with controls. No significant differences between groups were identified for squat depth or reactive strength index. The FAI group also reported higher levels of anterior groin pain during the 10-m sprint, modified agility T-test, and while squatting.
Is Poor Hamstring Flexibility a Risk Factor for Hamstring Injury in Gaelic Games?
(O'Connor et al., 2019)
Hamstring injuries are a leading cause of injury in Gaelic games. Hamstring flexibility as a risk factor for hamstring injury has not yet been examined prospectively in Gaelic games.The aim of this study was to examine whether hamstring flexibility, using the modified active knee extension (AKE) test, and previous injury are risk factors for hamstring injury in Gaelic players and to generate population-specific AKE cut-off points.This study examined 570 players in School and colleges consisting of adolescent and collegiate Gaelic footballers and hurlers.The modified AKE test was completed at preseason, and hamstring injuries were assessed over the course of one season. Any previous hamstring injuries were noted in those who presented with a hamstring injury.Bilateral AKE scores and between-leg asymmetries were recorded. Receiver operating characteristic curves were implemented to generate cut-off points specific to Gaelic players. Univariate and backward stepwise logistic regression analyses were completed to predict hamstring injuries, hamstring injuries on the dominant leg, and hamstring injuries on the nondominant leg.Mean flexibility of 64.2 degrees and 64.1 degrees was noted on the dominant and nondominant leg, respectively. Receiver operating characteristic curves generated a cut-off point of?<?65 degrees in the AKE on the nondominant leg only. When controlled for age, AKE on the nondominant leg was the only predictor variable left in the multivariate model and significantly predicted hamstring injury. However, the sensitivity was 0% and predicted the same amount of cases as the null model. It was not possible to generate a significant model for hamstring injuries on the dominant leg, and no variables generated a P value <0.20 in the univariate analysis on the nondominant leg.Poor flexibility noted in the AKE test during preseason screening and previous injury were unable to predict those at risk of sustaining a hamstring strain in Gaelic games with adequate sensitivity.
The dangers of hurling-genital injuries arising in the modern game.
(Keenan et al., 2019)
The aim of this study was to assess the proportion of penoscrotal injuries arising from the sport of hurling and to assess work-up and management of each injury.Using Hospital In-Patient Enquiry data, all penoscrotal injuries occurring over a 10-year period between 2007 and 2017 were identified and assessed. Chart review, imaging reports, operative notes and discharge summaries were used to identify the aetiology of each injury and those occurring due to hurling were selected for analysis. Investigations and management of each case were reviewed.Seventy patients presented to our institution over a 10-year period with penoscrotal injuries and, of these, ten patients (14%) presented with injuries arising due to blunt scrotal trauma whilst playing hurling. The average age of these patients was 24.3 years, and the right testicle was injured six times, compared with the left testicle twice and isolated scrotal injuries twice also. One hundred percent of patients underwent diagnostic ultrasonography with Doppler flow assessment with 90% (9 patients) having positive findings. Three patients (33%) required operative management with only one patient (10%) requiring an orchidectomy. There were no delayed or interval procedures.The authors conclude that hurling is a physical sport with a notable proportion of blunt scrotal trauma arising due to the sport. Prompt physical examination and diagnostic ultrasonography are essential in investigations of injuries, and surgical exploration should be considered in all cases with concerns of testicular survival. Groin protection should be recommended to all players and in particular to those at high risk such as single testis or prior injury.
An Unusual Case of a Facial Guard Causing Penetrating Soft Tissue Injury in the Game of Hurling.
(Farrell et al., 2019)
This study aimed to highlight the dangers of hurling helmet modification. This case study provides photographic evidence of a penetrating injury from helmet modifications. We recommend that rule changes to allow referees to inspect helmets before games take place.
The Clinical Presentation, Diagnosis and Pathogenesis of Symptomatic Sports-Related Femoroacetabular Impingement (SRFAI) in a Consecutive Series of 1021 Athletic Hips
(Carton & Filan., 2019)
The aim of this study was to examine the pathogenesis and clinical presentation of sports-related femoroacetabular impingement (SRFAI) in a large consecutive series of symptomatic athletes. Between January 2009 and February 2017 prospectively collected data from competitive athletes within the Gaelic Athletic Association, and who subsequently underwent arthroscopic treatment for symptomatic FAI, were analysed. Data was collected using internationally validated health questionnaires (Harris Hip Score, UCLA, SF-36, WOMAC) and recognised clinical (ROM, symptom presentation, provocation tests) and radiological (AP pelvis, Dunn, False profile) indicators/measures of FAI. A total of 1021 consecutive cases were included. In every case, conservative treatment failed to resolve symptoms with athletes attending an average of 2.4 ± 1.1 health care professionals prior to referral. Symptoms developed gradually (78%) and consisted primarily of groin pain (76.1%) and hip stiffness (76.5%) following activity. An acetabular rim deformity (pincer) was present in all cases; a cam deformity in 72.1%. The prevalence and degree of cam deformity increased with progressing age groups; mean lateral centre-edge angle remained static. Increasing CEA, alpha angle and presence of rim fracture was associated with a reduction in all ranges of hip movement. Symptomatic SRFAI presented in this large series of GAA athletes failed to resolve with non-operative treatment. Increasing hip deformity resulted in poorer ROM. Abnormal acetabular morphology remains static with increasing athletic age while cam deformity is progressive and most likely a secondary pathology.
Can the workload-injury relationship be moderated by improved strength, speed and repeated-sprint qualities?
(Malone et al., 2019)
The aim of this study was to investigate potential moderators (i.e. lower body strength, repeated-sprint ability [RSA] and maximal velocity) of injury risk within a team-sport cohort.Forty male amateur hurling players were recruited. During a two-year period, workload (session RPExduration), injury and physical qualities were assessed. Specific physical qualities assessed were a three-repetition maximum Trapbar deadlift, 6x35-m repeated-sprint (RSA) and 5-, 10- and 20-m sprint time. All derived workload and physical quality measures were modelled against injury data using regression analysis. Odds ratios (OR) were reported against a reference group.Moderate weekly loads between 1400 AU and 1900 AU were protective against injury during both the pre-season and in-season periods compared to a low load reference group (<1200 AU). When strength was considered as a moderator of injury risk, stronger athletes were better able to tolerate the given workload at a reduced risk. Stronger athletes were also better able to tolerate larger week-to-week changes (>550-1000 AU) in workload than weaker athletes. Athletes who were slower over 5-m, 10-m and 20-m were at increased risk of injury compared to faster athletes. When repeated-sprint total time was considered as a moderator of injury risk at a given workload, athletes with better repeated-sprint total time were at reduced risk compared to those with poor repeated-sprint total time. These findings demonstrate that well-developed lower-body strength, repeat sprint ability and speed are associated with better tolerance to higher workloads and reduced risk of injury in team-sport athletes.
Injury in teenage Gaelic games.
(O'Keeffe et al., 2019)
Most research examining injury in Gaelic games has focused on elite adult men. Gaelic football and hurling are two of the most popular sports in Ireland, commonly played by teenagers. However, despite their popularity, only one previous study has looked at injuries in teenagers, and this focused on Gaelic footballers only and was published back in 1996. This study followed 292 male teenagers (15.7 +/-0.8 years) who played Gaelic football and hurling over 1 year. Any players who had an injury during training or matches that led to them not being able to play, or reduced their perceived performance when playing, were examined.One-third of all players sustained an injury during the year, with a quarter of those experiencing at least one other injury. Hurlers sustained more match injuries than Gaelic footballers, and match injuries were more common than training injuries. Overuse and recurrent injuries were quite frequent in players. Most of the injuries occurred to their lower limb, especially to the knee and ankle. Gaelic footballers suffered from more hamstring injuries, whereas hurlers experienced more lower back injuries. Hurlers reported more minor injuries leading to <7 days from sport, with Gaelic footballers experiencing injuries that kept them out of sport for 8 +/- 21 days and >21 days more commonly. One-fifth of all injuries were referred for a scan (X-ray, MRI and others) and 7% needed surgery. This led to significant costs to the players, their parents and the governing body for Gaelic games. The use of protective equipment by teenage players, outside of the mandatory mouth guards in Gaelic football and helmets in hurling, was very low
Epidemiology of injury in male collegiate Gaelic footballers in one season.
(O'Connor et al., 2019)
Despite the popularity of collegiate Gaelic football in Ireland and the recent expansion into the United Kingdom and United States, no previous study has examined injury incidence. A prospective epidemiological study was implemented to establish injury incidence in 217 male collegiate Gaelic footballers from two collegiate institutions in one season. An injury was defined as any injury sustained during training or competition resulting in time lost from play or athlete reported restricted performance. Athletic therapy and training students, alongside a certified athletic and rehabilitation therapist, attended all training/matches over one season, and injuries were recorded using a standardized injury report form. The match injury rate was 25.1 injuries per 1000 h, with a significantly higher match injury rate noted in fresher players (players in their 1st year of higher education) (41.6 injuries per 1000 h) than senior players (12.7 injuries per 1000 h). Lower limb injuries were predominant (71.1%), particularly in the hamstring (15.5%), knee (14.1%), and ankle (11.3%). Soft-tissue injuries predominated, particularly strains (32.4%) and sprains (27.5%). A scan and surgery was required in 31% and 12% of injuries, respectively. Thus, injuries are prevalent in male collegiate Gaelic football, and injury prevention programs are required.
The incidence of injury in elite camogie, an in-season prospective study.
(Buckley and Blake, 2018)
The aim of this study was to establish the incidence, nature and severity of injuries in elite camogie players.A prospective, observational cohort study was carried out during the Provincial Championships and extending into the All-Ireland Championship until a participating team was eliminated (11 weeks). A purposive sample of 62 players from 3 of the total 11 senior intercounty teams participated to generate geographical representation. Injury data were recorded and classified by team physiotherapists using a time loss definition, consistent with consensus statements. A concurrent measure of exposure to matches and training was recorded.Twenty-one incidents of injury were recorded with 14 players injured. Injury incidence rate was 26.4 per 1000 match hours and 4.2 per 1000 training hours. There were 11 contact and 10 non-contact injuries. The lower limb accounted for 71.4% , the upper limb 9.5% and the trunk and head 19.1% of injuries. The main tissues injured were both muscle and ligament, representing 57.2%. The mean duration time loss from sport per injury was 12.14 days.These results provide data on the incidence, nature and severity of camogie injuries using definitions that reflect international consensus statements. Further study of injury incidence over a full season or multiple seasons is recommended.
Hamstring injuries in elite Gaelic football: an 8-year investigation to identify injury rates, time-loss patterns and players at increased risk.
(Roe et al., 2018)
Hamstring injuries occur frequently in field sports, yet longitudinal information to guide prevention programmes is missing.The aim of this study was to investigate longitudinal hamstring injury rates and associated time loss in elite Gaelic football, while identifying subgroups of players at increased risk.38 data sets from 15 elite male Gaelic football teams were received by the National Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) Injury Surveillance Database between 2008 and 2015. Injury and exposure data were provided by the team's medical staff via an online platform.391 hamstring injuries were sustained accounting for 21% of all injuries. Prevalence was 21%. Incidences were 2.2 per 1000 exposure hours, and 7.0 times greater in match play than in training. Typically each team sustained 9.0 hamstring injuries per season affecting the: bicep femoris belly (44%) proximal musculotendinous junction (13%); distal musculotendinous junction (12%) and semimembranosis/semitendinosis belly (9%). ?36% were recurrent injuries. Mean time loss was 26.0 days, which varied with age, injury type and seasonal cycle. Hamstring injuries accounted for 31% of injury-related time loss. Previously injured players, players aged 18-20?years or >30?years, as well as defensive and midfield players, were most at risk of sustaining a hamstring injury. Comparisons of 2008-2011 with 2012-2015 seasons revealed a 2-fold increase in hamstring injury incidences. Between 2008 and 2015 training incidence increased 2.3-fold and match-play incidences increased 1.3-fold.Hamstring injuries are the most frequent injury in elite Gaelic football, with incidences increasing from 2008-2011 to 2012-2015. Tailoring risk management strategies to injury history, age and playing position may reduce the burden of hamstring injuries.
Lower limb injuries in men's elite Gaelic football: A prospective investigation among division one teams from 2008 to 2015.
(Roe et al., 2018)
The aim of this study was to prospectively investigate incidence and associated time-loss of lower limb injuries in elite Gaelic football. Additionally, to identify sub-groups of elite players at increased risk of sustaining a lower limb injury.Team physiotherapists provided exposure and injury on a weekly basis to the National Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) Injury Surveillance Database. Injury was defined using a time-loss criterion. Fifteen different teams participated throughout the 8-year study providing 36 team datasets from 2008 to 2015.1239 Lower limb injuries accounted for 83.5% and 77.6% of training and match-play injuries, respectively. Injury incidence was 4.5 and 38.4 per 1000 training and match-play hours, respectively. One-in-four lower limb injuries were recurrent. Non-contact injuries accounted for 80.9% of cases. The median team rate was 30 lower limb injuries per season resulting in 840.8 time-loss days. Previously injured players had a 2.5-times greater risk of sustaining a lower limb injury. Overall, 56.8% of players with a previous lower limb injury sustained another. Incidence was higher for forward players and those aged >25years.Lower limb injuries are the most common injury among elite division one Gaelic football teams. Injury risk management should become an ongoing component of a player's development programme and consider injury history, age, and playing position.
The relationship between previous hamstring injury and the concentric isokinetic knee muscle strength of Irish Gaelic footballers.
(O'Connor and Daly, 2018)
Hamstring injury is one of the most common injuries affecting gaelic footballers, similar to other field sports. Research in other sports on whether residual hamstring weakness is present after hamstring injury is inconsistent, and no study has examined this factor in irish gaelic footballers. The aim of this study was to examine whether significant knee muscle weakness is present in male Irish gaelic footballers who have returned to full activity after hamstring injury.The concentric isokinetic knee flexion and extension strength of 44 members of a university gaelic football team was assessed at 60, 180 and 300 degrees per second using a Contrex dynamometer.Fifteen players (34%) reported a history of hamstring strain, with 68% of injuries affecting the dominant (kicking) limb. The hamstrings were significantly stronger on the dominant limb in all uninjured subjects. The previously injured limbs had a significantly lower hamstrings to quadriceps (HQ) strength ratio than all other non-injured limbs, but neither their hamstrings nor quadriceps were significantly weaker using this comparison. The previously unilaterally injured hamstrings were significantly weaker than uninjured limbs however, when matched for dominance. The hamstring to opposite hamstring strength ratio of the previously injured players was also found to be significantly lower than that of the uninjured players.Hamstring muscle weakness was observed in male Irish gaelic footballers with a history of hamstring injury. This weakness is most evident when comparisons are made to multiple control populations, both within and between subjects. The increased strength of the dominant limb should be considered as a potential confounding variable in future trials. The study design does not allow interpretation of whether these changes in strength were present before or after injury.
The fastest field sport in the world: A case report on 3-dimensional printed hurling gloves to help prevent injury.
(Harte and Paterson, 2018)
Hand injuries are the most common injury observed in hurling although compliance in wearing protective gloves is reportedly low.The aim of this study was to devise a glove that offers comfort, protection and freedom of movement, using the bespoke capabilities of 3-dimensional (3D) printing.Each player's "catching" hand was imaged using a 3D scanner to produce a bespoke glove that they later trialed and provided feedback.Nine players provided feedback. On average, the players favorably rated the glove for the protection offered. The average response on comfort was poor, and no players reported that glove aided performance during play.This feasibility study explores the versatility of 3D printing as a potential avenue to improve player compliance in wearing protective sportswear. Feedback will help refine glove design for future prototypes.Hurling is the primary focus in this study, but knowledge gains should be transferable to other sports that have a high incidence of hand injury.
Implementation of the 2017 Berlin Concussion in Sport Group Consensus Statement in contact and collision sports: a joint position statement from 11 national and international sports organisations.
(Patricios et al., 2018)
The 2017 Berlin Concussion in Sport Group Consensus Statement provides a global summary of best practice in concussion prevention, diagnosis and management, underpinned by systematic reviews and expert consensus.Due to their different settings and rules, individual sports need to adapt concussion guidelines according to their specific regulatory environment. At the same time, consistent application of the Berlin Consensus Statement's themes across sporting codes is likely to facilitate superior and uniform diagnosis and management, improve concussion education and highlight collaborative research opportunities. This document summarises the approaches discussed by medical representatives from the governing bodies of 10 different contact and collision sports in Dublin, Ireland in July 2017. Those sports are: American football, Australian football, basketball, cricket, equestrian sports, football/soccer, ice hockey, rugby league, rugby union and skiing. This document had been endorsed by 11 sport governing bodies/national federations at the time of being published.
Concussion in University Level Sport: Knowledge and Awareness of Athletes and Coaches.
(Kirk et al., 2018)
Using a cross-sectional survey concussion knowledge was evaluated among forty university-level athletes (20 rugby union players & 20 Gaelic football players) and eight experienced team. Levels of knowledge of concussion were high across all participants. Coaches had higher knowledge scores for almost all areas; however, there was evidence of important gaps even in this group. Knowledge was not sufficient in identifying concussion, and when it is safe to return to play following a concussion. Impaired knowledge of how to recognise a concussion, and misunderstanding the need for rest and rehabilitation before return to play presents a hazard to health from second impact and more catastrophic brain injury. We discuss reasons for these guideline misconceptions, and suggest that attitude issues on the significance of concussion may underlie a willingness to want to play with a concussion. This suggests the current education on sport-related concussion needs to be expanded for the appropriate management of university-level contact sports.
Is there a relationship between ground and climatic conditions and injuries in football?
(O'Sullivan et al., 2018)
Most soccer, rugby union, rugby league, American football, Australian football and Gaelic football competitions over the world are played on natural grass over seasons that commence in the early autumn (fall) and extend through winter. Injury surveillance in these competitions has usually reported high rates of injury to the lower limb and an increased incidence of injuries early in the season. This 'early-season' bias has not usually been reported in summer football competitions, or in sports played indoors, such as basketball. Although easily compared rates have not often been published there has also been a reported trend towards a greater injury incidence in football played in warmer and/or drier conditions. Injury incidence in American football played on artificial turf has often been reported to be higher than in games played on natural grass. This review concludes that the most plausible explanation for all of these reported findings involves variations in playing surface characteristics. Shoe-surface traction for the average player is the specific relevant variable that is most likely to correlate with injury incidence in a given game of football. Shoe-surface traction will usually have a positive correlation with ground hardness, dryness, grass cover and root density, length of cleats on player boots and relative speed of the game. It is possible that measures to reduce shoe-surface traction, such as, ground watering and softening, play during the winter months, use of natural grasses such as perennial ryegrass and player use of boots with shorter cleats, would all reduce the risk of football injuries. The most pronounced protective effect is likely to be on injuries to the lower limb of a noncontact nature, including anterior cruciate ligament injuries. Intervention studies should be performed, both using randomised and historical controls.
Time to get our four priorities right: an 8-year prospective investigation of 1326 player-seasons to identify the frequency, nature, and burden of time-loss injuries in elite Gaelic football.
(Roe et al., 2018)
Managing injury risk requires an understanding of how and when athletes sustain certain injuries. Such information guides organisations in establishing evidence-based priorities and expectations for managing injury risk. In order to minimise the impact of sports injuries, attention should be directed towards injuries that occur frequently, induce substantial time-loss, and elevate future risk. Thus, the current study aimed to investigate the rate at which elite Gaelic football players sustain different time-loss injuries during match-play and training activities. 38 datasets from 17 elite Gaelic football teams were received by the National Gaelic Athletic Association Injury Surveillance Database from 2008 to 2016. A total of 1,614 time-loss injuries were analysed. Each season teams sustained 24.0 (interquartile ranges) and 15.0 match-play and training injuries, respectively. When exposure was standardised to 1,000 h, greater rates of injury (12.9) and time-loss days (13.4) were sustained in match-play than in training. Acute injury rates were 3.1-times greater than chronic/overuse injuries. Similarly, non-contact injury rates were 2.8-times greater than contact injuries. A total of 71% of injuries in elite Gaelic football affected five lower limb sites. Four lower limb-related clinical entities accounted for 40% of all time-loss injuries (hamstring, 23%; ankle sprain, 7%; adductor-related, 6%; quadriceps strain, 5%). Thus, most risk management and rehabilitation strategies need to be centred around five lower limb sites-and just four clinical entities. Beyond these, it may be highly unlikely that reductions in injury susceptibility can be attributed to specific team interventions. Thus, compliance with national databases is necessary to monitor injury-related metrics and future endeavours to minimise injury risk.
Eccentric knee flexor strength profiles of 341 elite male academy and senior Gaelic football players: Do body mass and previous hamstring injury impact performance?
(Roe et al., 2018)
The aim of this study was to report eccentric knee flexor strength values of elite Gaelic football players from underage to adult level whilst examining the influence of body mass and previous hamstring injury.341 elite Gaelic football players from under 14 years to senior age-grades were recruited from twelve teams.The measurements examined were Absolute and relative eccentric hamstring strength as well as corresponding between-limb imbalances (%) were calculated for all players.Mean maximum force was 329.4N per limb. No statistically significant differences were observed in relative force values between age-groups. Body mass had moderate-to-large and weak associations with maximum force in youth and adult players, respectively. Overall 40% presented with a maximum strength between-limb imbalance >10%. Players with a hamstring injury had greater relative maximum force and a 28% higher prevalence of between-limb imbalances ?15% compared to their uninjured counterparts.Overlapping strength profiles across age-groups, combined with greater strength in previously injured players, suggests difficulties for establishing cut-off thresholds associated with hamstring injury risk.
Effects of the Gaelic Athletic Association 15 on Lower Extremity Injury Incidence and Neuromuscular Functional Outcomes in Collegiate Gaelic Games.
(Schlingermann et al., 2018)
The purpose of this observational analytical cohort study was to assess the effectiveness of an injury prevention program (IPP)-Gaelic Athletic Association 15 (GAA15)-on the incidence of injury in collegiate Gaelic games. One hundred and thirty-one Gaelic games players were used for analysis in this study. Participants completed preseason and postseason testing which involved performance of the Y-Balance Test. The GAA15 was used for the intervention group; coaches were instructed to implement the program before every training session and match throughout the collegiate Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) season. The control group adopted their normal warm-up procedures for the season. The players' injuries were documented on a weekly basis by allied health care professionals working with the teams using an online database system. Results showed significant improvements in composite Y-Balance scores in favor of the intervention group. Injury rates in the intervention group (2.62 injuries per 1,000 hours) were reduced by 66% in comparison with an age-matched control group (7.62 per 1,000 hour). Training injuries, hamstring injuries, noncontact injuries, and severe injuries were also reduced as a result of the implementation of the GAA15. Implementation of an IPP such as the GAA15 can reduce the risk of injury in Gaelic games and influence players' neuromuscular performance assessed through the Y-Balance Test.
Arthrodesis of Little Finger Distal Interphalangeal Joint in Flexion to Regain Sporting Ability.
(Beecher et al., 2017)
Finger injuries are common in the sport of hurling. Injury to the little finger distal interphalangeal joint (DIPJ) often occurs when a high dropping ball impacts on the outstretched finger. The little finger contributes to approximately 15% of grip strength. Injury therefore results in reduced grip strength and may impair the ability of players to grip or catch a ball.Six elite hurlers with post-traumatic arthritis of their non-dominant little finger DIPJ underwent arthrodesis in 30 degrees of flexion. Kirchner wires were inserted for up to 8 weeks to achieve fusion of the joint. Patients were evaluated after recovery using a dynamometer to assess grip strength, the DASH questionnaire and a sport specific questionnaire.All arthrodeses achieved bony union without complication. All patients reported a resolution of their pain and recovery in their ability to catch & retain a ball. Measurements of grip strengths were comparable between hands. DASH scores improved by up to 47 points. All scores were less than 5 at final follow-up.Grip strength decreases when fingers are immobilized in full extension. In sports that require catching or gripping a ball or a bat, arthrodesis of the DIP joint in flexion can improve grip strength and hand function. Fusion in 30 degrees of flexion for hurlers results in restoration of function and resolution of pain. Little finger DIPJ arthrodesis is a valid method of treating posttraumatic arthritis in ball and bat sports.
High chronic training loads and exposure to bouts of maximal velocity running reduce injury risk in elite Gaelic football.
(Malone et al., 2017)
The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between chronic training loads, number of exposures to maximal velocity, the distance covered at maximal velocity, percentage of maximal velocity in training and match-play and subsequent injury risk in elite Gaelic footballers.Thirty-seven elite Gaelic footballers from one elite squad were involved in a one-season study. Training and game loads (session-RPE multiplied by duration in min) were recorded in conjunction with external match and training loads (using global positioning system technology) to measure the distance covered at maximal velocity, relative maximal velocity and the number of player exposures to maximal velocity across weekly periods during the season. Lower limb injuries were also recorded. Training load and GPS data were modelled against injury data using logistic regression. Odds ratios (OR) were calculated based on chronic training load status, relative maximal velocity and number of exposures to maximal velocity with these reported against the lowest reference group for these variables.Players who produced over 95% maximal velocity on at least one occasion within training environments had lower risk of injury compared to the reference group of 85% maximal velocity on at least one occasion. Higher chronic training loads (>4750AU) allowed players to tolerate increased distances (between 90 to 120m) and exposures to maximal velocity (between 10 to 15 exposures), with these exposures having a protective effect compared to lower exposures and distance.The authors conclude that players who had higher chronic training loads (>4750AU) tolerated increased distances and exposures to maximal velocity when compared to players exposed to low chronic training loads (<4750AU). Under- and over-exposure of players to maximal velocity events (represented by a U-shaped curve) increased the risk of injury.
Epidemiology of Injury in Gaelic Handball.
(O'Connor et al., 2017)
The initial step in developing injury prevention strategies is to establish the epidemiology of injury. However there has been no published research on injury in Gaelic handball. This study describes the epidemiology of injury in 75 Gaelic handball players utilising a retrospective questionnaire. 88% of participants reported one or more injuries. Injuries to the upper limb were prevalent (52.9%), followed by the lower limb (30.3%). The shoulder (17.6%), finger (10.5%) and ankle (9.8%) were the primary sites of injury. Injuries occurred most frequently in December (9.7%), January (9.7%), February (9.7%) and November (8.7%). Injuries predominantly occurred during games (82.4%). Injuries were primarily severe (54.7%), with 14.6% of participants admitted to hospital due to injury. Given that this is the only study on Gaelic handball to date, prospective epidemiological studies and further research on injury prevention strategies are necessary.
A Study To Assess The Prevalence Of Exercise-Induced Bronchoconstriction In Inter-County Hurling.
(Hunt et al., 2017)
Exercise-Induced Bronchoconstriction (EIB) is an acute, transient airway narrowing occurring after exercise which may impact athletic performance. Studies report 10% of the general population and up to 90% of asthmatics experience EIB. Ninety-two players from three elite hurling squads underwent a spirometric field-based provocation test with real-time heart rate monitoring and lactate measurements to ensure adequate exertion. Players with a new diagnosis of EIB and those with a negative field-test but with a previous label of EIB or asthma underwent further reversibility testing and if negative, methacholine challenge. Eight (8.7%) of players had EIB, with one further athlete having asthma with a negative field test. Interestingly, only three out of 12 players who had previously been physician-labelled with EIB or asthma had their diagnosis objectively confirmed. Our study highlights the role of objective testing in EIB.
Pre-season adductor squeeze test and HAGOS function sport and recreation subscale scores predict groin injury in Gaelic football players.
(Delahunt et al., 2017)
The aim of this study was to determine if pre-season adductor squeeze test and HAGOS function, sport and recreation subscale scores can identify Gaelic football players at risk of developing groin injury.Fifty-five male elite Gaelic football players from a single senior inter-county Gaelic football team were examined in this study with the main outcome measure being occurrence of groin injury during the season.Ten time-loss groin injuries were registered representing 13% of all injuries. The odds ratio for sustaining a groin injury if pre-season adductor squeeze test score was below 225 mmHg, was 7.78. The odds ratio for sustaining a groin injury if pre-season HAGOS function, sport and recreation subscale score was < 87.5 was 8.94. Furthermore, for each additional point on the numerical rating scale pain rating during performance of the adductor squeeze test, the odds of groin injury increased by 2.16.This study provides preliminary evidence that pre-season adductor squeeze test and HAGOS function, sport and recreation subscale scores can be used to identify Gaelic football players at risk of developing groin injury.
Protection Against Spikes in Workload With Aerobic Fitness and Playing Experience: The Role of the Acute:Chronic Workload Ratio on Injury Risk in Elite Gaelic Football.
(Malone et al., 2017)
The purpose of this study was to examine the association between combined session rating of perceived exertion (RPE) workload measures and injury risk in elite Gaelic footballers.Thirty-seven elite Gaelic footballers from 1 elite squad were involved in a single-season study. Weekly workload (session RPE multiplied by duration) and all time-loss injuries (including subsequent-week injuries) were recorded during the period. Rolling weekly sums and week-week changes in workload were measured, enabling the calculation of the acute:chronic workload ratio by dividing acute workload (ie, 1-weekly workload) by chronic workload (ie, rolling-average 4-weekly workload). Workload measures were then modeled against data for all injuries sustained using a logistic-regression model. Odds ratios (ORs) were reported against a reference group.High 1-weekly workloads (?2770 arbitrary units [AU], were associated with significantly higher risk of injury than in a low-training-load reference group (<1250 AU). When exposed to spikes in workload (acute:chronic workload ratio >1.5), players with 1 y experience had a higher risk of injury and players with 2-3 and 4-6 y of experience had a lower risk of injury. Players with poorer aerobic fitness (estimated from a 1-km time trial) had a higher injury risk than those with higher aerobic fitness. An acute:chronic workload ratio of (?2.0) demonstrated the greatest risk of injury.These findings highlight an increased risk of injury for elite Gaelic football players with high (>2.0) acute:chronic workload ratios and high weekly workloads. A high aerobic capacity and playing experience appears to offer injury protection against rapid changes in workload and high acute:chronic workload ratios. Moderate workloads, coupled with moderate to high changes in the acute:chronic workload ratio, appear to be protective for Gaelic football players.
The Prevalence of Grass Pollen-Related Allergic Rhinoconjunctivitis in Elite Amateur Irish Athletes.
(Grace et al., 2016)
Allergic rhinoconjunctivitis (AR/C), has been shown to impact upon athletic performance. The championships of the unique, amateur Irish sports of hurling and Gaelic football take place during the prime pollen months of summer. Elite GAA players must perform optimally when most exposed to pollen. Elite GAA subjects (n=254) underwent skin prick testing to 6 aeroallergens and completed a validated questionnaire (AQUA), producing a score indicating likelihood of having allergy. The prevalence of allergy (positive to at least one aeroallergen on SPT and positive AQUA score) was 27.1% (69 players). Sixteen and a half percent (42 players) of the subjects tested had grass pollen AR/C while 22% (54 players) had house dust mite AR/C, though none were on standard medical therapies or had used allergen-specific immunotherapy. Grass pollen AR/C prevalence appears as common in elite Irish athletes as it is in other countries. It appears to be mild rather than well controlled in these subjects.
Functional and psychological impact of nasal bone fractures sustained during sports activities: A survey of 87 patients.
(Lennon et al., 2016)
Nasal bone fractures that require reduction are a common sequela of sports injuries. We conducted a survey to ascertain the outcomes of patients who had experienced a nasal bone fracture and who subsequently underwent manipulation under anesthesia. We reviewed data on 217 nasal bone fractures that had been seen at our institution over a 3-year period. Of these, 133 (61.3%) had occurred as a result of a sports activity. Thirty of the 133 patients (22.6%) had been managed conservatively, while the other 103 (77.4%) had undergone manipulation under anesthesia. We were able to contact 87 of the 103 patients (84.5%) by telephone, who served as the study population. The most common sports associated with these 87 injuries were hurling (26 patients; 29.9%), rugby (22 patients; 25.3%), Gaelic football (20 patients; 23.0%), and soccer (13 patients; 14.9%). Patients who had undergone treatment within 2 weeks were significantly more satisfied with their outcome than were those who had been treated later. Twenty-six patients (29.9%) reported that their injury had had a detrimental impact on their subsequent performance in their sport; 12 (13.8%) described a fear of reinjury when they returned to play, 7 (8.0%) experienced functional problems, 3 (3.4%) complained of diminished performance, and 4 others (4.6%) quit playing contact sports altogether. To the best of our knowledge, our study is the first to demonstrate that a fracture of the nasal bones may have a notable psychological impact on an athlete and that it can lead to diminished performance or a complete withdrawal from contact sports.
Epidemiology of injury in male adolescent Gaelic games.
(O'Connor et al., 2016)
There is a lack of epidemiological research in adolescent Gaelic games, with previous research primarily focusing on elite adult males. This study aimed to prospectively capture the epidemiology of injury in male adolescent Gaelic games over one year.Two hundred and ninety-two (15.7 +/-0.8 years) male adolescent Gaelic footballers and hurlers took part in a one year prospective epidemiological study. Injuries were assessed weekly by a certified Athletic Rehabilitation Therapist and an injury was defined as any injury sustained during training or competition resulting in restricted performance or time lost from play. An injury report form was utilised to standardise injury information.Match injuries were more frequent in Gaelic footballers (9.26 per 1000h) and hurlers (11.11 per 1000h) than training injuries (2.69 and 3.01 per 1000h, respectively). Over a quarter of injuries in adolescent Gaelic footballers (26.7%) and hurlers (26.5%) were overuse in nature. Recurrent injuries were also frequent, particularly in adolescent Gaelic footballers (47.3%). Lower limb injuries predominated (football 74.7%, hurling 58%), particularly in the knee (18.7%, 20.0%) and ankle (12.0%, 10.0%). Hamstring injuries were more frequent in footballers (13.3%), with lower back injuries more common in hurlers (22.0%). Minor injuries were common in hurling (61.7%), with moderate (20.8%) and severe (37.5%) injuries predominant in Gaelic football.Injuries are frequent in adolescent Gaelic games and this study sets the scene for the establishment of injury prevention strategies for this at risk population.
The biomechanics of running in athletes with previous hamstring injury: A case?control study
(Daly et al., 2016)
Hamstring injury is prevalent with persistently high reinjury rates. We aim to inform hamstring rehabilitation by exploring the electromyographic and kinematic characteristics of running in athletes with previous hamstring injury. Nine elite male Gaelic games athletes who had returned to sport after hamstring injury and eight closely matched controls sprinted while lower limb kinematics and muscle activity of the previously injured biceps femoris, bilateral gluteus maximus, lumbar erector spinae, rectus femoris, and external oblique were recorded. Intergroup comparisons of muscle activation ratios and kinematics were performed. Previously injured athletes demonstrated significantly reduced biceps femoris muscle activation ratios with respect to ipsilateral gluteus maximus, ipsilateral erector spinae, ipsilateral external oblique, and contralateral rectus femoris in the late swing phase. We also detected sagittal asymmetry in hip flexion, pelvic tilt, and medial rotation of the knee effectively putting the hamstrings in a lengthened position just before heel strike. Previous hamstring injury is associated with altered biceps femoris associated muscle activity and potentially injurious kinematics. These deficits should be considered and addressed during rehabilitation.
Is Helmet and Faceguard Modification Common in Hurling and Camogie and Why Is It Done?
(O'Connor et al., 2016)
Despite no previous research, it is anecdotally reported that hurling and camogie players modify their helmet and faceguard, which is against GAA regulations and can potentially increase injury risk. This study aimed to establish the prevalence and rationale behind modifications in hurling and camogie.An online questionnaire was completed by 304 players aged over 18 (62% hurlers, 38% camogie players) which consisted of 27 questions.Appearance (43%) was the primary reasons for helmet brand choice, with just 1.6% citing safety as a main reason for choice. Surprisingly, 8% of helmets were already modified when purchased and 31% of participants made further modifications, primarily switching faceguards and removal of bars. Restricted vision, comfort and perceived poor quality of the helmet/faceguard were the most common reasons for modification. Players predominantly (75.8%) agreed that further education on modifications is required.Future research on the relationship between helmet/faceguard modification and injury risk is required.
Injury Scheme Claims in Gaelic Games: A Review of 2007-2014.
(Roe et al., 2016)
Gaelic games (Gaelic football and hurling) are indigenous Irish sports with increasing global participation in recent years. Limited information is available on longitudinal injury trends. Reviews of insurance claims can reveal the economic burden of injury and guide cost-effective injury-prevention programs.The aim of this study was to review Gaelic games injury claims from 2007-2014 for male players to identify the costs and frequencies of claims. Particular attention was devoted to lower limb injuries due to findings from previous epidemiologic investigations of Gaelic games.This study examined open-access Gaelic Athletic Association Annual Reports from 2007-2014 were reviewed to obtain annual injury-claim data.The authors examined player age (youth or adult) and relationships between lower limb injury-claim rates and claim values, Gaelic football claims, hurling claims, youth claims, and adult claims.Between 2007 and 2014, €64,733,597.00 was allocated to 58,038 claims. Registered teams had annual claim frequencies of 0.36 with average claim values of €1158.4 +/-192.81. Between 2007 and 2014, average adult claims were always greater than youth claims (6217.88 versus 1036.88), while Gaelic football claims were always greater than hurling claims (5395.38 versus 1859.38). Lower limb injuries represented 60% of all claims. The number of lower limb injury claims was significantly correlated with annual injury-claim expenses and adult claims but not with youth claims.Reducing lower limb injuries will likely reduce injury-claim expenses. Effective injury interventions have been validated in soccer, but whether such changes can be replicated in Gaelic games remains to be investigated. Injury-claim data should be integrated into current elite injury-surveillance databases to monitor the cost effectiveness of current programs.
An unusual penetrating hand injury from a hurling helmet.
(Joyce and Kelly, 2015)
We report on an unusual case of a penetrating injury from a bar from a metal grille from a hurling face protector. The bar impaled the patient's thumb after a collision with a patient. The bar was surgically removed in theatre with minimal injury. The authors highlight the need to ensure that helmets and face protectors are regularly checked, particularly ensuring that the bars have not become detached.
Hip Joint Pathology as a Leading Cause of Groin Pain in the Sporting Population: A 6-Year Review of 894 Cases.
(Rankin et al., 2015)
Chronic hip and groin pain offers a diagnostic challenge for the sports medicine practitioner. Recent consensus suggests diagnostic categorization based on 5 clinical entities: hip joint-, adductor-, pubic bone stress injury-, iliopsoas-, or abdominal wall-related pathology. However, their prevalence patterns and coexistence in an active population are unclear.This study presents a descriptive epidemiology based on a large sample of active individuals with long-standing pain in the hip and groin region. The objectives were to examine the prevalence of key clinical entities, document coexisting pathologies, and present prevalence patterns based on key demographics.A retrospective review was conducted of clinical records of all hip and groin injuries seen between January 2006 and December 2011 under the care of a single experienced sports medicine consultant. In all cases, imaging was undertaken by a team of specialist musculoskeletal radiologists. Diagnoses were categorized according to 5 clinical entities using contemporary diagnostic nomenclature. The chi-square test was used to compare observed and expected frequencies across each subgroup's prevalence figures based on sex, age, and sports participation.Full medical records were retrieved from 894 patients with chronic hip and groin pain. The majority of patients were male (73%), aged between 26 and 30 years, and participating in footballing codes (soccer, rugby, and Gaelic sports) or running. A total of 24 combinations of clinical entities were found. There were significant differences in prevalence patterns based on age, sex, and sports activity. Adductor-related pain or pubic bone stress injury rarely presented in isolation. Hip joint pathology was the most common clinical entity (55.98%) and was significantly more likely to present in isolation. The majority of hip joint pathologies related to femoroacetabular impingement (40%), labral tears (33%), and osteoarthritis (24%). These figures were significantly different across male and female patients, with a higher percentage of cases of femoroacetabular impingement and labral tears in male and female patients, respectively.Chronic hip and groin pain is often associated with multiple clinical entities. Hip joint pathology is the most common clinical entity and is most likely to relate to femoroacetabular impingement, labral tears, and osteoarthritis. These pathologies seem to be associated with secondary breakdown of surrounding structures; however, underpinning mechanisms are unclear.
Eye safety in hurling: a few remaining blind spots?
Despite the compulsory use of faceguards in hurling, serious and sight-threatening eye injuries are still occurring.The purpose of this study is to highlight a number of key areas where there is still a high risk of serious ocular injury.Distinct patterns of injuries are being observed in both playing and non-playing staff in the following areas: in the pre-match 'warm up' period and during training drills, situations historically where faceguards or eye protection has not been worn. Moreover, significant injuries are being observed in matches due to either modification of or defective faceguards.It is incumbent upon the Gaelic Athletic Association to expand current safety regulations to eliminate injuries in these key areas. This should include mandatory checks of faceguards by match officials prior to the commencement of matches. Finally, there needs to be more robust data collection by the association to ascertain the true extent of long-term ocular morbidity following these types of injuries.
Sports-Related Maxillofacial Injuries.
(Murphy et al., 2015)
Sports-related maxillofacial injuries contribute a significant proportion of the workload in a maxillofacial unit. The aim of this study was to identify the incidence of maxillofacial sports-related injuries, treatments required, and assess the impact of the injury on future sport participation.A retrospective review was carried out on all maxillofacial trauma referrals from September 1, 2009 to August 31, 2010. Patient records were reviewed and the following variables were recorded: age, sex, sport involved, injury sustained, mechanism of injury, treatment, subsequent participation, and interval before return to sport.The study population included 162 patients with sports-related facial injuries. The most common sporting injuries were as follows: Gaelic football 35.3% (57 cases), soccer 22.3% (36 cases), rugby 12.4% (20 cases), and equine sports 12.4% (20 cases). The most common injury sustained was zygomatic complex fracture 36.4% (59 cases). Mandibular fracture occurred in 20% (33 cases), orbit fracture in 14.2% (23 cases), and nasal bone fracture in 12.3% (20 cases). The most common mechanism of injury was from a clash of heads (23.4%) followed by an elbow to the face (17.2%). The majority of patients (84%) resumed participation in their chosen sport at mean interval of 7.3 weeks (range 1-18 weeks).This study identified a significant number of sporting facial injuries, which presented over 1 year. In total, 113 patients underwent a surgical procedure for the management of their injuries. This study highlights the need to educate all players regarding use of personal protective equipment and adherence to the rules of sports.
Adductor squeeze test values and hip joint range of motion in Gaelic football athletes with longstanding groin pain.
(Nevin and Delahunt, 2014)
The objective of the present study was to investigate whether differences exist in adductor squeeze test values and hip joint range of motion between athletes with longstanding groin pain and injury-free controls.Eighteen Gaelic football players with current longstanding groin pain and 18 matched injury-free controls were assessed on their performance of the adductor squeeze test. Adductor squeeze test values were quantified using a sphygmomanometer. A fluid-filled inclinometer was used to assess hip joint internal and external rotation range of motion. A bent knee fall-out test was also utilised to examine hip joint range of motion.A significant difference in adductor squeeze test values was observed between the control group (269 +/-25 mmHg) and longstanding groin pain group (202 +/-36 mmHg). Furthermore, the longstanding groin pain group had a decreased bent knee fall-out bilaterally, as well as decreased hip joint internal rotation and hip joint external rotation range of motion bilaterally when compared to the control group.Gaelic football players with longstanding groin pain exhibit decreased adductor squeeze test values and hip joint range of motion when compared to non-injured players. These findings have implications for assessment and rehabilitation practices, as well as return to play criteria.
Value of wearing head protection gear while playing hurling.
(Crowley and Crowley, 2014)
One of the three national games of Ireland, hurling is a contact team sport (15 a side) played with a metre long ash stick and a small hard leather ball. Over a 12 month period, 413 players were treated for hurling-related injuries at Cork Regional Hospital. While hand and facial trauma predominate, the proportion between the two sites has changed substantially from previous reports with a reduction in the level of facial injuries. The wearing of a helmet, and optionally a supplementary faceguard, is seen to have contributed to this trend. Despite this welcome reduction of facial injuries, a certain resistance to the use of protective headgear is evident, particularly among older players.
Epidemiology of injuries in hurling: a prospective study 2007-2011.
(Blake et al., 2014)
Hurling is a stick handling game which, although native to Ireland, has international reach and presence. The aim of this study was to report incidence and type of injuries incurred by elite male hurling players over five consecutive playing seasons.This study examined male intercounty elite sports teams participating in the National GAA Injury Database, 2007-2011.A total of 856 players in 25 county teams were enrolled.Incidence, nature and mechanism of injury were recorded by team physicians or physiotherapists to a secure online data collection portal. Time-loss injury rates per 1000 training and match play hours were calculated and injury proportions were expressed.In total 1030 injuries were registered, giving a rate of 1.2 injuries per player. These were sustained by 71% of players. Average injury incidence rate was 2.99 per 1000 training hours and 61.75 per 1000 match hours. Direct player-to-player contact was recorded in 38.6% injuries, with sprinting (24.5%) and landing (13.7%) the next most commonly reported injury mechanisms. Median duration of time absent from training or games, where the player was able to return in the same season, was 12?days (range 2-127?days). The majority (68.3%) of injuries occurred in the lower limbs, with 18.6% in the upper limbs. The trunk and head/neck regions accounted for 8.6% and 4.1% injuries, respectively. The distribution of injury type was significantly different between upper and lower extremities: fractures (upper 36.1%, lower 1.5%), muscle strain (upper 5.2%, lower 45.8%).These data provide stable, multiannual data on injury patterns in hurling, identifying the most common injury problems. This is the first step in applying a systematic, theory-driven injury prevention model in the sport.
Risk factors for hand injury in hurling: a cross-sectional study.
(Falvey et al., 2013)
A decrease in the proportion of head injury among emergency department (ED) presentations for hurling-related injury has coincided with voluntary use of helmet and face protection since 2003. A similar decrease in proportions has not occurred in hand injury. We aim to quantify hurling-related ED presentations and examine variables associated with injury. In particular, we were interested in comparing the occurrence of hand injury in those using head and face protection versus those who did not.This study utilised a retrospective cross-sectional study design.This study took place at a university hospital ED over a 3-month period.A follow-up telephone interview was performed with 163 players aged ?16 years to reflect voluntary versus obligatory helmet use.The hand was most often injured (85 cases, 52.1%). Hand injury most commonly occurred from a blow of a hurley (104 cases, 65%), and fracture was confirmed in 62% of cases. Two-thirds of players (66.3%) had multiple previous (1-5) hand injuries. Most patients 149 (91.4%) had tried commercially available hand protection, but only 4.9% used hand protection regularly. Univariate analysis showed a statistically significant association between wearing a helmet and faceguard and hand injury. On further analysis adjusting simultaneously for age, prior injury, foul play and being struck by a hurley, this relationship remained significant.We report that hurling-related hand injury is common. We noted the low uptake of hand protection. We found that hand injury was significantly associated with the use of helmet and faceguard protection, independent of the other factors studied. Further studies are warranted to develop strategies to minimise the occurrence of this injury.
Injury in elite county-level hurling: a prospective study.
(Murphy et al., 2012)
The aim of this study was to determine the incidence, prevalence and nature of sports injuries in elite male hurling players.Four county teams during the 2007 season; January to September were evaluated in this study. A total of 127 male players were followed over 34 weeks. Data were collected on a median of 31 players per team per week. The mean age was 23.3 years.There were 204 injuries to 104 players. Injury incidence rate during match-play (102.5) was 19 times higher than for training (5.3). The mean weekly prevalence of injury was 13.9%. Most injuries were new, and acute. Muscle strain (86 cases) accounted for 42.2% of the total. 71% of injuries were to the lower limb (143 cases) with hamstring strain (33 cases) predominating. Fractures constituted 7.4% injuries (15 cases), 12 of which were to the upper limb. There were three eye injuries and one concussion injury.These results provide data on hurling injuries using definitions that reflect international consensus statements. Injury incidence from match-play in particular is high compared with other sports. These findings have relevance for clinicians and coaches.
Incidence of injury in Gaelic football: a 4-year prospective study.
(Murphy et al., 2012)
The aim of this study was to describe the incidence and nature of sport-related injuries in elite male Gaelic football players over 4 consecutive seasons.Over the period 2007 to 2010, a total of 851 Gaelic football players were tracked. Players were members of county-level teams who volunteered to be included in the study. Team injury, training, and match play data were submitted by the team physiotherapist on a weekly basis through a dedicated web portal to the National Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) injury database. Injury was defined using a time loss criterion, in accordance with consensus statements in sports applicable to Gaelic games.A total of 1014 Gaelic football injuries were recorded. Incidence of injury was 4.05 per 1000 hours of football training. Match-play injury rates were 61.86 per 1000 hours. Muscle was the most frequently injured tissue (42.6%) and fractures accounted for 4.4% of Gaelic football injuries. Lower extremity injuries predominated (76.0%). Hamstring injuries were the single most common injury overall, representing almost one quarter (24%) of all injuries and over half of muscle injuries. Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries accounted for 13% of knee injuries. The majority of injuries were defined as new injuries (74.7%), with recurrent injuries constituting 23% of all injuries. The majority (59%) of match play injuries occurred in the second half of the match. Eighty six percent of injuries caused over one week's absence from play.These findings illustrate injury patterns in Gaelic football using a prospective methodology, over 4 consecutive seasons. Comparison with published literature suggests that Gaelic football match play injury risk is greater than soccer but less than rugby union.
Do helmets worn for hurling fail to protect the ear? Identification of an emerging injury pattern.
(Martin-Smith et al., 2012)
Facial injuries were common but have been significantly reduced by legislation enforcing compulsory helmet wearing. Current standard helmets worn by hurlers do not offer protection to the external ear. Here we describe an emerging pattern of ear injuries and demonstrate the risk of external ear injuries in hurlers complying with current helmet safety standards. A 6-month retrospective analysis was carried out of patients attending Cork University Hospital (CUH) with ear lacerations sustained while hurling. Patient notes were reviewed and helmet manufacturers were interviewed. Seven patients were identified, all of whom sustained complex through ear lacerations while wearing helmets complying with current safety standards. Current helmet design fails to protect the external ear placing it at an increased risk of injury, a potential solution is to include ear protection in the helmet design.
A 10-year review of sports-related spinal injuries.
(Boran et al., 2011)
The incidence of traumatic spinal cord injury varies in different countries from 2.5 to 57.8 per million per annum, with sport accounting for 8-12.7% of these injuries. Spinal injuries associated with recreational sport often result in long-term permanent disability in otherwise active individuals.The aetiology, pattern and mechanism of the 196 sports-related spinal injuries treated in the National Spinal Injuries unit in Ireland from 1993 to 2003 is reviewed in this article.Sports-related spinal injuries accounted for 11% of all spinal injury admissions. There were 145 (74%) males and 51 (26%) females, with an average age of 30.2 years. The most common sport responsible for a spinal injury was equestrian events (41.8%), rugby (16.3%), diving (15.3%), Gaelic football and hurling (9.6%), cycling (4.2%), and miscellaneous (12.7%). Injury distribution was cervical spine (118 patients, 60%), thoracic (41 patients, 21%), lumbar spine (37 patients, 19%). In 18 patients (9.25%) more than one region was affected. In 78 patients (40%) more than one vertebral level was affected. On admission 71 patients (36%) had a neurological deficit with 46 patients (65%) incomplete and 25 (35%) complete, of which 6 patients (23%) were paraplegic and 19 (77%) were tetraplegic.Sport is an important cause of spinal injury among young people in Ireland. This study contributes to our understanding of these injuries aetiology, pattern and mechanism of injury and allows constructive recommendations for injury prevention and management.
A comparison of Gaelic football injuries in males and females in primary care.
(Crowley et al., 2011)
The Ladies Gaelic Football Association has a playing population of 150,000 of which 33% are adults. A number of studies have been published on rates of injury among male athletes but none on female athletes in Gaelic football. A retrospective review of insurance claims, submitted under the Gaelic Athletic Association Player Insurance Injury Scheme. 405 injuries were recorded, 248 [107 (70%) male, 141 (58%) female] to the lower limb, 91 [33 (21%) male, 58 (23%) female] to the upper limb. The majority of lower limb injuries [56 (52%) male, 56 (40%) female] were to muscle. Almost a third of upper limb injuries were fractures [10 (30.3%) male, 33 (57%) female]. Injuries/1000 hours playing was 8.25 for men and 2.4 for women. The injury rate in ladies Gaelic football was found to be significantly lower than in men's Gaelic football. Lower limb injuries accounted for the majority of injuries in both sports.
Intrarater reliability of the adductor squeeze test in gaelic games athletes.
(Delahunt et al., 2011)
Groin pain is commonly experienced by athletes involved in field-based sports and is particularly prevalent in Gaelic Games athletes. The adductor squeeze test is commonly used in the assessment of groin pain and injuries. To date, no evidence in the literature provides the reliability of the adductor squeeze test using a sphygmomanometer in assessing the adductor muscle integrity of Gaelic Games athletes. Given the high proportion of groin pain encountered in Gaelic Games athletes, establishing the reliability of the adductor squeeze test will allow clinicians to monitor injury responses and to assess return-to-play criteria.The aim of this study was to evaluate the intra-rater reliability of a commercially available sphygmomanometer for measuring adductor squeeze values in Gaelic Games athletes and to determine if different squeeze values are associated with the 3 commonly used test positions.Eighteen male Gaelic Games athletes without any previous or current history of groin or pelvic pain were used in this study.Each participant performed the adductor squeeze test in 3 positions of hip joint flexion (0 degrees, 45 degrees, and 90 degrees) on 2 test days separated by at least 1 week with the main outcome measures being the adductor squeeze test values (mm Hg) quantified by a commercially available sphygmomanometer. Intra-rater reliability intraclass correlation values ranged from 0.89 to 0.92.The highest squeeze values were recorded in the 45 degrees of hip flexion test position, and these values differed from those demonstrated in the 0 degrees and 90 degrees hip flexion test positions.This study concluded that a commercially available sphygmomanometer is a reliable device for measuring adductor squeeze test values.
The thigh adductor squeeze test: 45 degrees of hip flexion as the optimal test position for eliciting adductor muscle activity and maximum pressure values.
(Delahunt et al., 2011)
The thigh adductor squeeze test is commonly used in the diagnosis of groin injuries. Currently no reports exist in the published literature which, detail the level of activation of the adductor musculature during the test as well as concomitant pressure values. Thus the aim of the present study was to investigate adductor muscle activity and concomitant pressure values during the performance of the thigh adductor squeeze test at 0 degrees, 45 degrees, and 90 degrees of hip flexion. Eighteen Gaelic games athletes without any history of groin injury participated. Each participant performed 3 repetitions of the thigh adductor squeeze test in the three positions of 0 degrees, 45 degrees, and 90 degrees of hip flexion. Adductor musculature surface electromyographic activity (bilateral) and pressure values quantified using a commercially available sphygmomanometer were recorded for each test. The greatest pressure values were observed in the 45 degrees of hip flexion test position. Similarly, the greatest amount of adductor muscle activity was observed in the 45 degrees of hip flexion test position. The combined results of the present study suggest that the 45 degrees of hip flexion test position is the optimal thigh adductor squeeze test position for eliciting adductor muscle activity and maximum pressure values.
Ultrasound measurement of the size of the anterior tibial muscle group: the effect of exercise and leg dominance.
(McCreesh and Egan, 2011)
Knowledge of normal muscle characteristics is crucial in planning rehabilitation programmes for injured athletes. There is a high incidence of ankle and anterior tibial symptoms in football players, however little is known about the effect of limb dominance on the anterior tibial muscle group. The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of limb dominance and sports-specific activity on anterior tibial muscle group thickness in Gaelic footballers and non-football playing controls using ultrasound measurements, and to compare results from transverse and longitudinal scans.Bilateral ultrasound scans were taken to assess the anterior tibial muscle group size in 10 Gaelic footballers and 10 sedentary controls (age range 18-25 yrs), using a previously published protocol. Both transverse and longitudinal images were taken. Muscle thickness measurements were carried out blind to group and side of dominance, using the Image-J programme.Muscle thickness on the dominant leg was significantly greater than the non-dominant leg in the footballers with a mean difference of 7.3%, while there was no significant dominance effect in the controls (p < 0.05). There was no significant difference between the measurements from transverse or longitudinal scans.A significant dominance effect exists in anterior tibial muscle group size in this group of Gaelic footballers, likely attributable to the kicking action involved in the sport. This should be taken into account when rehabilitating footballers with anterior tibial pathology. Ultrasound is a reliable tool to measure anterior tibial muscle group thickness, and measurement may be taken in transverse or longitudinal section.
Maxillofacial and dental injuries sustained in hurling.
(Murphy et al., 2010)
The incidence of facial injuries in hurling has decreased since the introduction of helmets with facial protection. The aim of this study was to identify the incidence of facial and dental injuries sustained in hurling training or matches and compliance with wearing helmets, with or without modified or unmodified faceguards. This prospective study included all patients who attended the Mid-Western Regional Hospital Limerick, with injuries sustained while playing hurling during 2007 and 2008 seasons. The study population included 70 patients. Forty-two (60%) injuries occurred during practice and 28(40%) during matches. Fifty-two players (75%) sustained facial injuries whilst no helmet was worn. Eighteen injuries (25%) were sustained by players wearing helmets. This study demonstrates that 60% of injuries occur during training when players do not wear helmets. We support the recent introduction by the GAA making it compulsory to wear helmets with faceguard protection from January 1st 2010.
An unusual case of bilateral myositis ossificans in a young athlete.
(Bleakley et al., 2009)
This case report describes the occurrence of bilateral myositis ossificans in the rectus femoris muscles of a young Gaelic football player with a long history of recurrent bilateral thigh strain. In each case, clinical diagnosis was followed up with biochemical profiling and sonographic investigations. Management consisted of rest from elite level competition and intense rehabilitation to address any potential risk factors for rectus femoris strain. A 4-week course of acetic acid iontophoresis was administered to the first myositis ossificans lesion on the left thigh; however, as this did not result in any significant changes to the lesion's dimensions, it was not used on the contralateral lesion. The athlete returned to full sporting capacity 4 months after the first lesion was diagnosed. A 13-month follow-up showed that the athlete continued to play to full capacity with no recurrence of injury.
Sport injuries in Donegal Gaelic footballers.
(El-Gohary et al., 2009)
We aimed to identify any pattern of injuries that impacted on the long-term physical wellbeing of players, sustained by Senior County Gaelic-football players during their playing career and the impact of those injuries on their quality of life. A questionnaire was sent to different Donegal-Panels looking for injuries and surgical procedures undergone in playing and post-playing career including chronic joint and musculoskeletal problems.
The impact of new regulations on the incidence and severity of ocular injury sustained in hurling.
(Khan et al., 2008)
The aim of this study was to prospectively evaluate, and compare, the incidence of hurling-related eye injuries in the South East of Ireland before and after implementation of new rules rendering the use of protective head gear and face masks compulsory for players aged 18 years or under.This study examined details relating to patients attending the regional ophthalmic department with injuries sustained during hurling were prospectively recorded between 1 October 2003 and 31 March 2006.Sixty players attended with hurling-related ocular injuries during the study period. Of these, 43 (71.6%) and 17 (28.3%) sustained the ocular injuries during the 15-month period before, and after implementation of the new rules (1 January 2005), respectively. Restricting our analysis to players aged 18 years or under, and, for statistical validity, to the 12-month period immediately before and immediately after implementation of the new rules, a statistically significant reduction in the number of hurling-related injuries was seen (1 January 2004 to 31 December 2004: 11; 1 January 2005 to 31 December 2005) in this age group. A permanent visual deficit was seen in 11 (18.3%) patients. Of these, one (9%) was aged 18 years or under, and this injury was sustained before the new regulations.New rules rendering the use of protective eye wear compulsory for players aged 18 years or under have resulted in a significant reduction in the incidence and severity of hurling-related eye injuries in this age group.
A comparison of paediatric soccer, gaelic football and rugby injuries presenting to an emergency department in Ireland.
(O'Sullivan et al., 2008)
Children presenting with sport related injuries as a result of soccer, rugby and gaelic football are frequently seen in an emergency medicine (EM) setting in Ireland. A comparison of the demographics of injuries in these three sports has however not previously been performed. The purpose of this study was to provide up-to-date data on the nature of these SRIs.Data was collected retrospectively on all children (<17 years of age), injured in these three sports, presenting to an emergency medicine department over 6 months, and was entered into a database for analysis.Retrospective analysis was performed on 23,000 charts, and 409 sport related injuries were identified over a 6-month period. None of the children reported using any form of protective gear, and 27% reported a previous presentation to the emergency department with a sport related injury. Most injuries were as a result of soccer (56%), with 24% occurring in gaelic football, and 20% occurring in rugby. The predominant mechanism of injury was different in each sport, in soccer-falls (38%), in gaelic football-collisions with objects (balls) (37%), and in rugby-collision with persons (55%). Although the predominant type of injury in soccer and gaelic football was a fracture, accounting for 50% and 42% of injuries, respectively, in rugby however, skin/soft tissue injuries presented more commonly, accounting for 44% of injuries. When the general site of injury was investigated, the upper limb accounted for the majority of sport related injuries in each sport. In the management of sport related injuries, oral analgesics were prescribed in 50%, however, it was observed that no use was made of topical, intramuscular or rectal analgesic routes of administration. In addition it was observed that RICE/general injury advice was given in only 27%, physiotherapy was requested in 2%, and no injury prevention advice was given to any child. Overall, 8% required admission.The data provided from this study may raise awareness of the nature of sport related injuries affecting children in each of these three sports, and may be useful in formulating much needed injury prevention strategies.
Prevailing attitude amongst current senior intercounty hurlers to head and facial protection: a pilot study.
(Hennessy et al., 2007)
Head and facial injury is a major cause of morbidity associated with the game of hurling. Yet, little is known about either players' experience of these injuries and their prevention with safety devices.This study aimed to survey the attitude of some of the country's senior intercounty players towards the use of protective head and facial devices and their experience of injuries relating to the head and face.Forty-five players completed the survey. Thirty-two (71%) players currently wear helmets with 28 (87.5%) of these also wearing faceguards. Twenty-four (75%) players have been injured despite wearing a helmet and/or faceguard. Thirteen (40.6%) players expressed frustration with helmet performance.The authors concluded that injury is an unavoidable feature of hurling. To this end perhaps more should be done to involve players in overall apparatus design and safety.
A 6-month prospective study of injury in Gaelic football.
(Wilson et al., 2007)
The aim of this study was to describe the injury incidence in Gaelic football.A total of 83 players from three counties were interviewed monthly about their injury experience, during the 6 months of the playing season.The injury rate was 13.5/1000 h exposure to Gaelic football. There were nearly twice as many injuries during matches as in training. The ankle was found to be the most commonly injured site (13.3%). The musculotendinous unit accounted for nearly 1/3 of all injuries (31.1%). The tackle accounted for 27.8% of the injuries sustained (tackler 10; player being tackled 17.9%). Of total match injuries, 56.9% were experienced in the second half as opposed to 39.7% (95% CI, 29.8 to 50.5) in the first half.Gaelic footballers are under considerable risk of injury. Greater efforts must be made to reduce this risk so that players miss less time from sport due to injury. Risk factors for injury in Gaelic football must now be investigated so that specific interventions may be established to reduce them.
Fear-Avoidance Following Musculoskeletal Injury in Male Adolescent Gaelic Footballers.
(O'Rourke et al., 2007)
Gaelic football participation provides a wealth of benefits but a risk of musculoskeletal injury also exists. Injury is associated with physical consequences, including pain, discomfort, loss of function, time absent from school/sport, considerable medical expenses along with placing undue pressure on emergency services and hospital staff. Concurrent psychological consequences, such as fear-avoidance, can also occur causing psychological distress. There is a current dearth of available research examining the psychology of injury in male adolescent Gaelic footballers.The aim of this study was to examine fear-avoidance post-injury in male adolescent Gaelic footballers, the effect of pain, time-loss, injury severity and previous injury on the extent of fear-avoidance and the usefulness of a modified Athlete Fear Avoidance Questionnaire (mAFAQ) as a screening tool for predicting injury.This study examined 97 male adolescent club Gaelic footballers with an average age of 13.4 +/-1.1 years.The study looked at musculoskeletal injuries sustained during Gaelic football participation, defined as any injury sustained during training or competition causing restricted performance or time lost from play, and these were assessed and recorded weekly by a Certified Athletic and Rehabilitation Therapist. Injuries requiring time loss from participation were classed as time-loss injuries. Injury characteristics that included type, nature, location, severity and pain were recorded.Injured players completed the Athlete Fear Avoidance Questionnaire (AFAQ), a measure of injury-related fear-avoidance following injury assessment (AFAQ1). With time-loss injuries, the AFAQ was completed again (AFAQ2) prior to return to play. mAFAQ was completed at baseline.Twenty-two injuries were recorded during the season with fear-avoidance evident post-injury that significantly decreased before returning to play. Fear-avoidance post-injury was higher in those with greater pain but time-loss, injury severity and previous injury did not significantly affect the extent of fear-avoidance. Baseline fear-avoidance did not predict injury.Psychological rehabilitation is recommended for managing post-injury psychological distress in male adolescent Gaelic footballers.
Incidence of injury in elite Gaelic footballers: A 4 year prospective study
(Newell et al., 2006)
The purpose of this study was to undertake a comprehensive prospective epidemiological study of injuries sustained by elite Gaelic Football players over one season. The pattern of injury is strikingly similar across all teams with 47% of all injuries occurring in the final quarter of games and training. Injuries to the lower limb, particularly the hamstrings muscles accounted for the majority of injuries. 65% of players were unable to participate fully in Gaelic Football activity for between one and three weeks as a result of injury. The high incidence of injury especially hamstrings injuries in the latter stages of training and games warrants further investigation.
Ocular injury in hurling.
(Flynn et al., 2005)
The aim of this study was to describe the clinical characteristics of ocular injuries sustained in hurling in the south of Ireland and to investigate reasons for non-use of protective headgear and eye wear.The authors conducted a retrospective review of the case notes of 310 patients who attended Cork University Hospital or Waterford Regional Hospital between 1 January 1994 and 31 December 2002 with ocular injuries sustained during a hurling match. A confidential questionnaire on reasons for non-use of protective headgear and eye wear was completed by 130 players.Hurling related eye injuries occurred most commonly in young men. Fifty two patients (17%) required hospital admission, with hyphaema accounting for 71% of admissions. Ten injuries required intraocular surgicalThe injuries resulted in the following interventions:retinal detachment repair (5);macular hole surgery (1);repair of partial thickness corneal laceration (1); repair of globe perforation (1); enucleation (1); trabeculectomy for post-traumatic glaucoma (1).Fourteen eyes (4.5%) had a final best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) of <6/12 and six (2%) had BCVA <3/60. In the survey, 63 players (48.5%) reported wearing no protective facemask while playing hurling. Impairment of vision was the most common reason cited for non-use.The authors concluded that hurling related injury is a significant, and preventable, cause of ocular morbidity in young men in Ireland. The routine use of appropriate protective headgear and faceguards would result in a dramatic reduction in the incidence and severity of these injuries, and should be mandatory.
Traumatic tear of tibialis anterior during a Gaelic football game: a case report.
(Constantinou and Wilson, 2004)
Reports of traumatic injury to the anterior lower leg muscles are scarce, with only a handful of reports of traumatic injury to the tibialis anterior. A database search of Medline, Cinhal, and Sports Discus only revealed three such cases, and they did not result from a direct sporting injury. This report documents the case of a traumatic rupture of tibialis anterior muscle in a young female Gaelic football player. It details the surgical repair and management of tibialis anterior muscle and the physiotherapy rehabilitation to full function.
Hurling-related hand injuries.
(Kiely et al., 2003)
Hurling is a contact sport, associated with significant morbidity. We have identified specific hand injuries sustained by participants and quantified the functional and financial implications of these injuries. Over a 3-month period, all hand injuries seen in the fracture clinic of our regional trauma unit were studied prospectively. Of the 123 consecutive injuries, 41 (33%) were sustained during hurling matches. Metacarpal (47%) and proximal phalangeal (37%) fractures were the most frequent. Eight hurlers (20%) required surgical intervention. Only four (10%) of the injured players were wearing hand protection. The mean cost of injury to the player was pound 615. We suggest the introduction of the mandatory use of hand protection for hurling.
Sports injuries related to flexibility, posture, acceleration, clinical defects, and previous injury, in high-level players of body contact sports.
One-hundred-and-two high-level players of the field-games soccer, Gaelic football and hurling began a two-year investigation into the intrinsic causes of sports-injuries; 86 completed the study. During the first year all injuries, and the time affected by injury, were recorded. The subjects then underwent flexibility tests, an accurate photogrammetric assessment of posture, measures of speed and acceleration, and a clinical assessment of anatomical and physiological factors thought to be associated with the risk of sports injury. Time affected by injury was then recorded for a further 12-month period. Stepwise multiple-regression analysis revealed that the number of days of injury during the second 12-month period could be predicted from (1) the days of injury during the first 12-month period, (2) posture, (3) acceleration over 10m from a standing start, and (4) the number of musculo-skeletal clinical defects. Flexibility scores were not found to be significant predictors of injury. It is suggested that injury prevention programmes should concentrate on improving posture and the rehabilitation from previous injury rather than flexibility; and that research should be undertaken into the effectiveness of such interventions.
A pilot study examining injuries in elite gaelic footballers.
(Cromwell et al., 2000)
To quantify injuries in elite gaelic footballers and to determine the nature, sites, and outcome of injuries and the possible risk factors involved.Information on injuries was collected from six elite gaelic football teams by a questionnaire. The footballers were asked to recall injuries over the preceding six-month period.A total of 88 out of 107 subjects sustained injuries over the study period. Ninety-five injuries were recorded, giving an incidence rate of 1.78 injuries per subject per year, of which 35% were recurring. It was found that 35% of injuries were sustained during training sessions. Lower body injuries predominated (77%), the ankle being the most commonly injured anatomic site. Most injuries were soft tissue in nature: muscle, 33%; ligament, 32%; tendon, 16%. The most common situations giving rise to injuries were collision (22%) and twist/turn (19%). Foul play only accounted for about 6% of injuries. Mean time off play as a result of injury was 17.3 days, and hospital admission was necessary for 15% of the injuries.Despite the limitations of a retrospective of this nature, the study provides useful and important information on injuries in gaelic footballers.
Eye injury and sport: sport-related eye injuries presenting to an eye casualty department throughout 1995.
(Lynch and Rowan, 1997)
A survey was undertaken of all patients attending the Eye Casualty Department at Waterford Regional Hospital with sports injuries in the twelve-month period 1st January 1995 to 31st December 1995. Ninety-eight patients had problems associated with sport. Hurling was responsible for the largest group (30%) and football of different codes accounted for 29%. The next largest group was the racquet sports (13%). The most common injuries were to the anterior chamber (hyphaema and microhyphaema: 36%). There were three orbital fractures. 26 patients (27%) were admitted. 83 patients (85%) were male. The median age was 20 years. Sport is a significant cause of eye injury, which is often serious, and affects mostly young healthy males.
Sports injuries in school gaelic football: a study over one season.
School football injuries were studied over the seven months of one season on 150 males with an average age of 16.94 years. Training averaged 4.13 hours per week and matches 1.84 hours per week. Mean time injured was: 0.51 days in hospital, 34.27 days off sport and 13.98 days of restricted activity. There were 136 match and 63 training injuries giving 175.98 injuries per 10000 hours of matches and 31.06 injuries per 10000 hours of training. Injuries were treated as follows: hospital 83, general practitioners 51, physiotherapists 28, no treatment 38. The most common injuries were: ankle sprain (11.6% of the total), hamstring strain (6.5%), contusion (6.5%) back strain (6%) knee sprain (5.0%), finger sprain (5.0%), other muscle strains (5.0%), fracture of the wrist (5.0%), dislocation of the finger (4.5%), overuse injury of the back (4.0%), tenosynovitis (3.5%), fracture of the ankle (3.0%). Thirteen injuries were to goal-keepers, 85 to backs, 31 to mid-field players and 70 to forwards. In 34.83% of the injuries foul play was given as the major cause. This was followed by "Lack of fitness", "Poor kit or boots" and "Previous injury" (all 11.24%). The most common minor cause was "Poor state of the pitch" (17.42% of injuries).
Sports injuries in the game of hurling. A one-year prospective study.
A prospective study of hurling injuries was conducted over the 8 months of one season on 74 players. These athletes averaged 4.30 hours per week of training and 1.15 hours per week of matches. Mean time of injury was 1.20 days in the hospital, 20.34 days off sport, and 13.34 days of restricted activity. Together this injury time amounts to 14.3% of the season. There were 92 match- and 43 training-related injuries, giving 342.47 injuries per 10,000 hours of matches and 43.83 injuries per 10,000 hours of training. Overall, there were 369.9 days of injury per 1000 hours of participation. The most common type of injury was muscle strain (24.4% of the 135 total injuries). The hamstrings was the most common site of strain, accounting for 41% of these injuries. Contusions comprised 16.3% of the injuries and sprains comprised 15.6%. The most frequently injured sites were the finger (13%), hamstrings (12%), back (11%), head (9%), and knee and ankle (9%). Forty-one percent of the injuries were attributed to foul play. The results of the study suggest that the incidence of injuries in hurling is high and may be attributed to poor conditioning, poor protection, and lack of enforcement of the rules.
One hundred and ten sports related facial fractures.
(Carroll et al., 1995)
In a 1 year period (1993) 332 facial fractures were treated in Cork Regional Hospital. Of these 110 (33%) were sports related.Males accounted for 94.5% of patients and 77% of patients were aged below 30 years. Nasal fractures were the most common fractures seen (56%). Almost half (49%) of sports related facial fractures occurred while playing Gaelic games. The incidence of hurling fractures has been more than halved over the last 20 years. Seventy eight percent of patients required operative treatment.
Ankle sprains in players of the field-games Gaelic football and hurling.
The objectives of the study were to determine the most common injuries in Gaelic football and hurling and to quantify contributory factors.The hypothesis tested was "Ankle sprains are a common injury in Gaelic football and hurling and their incidence can be linked to physical characteristics of the players".This was a prospective study over four years.The subjects were eighty male players of Gaelic football, and hurling, aged 18-27 years.The measures examined were the injuries sustained over a four-year period. Physical fitness tests and examination at the start of the study which included assessment of: anthropometric variables, lower-limb proprioception, lung function, six aspects of flexibility, 15 aspects of posture and body mechanics.962 significant sports injuries which included: 218 strains and 184 sprains. 122 were ankle sprains; 79 to the left ankle and 43 to the right. 104 ankle sprains represented a recurrence of this injury in a particular individual. In 26 out of 34 of these subjects both ankles were involved. This suggests that recurrence is not primarily due to previous injury but to intrinsic factors in the subjects that predispose them to ankle sprain. The subjects who sustained ankle sprains had (1) greater height, (2) lower body mass index (3) a higher incidence of posture defects of the ankle and knee, (4) more clinical defects (5) a higher incidence of defective lower-limb proprioception.Ankle sprains are a common injury. Their incidence is linked to the five intrinsic factors listed above.
Dramatic impact of using protective equipment on the level of hurling-related head injuries: an ultimately successful 27-year programme.
(Crowley et al., 1995)
Major head injuries are not uncommon in the Irish national game of hurling. Historically, helmets were not worn.We report a multistage campaign to facilitate and encourage the use of appropriate headgear among the estimated 100 000 hurling players in Ireland. This campaign lasted for 27 years between 1985 and 2012, and involved a number of different stages including: (1) facilitating the establishment of a business dedicated to developing head protection equipment suitable for hurling, (2) placing a particular emphasis on continual product enhancement to the highest industrial standards, (3) engaging continually with the game's controlling body, the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), with the ultimate objective of securing a mandatory usage policy for protective helmets and faceguards, (4) longitudinal research to monitor hurling injury, equipment usage and players' attitudes and(5) widely communicating key research findings to GAA leaders and members, as well as to 1000 clubs and schools.One of our three relevant studies included 798 patients and identified a dramatic association between the type of head protection used by a player, if any, and the site of the injury requiring treatment. While 51% of the injured players without head protection suffered head trauma, this rate was only 35% among the players wearing helmets and 5% among players who were wearing full head protection (both a helmet and faceguard).The GAA responded in three stages to the accumulating evidence: (1) they introduced a mandatory regulation for those aged less than 18 years in 2005; (2) this ruling was extended to all players under 21 years in 2007 and (3) finally extended to all players irrespective of age, gender or grade from January 2010. The latter ruling applied to both games and organised training sessions.
Facial fractures in Gaelic football and hurling.
(Carroll et al., 1995)
A one year, retrospective, epidemiological study of all facial fractures, sustained whilst playing the GAA sports of football and hurling, treated in the Cork Regional Hospital was undertaken. The results have been analysed and compared to a similar study performed in this unit in 1975. Of 332 patients treated for facial fractures, 110 (33%) were injured whilst playing sport and 47% of these occurred when playing Gaelic football or hurling (52 injuries in all). Eighty per cent of Gaelic football and hurling patients required operative treatment. All surgery was performed under general anaesthetic. The numbers of hurling fractures have more than halved since 1975-76. This coincides with an increase in the numbers hurling, an increase in the use of protective headgear and vastly improved coaching. This study demonstrates that improved safety can be achieved without diluting sporting enjoyment.
Contact sports and injury.
(Cuddihy and Hurley, 1990)
A year-long survey of sports injuries in the accident and emergency department of St. Luke's Hospital, Kilkenny revealed 864 injuries, with hurling and soccer accounting for 41% and 23% respectively. In hurling, lacerations to face and scalp, and fractures of the wrist and hand, accounted for a large number of the injuries seen, while in soccer bruising and sprains of the lower limbs accounted for the majority of the injuries. We make some recommendations for avoidance of these injuries. We show clearly that non-accidental or deliberately inflicted injury forms a significant proportion of sport injuries and recommended steps to curb non-accidental injuries.
Analysis of hurling and camogie injuries.
(Crowley and Condon, 1989)
In 1984, 4500 people with sport injuries attended the Cork Regional Hospital. Of these, 817 were injured in the national game of hurling and camogie. Hand injuries were the most frequent occurring in approximately one third of injured players (33 per cent) and of these, just half had a closed metacarpal fracture. Facial injuries were the second most frequent category (28 per cent). Almost one third of these were nasal fractures, while forehead and eyebrow lacerations, fractured zygoma, loss of teeth are also common. Sport eye injuries referred to the Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital in Cork during the same period amounted to 107, of which 26 occurred in hurling. It is believed that a properly designed protective head gear would largely eliminate such facial and eye injuries.
Analysis of head impacts during sub-elite hurling practice sessions.
(O'Sullivan and Curtin, 1989)
The reported incidence of head and neck injuries in hurling is 0.12 per 1000 hours, but no previous research has quantified head impact characteristics in this sport. Here, a wireless accelerometer and gyroscope captured head impacts, in 20 senior club level hurling players. Peak linear and rotational acceleration and impact location were recorded during three hurling training sessions, each player participating once. A mean of 27.9 impacts (linear acceleration >10g) per player, per session were recorded; 1314 impacts during a total exposure time of 247 minutes. Only 2.6% impacts had peak linear acceleration of >70g and 6.2% had peak rotational acceleration >7900 rad/s2. There were significant differences in the number and magnitude of impacts, quantified by the accelerometer, between three training sessions of differing intensity. This study represents a first step in quantifying head impacts during hurling, demonstrating the feasibility of this technology in the field. The sensors were able to discriminate between sessions of varying intensity. These data can be used to develop athlete monitoring protocols and may be useful in developing innovative helmet-testing standards for hurling. The potential for this technology to provide feedback has clinical utility for team medical personnel.
Lower body reaction testing using ultrasonic motion capture.
(Taylor et al., 2014)
This paper presents a lower body reaction test that utilizes a new portable ultra-sound based motion capture system (MobiFit) combined with a synchronized visual stimulus. This novel system was tested first for criterion validity and agreement against a gold standard laboratory based optical motion capture system (CODA).It was subsequently tested in the field during Gaelic football team gym sessions with 35 subjects to demonstrate its utility and versatility. The lower body reaction test itself is novel in that it can be applied to a gross motor task. During testing, participants had sensors attached to their lower limbs and trunk. The speed of movement for each sensor was monitored at 500Hz using the Mobifit motion capture system, and reaction time was measured as the elapsed time from the appearance of a green indicator on the screen to a sensor reaching a set threshold velocity as the participant raised the corresponding leg. Pearson's correlation coefficient tested criterion validity against the CODA system and Intra class correlation coefficients and Bland-Altman plots assessed agreement of velocity measures obtained from the MobiFit and CODA systems. Results indicate that the MobiFit system is an accurate device to assess lower body reaction time and has advantage over standard laboratory measures in terms of portability and ease of set-up.
Modelling and simulation of the coefficient of restitution of the sliotar in hurling.
(Alsakarneh et al., 2012)
The coefficient of restitution (COR) is one of the most important standards in all bat-and-ball sports to study the ball suitability and bouncing characteristics. Currently, a demand exists for an improved analytical model for computing the COR, particularly when a new material is introduced. A viscoelastic ball known as a sliotar is taken from the Irish bat-and-ball sport of hurling and used in this paper as a case study. For the theoretical approach, a modified Maxwell's viscoelastic model was used to derive an analytical formula to predict the COR. The developed formula confirms that the damping ratio and the dependency of the COR on the impact speed are the most dominant factors. A 3-dimensional finite element (FE) model was developed to simulate the sliotar impact test to estimate the COR, and to provide a simple tool for further studies on the sliotar. A high-speed camera was used to film the impact event to validate the models' behavior. The close correlation of 9% and 5% between the experimental and the developed analytical and FE models, respectively, indicates that the developed models can successfully identify the COR of the ball in the game of hurling and similar bat-and-ball sports.
The civilizing and sportization of Gaelic football in Ireland: 1884-2009.
(Connolly and Dolan, 2010)
Over the course of the last 125 years the sport of Gaelic football in Ireland has undergone a sportization and civilizing process as the rules governing the sport became stricter and players developed greater levels of self-control. However, the civilizing of Gaelic football was a particularly fragile and uneven process. The growing social desire to diminish displays of violence was moderated by ambivalence towards violence. Gradually the external social controls on players increased and, greater and more stable levels of internalization occurred reflected by more advanced levels of player self-restraint in the control of violence. At the same time the threshold of shame toward displays of violence advanced. This transformation was shaped by lengthening chains of social interdependencies in Ireland.
A survey of referee participation, training and injury in elite gaelic games referees.
(Blake et al., 2009)
Referees in Gaelic games are exposed to injury risk in match-play and training. Little is currently know about the degree of exposure or the prevalence of injury in this group. The aim of this study was to determine the time commitment to refereeing and training in elite-level Gaelic referees and to establish, for the first time, point and period (past 12 months) prevalence of Gaelic games injury in these officials.A retrospective survey was posted to the complete list of 111 male referees who officiated in elite-level competition in Gaelic football and hurling at the end of the 2005 competition season. Data were summarised using percentages with 95% Confidence Intervals.The response rate was 80%. Mean age was 42 years, ranging from 28-55 years. Forty eight percent were football referees, 25% were hurling referees and 27% refereed both football and hurling. Most referees (69%) officiated at 3-4 games weekly (range 1-6) and most (62%) trained 2-3 times per week (range 1-7).Fourteen percent (12) were currently injured. Annual injury prevalence was 58% for football, 50% for hurling and 42% for dual referee groups. Sixty percent of injuries were sustained while refereeing match play. The majority (83%), were to the lower limb and the predominant (56%) injury mechanism was running or sprinting. The most prevalent injuries were hamstring strain (25%) of injuries) and calf strain (19% of injuries). Injury causing time off from refereeing was reported by 31% of all referees (95%), for a median duration of 3 weeks.Participation in official duties and training is high in elite Gaelic games referees, despite the amateur status of the sports. Gaelic games injury is common in the referee cohort, with lower limb injury predominating. These injuries have implications for both the referee and for organisation of the games.
Dietary Intake and Energy Expenditure Assessed during a Pre-Season Period in Elite Gaelic Football Players.
(O’Brien et al., 2019)
There is currently a lack of research into the energy demands and associated nutritional intakes of elite Gaelic football players during the pre-season period, which is a crucial time of year for physical development. The aim of the current study was to investigate the dietary intake and energy expenditure of elite Gaelic football players during a typical pre-season week. Over a seven-day period, which included four training days and three rest days, dietary intake (validated self-reported estimated food diary) and energy expenditure (Sensewear Pro armband) were recorded in 18 male players from a single elite inter-county Gaelic football team. Average energy expenditure (3283 ± 483 kcal) was significantly less than average energy expenditure (3743 ± 335 kcal), with a mean daily energy deficit of 460 ± 503 kcal. Training days elicited the greatest deficits between intake and expenditure. The mean carbohydrate intake was 3.6 ± 0.7 g/kg/day, protein intake was 2.1 ± 0.5 g/kg/day, and fat intake was 1.6 ± 0.2 g/kg/day. These findings indicate that the dietary practices of the sampled players were inadequate to meet energy expenditure and carbohydrate recommendations. Training days are of particular concern, with the players not altering energy and carbohydrate intake to encounter increased energy demands. Education on nutritional strategies for elite Gaelic footballers should be considered in relation to training demands to avoid detriments to performance and health.
The Pre-competition Macronutrient Intake of Elite Gaelic Football Players.
(Cassidy et al., 2018)
The present study examined the pre-competition macronutrient intake of elite male Gaelic football players.Forty players from two teams completed a food diary on the 2 days preceding competition (Day 1 and Day 2) and on the match day prior to the match (match day). Carbohydrate intake was significantly greater on Day 2 compared with Day 1, for both absolute and relative intake. The number of players in accordance with and not in accordance with the guidelines for carbohydrate intake on Day 2 was significantly different to an expected frequency distribution, with a greater number of players not meeting the guidelines (observed N = 2 vs. 38). The number of players in accordance with and not in accordance with the recommendations for carbohydrate intake on match day was significantly different to an expected frequency distribution, with a greater number of players meeting the guidelines (observed N = 29 vs. 11). The major finding from the current investigation was that a significantly greater number of players did not meet carbohydrate intake guidelines on the day before competition. Individualized nutritional interventions are required in order to modify the current pre-match dietary intake.
Seasonal changes in body composition of inter-county Gaelic Athletic Association hurlers.
(Davies et al., 2017)
Longitudinal change in body composition for elite-level inter-county hurlers was reported over a single season and four consecutive seasons. Body composition measured by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) of 66 senior, male, outfield players was obtained. Four successive measurements were taken: off-season, pre-season, mid-season and the off-season of the following season. A subsample of 11 hurlers were measured at all time points over 4 consecutive seasons. DXA-derived estimates of fat and lean mass were normalised to stature for analysis. A concurrent increase of lean mass and loss of fat mass occurred from the off-season to the pre-season. Lean mass accrual was maintained from pre-season to the second off-season while the initial loss of fat mass was restored from mid-season to the second off-season, with the trunk acting as the primary region of change. Over the four seasons, a net increase of lean mass was observed with a negligible overall change for fat mass over time. However, the cycling of fat mass (off-season 1 to pre-season and mid-season to off-season 2) within each season was recurrent season-to-season.
Vitamin D3 supplementation using an oral spray solution resolves deficiency but has no effect on VO2 max in Gaelic footballers: results from a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.
(Todd et al., 2017)
Vitamin D inadequacy is a global health concern in athletes as well as the general population. Whilst the role of vitamin D in skeletal health is well defined, there remains uncertainty over whether vitamin D supplementation has an added benefit beyond bone health.This randomised placebo-controlled trial in 42 healthy male and female Gaelic footballers investigated the effect of vitamin D3 supplementation [3000 IU (75 µg) daily for 12 weeks, via an oral spray solution] on VO2 max which was the primary outcome measure. Secondary outcomes included skeletal muscle and lung function.Supplementation significantly increased total 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations compared to the placebo group. At baseline, 50 and 22 % of footballers presented with vitamin D insufficiency (31-49 nmol/L) and deficiency (<30 nmol/L), respectively. Total 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration did not significantly correlate with any measure of physical performance. Analysis of covariance models demonstrated that vitamin D supplementation over 12 weeks had no significant effect on VO2 max, vertical jump height, left and right handgrip strength, forced vital capacity or forced expiratory volume at 1 s , after adjusting for confounders. The high prevalence of vitamin D inadequacy observed in this cohort of collegiate Gaelic footballers supports the need for vitamin D supplementation during wintertime to avoid being at risk of poor bone health.Twelve-week daily supplementation with 3000 IU (75 µg) vitamin D3 successfully resolved deficiency but did not have any significant effect on VO2 max, skeletal muscle or lung function.
Body composition analysis of inter-county Gaelic athletic association players measured by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry.
(Davies et al., 2016)
The purpose of this study was to report the body composition phenotype of inter-county Gaelic athletic association players, comparing groups by code and field position. 190 senior, male, outfield inter-county players (144 hurlers and 46 Gaelic footballers) were recruited. Stature and body mass was measured, estimates of three components of body composition, i.e., lean mass, fat mass and bone mineral content was obtained by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), and normative data for Gaelic athletic association athletes by code and position was compared. Other than in the midfield, there was limited difference in body composition between codes or playing position. Stature-corrected indices nullified any existing group differences between midfielders for both codes. Further comparisons with a non-athletic control group (n = 431) showed no difference for body mass index (BMI); however, the athletic group has a lower fat mass index, with a greater lean mass in accounting for the matched BMI between groups. In addition to providing previously unknown normative data for the Gaelic athletic association athlete, a proportional and independent tissue evaluation of body composition is given.
Nutrition and Gaelic football: review, recommendations, and future considerations.
Gaelic football is the second most popular team sport in Ireland in terms of participation. However, very little research exists on the nutritional considerations for elite male Gaelic footballers. Gaelic football is an intermittent type field game played by two teams of fifteen players. Although amateurs, elite players may train and compete 4-5 times per week and may play for several teams. Research suggests that elite footballers are similar anthropometrically and in fitness to professional soccer players. Work-rate analysis shows that footballers experience longer durations of high-intensity (HI) activity (5-7s) and shorter rest durations than soccer players. Recent data suggests that half-forward/backs perform a greater amount of HI work during games than players in other positions. Fatigue is apparent between the first and second halves and the first and fourth quarters. The limited amount of nutritional studies conducted implies that footballers may be deficient in energy intake and may be at the lower end of recommended carbohydrate intakes to support training. A wide variety of sweat rates have been measured during training, demonstrating the importance of individual hydration strategies. Ergogenic aids such as creatine and caffeine may prove beneficial to performance, although data are extrapolated from other sports. Due to the lack of research in Gaelic football, further population specific studies are required. Future areas of research on the impact of nutrition on Gaelic football performance are examined. In particular, the creation of a test protocol mimicking the activity patterns and intensity of a Gaelic football game is warranted.
Fluid and electrolyte balance in elite gaelic football players.
(Newell et al., 2008)
The aim of this study was to investigate fluid and electrolyte balance in 20 elite Gaelic Football players during a typical training session in a warm environment (16 to 18 degrees C, 82-88% humidity). Pre-training urine samples were used to determine hydration status. Sweat sodium concentration was collected from four body site locations using absorbent patches. The mean sweat rate per hour was 1.39 l.h-1 and mean body mass loss was 1.1%. Mean sweat sodium concentrations were 35 mmol.l-1 (range 19-52 mmol.l-1). On average, players did not drink enough fluid to match their sweat rates and this fluid deficit was not related to pre-training hydration status. A single hydration strategy based on published guidelines may not be suitable for an entire team due to variations in individual sweat rates. Maximising player performance could be better achieved by accurate quantification of individual fluid and electrolyte losses.
The nutritional and anthropometric status of Gaelic football players.
(Reeves and Collins, 2003)
The aim of this study was to investigate the dietary intakes and anthropometric profiles of county and club Gaelic football players and compare them to soccer players and control subjects. Seven-day dietary records were analyzed and anthropometric measurements were taken midway through the Gaelic football competitive season. The county group with a mean height of 1.82 ±0.04 m were significantly taller and had less body fat that any other group. The county and club teams consumed 151 ±11 and 150 ±16 kJ.kg-1.day-1, respectively, with 52.2 ±5% and 49.5 ±9% of their energy intakes as carbohydrate. This compares to 173 ±11 kJ. kg-1.day-1 for the soccer players and 159 ±8 kJ. kg-1.day-1 for the controls, with 57 ±4% and 44.9 ±5% of their energy from carbohydrate. The nature of Gaelic football demands a balanced diet, rich in energy and carbohydrate and with adequate calcium is consumed; the subjects needed to increase these dietary components in order to meet the energetic demands of competition and training. Additional nutritional counseling was provided on an individual basis.
How experts practice: a novel test of deliberate practice theory.
(Coughlan et al., 2014)
Performance improvement is thought to occur through engagement in deliberate practice. Deliberate practice is predicted to be challenging, effortful, and not inherently enjoyable. Expert and intermediate level Gaelic football players executed two types of kicks during an acquisition phase and pre-, post-, and retention tests. During acquisition, participants self-selected how they practiced and rated the characteristics of deliberate practice for effort and enjoyment. The expert group predominantly practiced the skill they were weaker at and improved its performance across pre-, post- and retention tests. Participants in the expert group also rated their practice as more effortful and less enjoyable compared to those in the intermediate group. In contrast, participants in the intermediate group predominantly practiced the skill they were stronger at and improved their performance from pre-test to post-test but not on the retention test.Findings provide support for deliberate practice theory and give some insight into how experts practice and improve their performance beyond its current level.
Lessons From the Experts: The Effect of a Cognitive Processing Intervention During Deliberate Practice of a Complex Task.
(Coughlan et al., 2019)
Deliberate practice is defined as an activity that is highly relevant to improving performance. It is effortful, challenging, not inherently enjoyable, or immediately rewarding and underpinned by advanced cognitive processing. The authors examine the effect of increasing cognitive processing during deliberate practice on skill learning in intermediate-level performers using a novel approach and quasi-experimental design. Two matched groups of intermediate-level Gaelic football players practiced a kick they identified as being most relevant to improving performance during an acquisition phase and pre-, post-, and retention tests. During acquisition, participants rated practice for cognitive effort and enjoyment. An intervention group engaged in structured cognitive processing before, during, and after the kicking practice sessions, whereas a control group did not. Both groups improved kicking accuracy across pre-, post-, and retention tests; however, the intervention group improved accuracy significantly more than the control group. The intervention group rated practice greater for mental effort compared with the control group, while both groups rated practice low for enjoyment. The intervention group increased reflection and evaluation to a greater degree following practice compared with the control group. Findings highlight the value of applying the principles of deliberate practice and increasing cognitive processing to expedite learning in intermediate-level performers, with implications for skill learning across many professional domains.
Anxiety and performance in elite non-professional athletes.
(Hannon and Fitzgerald, 2006)
Anxiety is one of the main motivators with regards to performance of individuals in any given task, including sporting endeavours. Our study sought to assess state anxiety levels in elite non-professional sportsmen, and to investigate if anxiety correlated with sporting performance, the IDA-Q (irritability, depression & anxiety questionnaire) was used to assess 3 mental state variables in an inter-county hurling team as well as a matched non-sporting control group, and performance was judged by completion of a standard task in 2 different settings: a non-pressurised one and a highly pressurised setting. Subjects had significantly higher anxiety scores on the IDA-Q than the controls. There were no significant differences and controls in the depression and irritability scales. There was a significantly negative correlation between anxiety scores and performance (r = -0.57).The authors concluded that high anxiety levels impair sporting performance.
Acute Effects of "Composite" Training on Neuromuscular and Fast Stretch-Shortening Cycle Drop Jump Performance in Hurling Players.
(Byrne et al., 2019)
"Composite" training is a term developed by the authors and defined as the combination of a plyometric exercise with an explosive activity such as a sprint run, performed as a "combined repetition"/session. The purposes of this study were to investigate the acute effect of a "composite" training session on neuromuscular and fast stretch-shortening cycle bounce drop jumps (BDJs) in hurling players' immediately, after session, and after 7 days of recovery. Eight hurling players first completed a drop jump test to identify individual BDJ drop height, followed 72 hours later with a single "composite" training session. Three repetition maximum (3RM) back squat strength, BDJ, countermovement jump (CMJ), and sprint performance testing were performed 10 minutes before and immediately after session and 7 day after session. An analysis of variance reported a significant decrease in CMJ measures (height, velocity, and eccentric rate of force development) and sprint performance from presession to postsession. Moreover, a significant increase was evident for CMJ performance (height and power), sprint performance (5 and 20 m), 3RM back squat strength, and BDJ performance (reactive strength index and height) from postsession to post-7-day recovery. Pairwise comparisons indicated that absolute and relative 3RM strength significantly increased from presession to post-7 days. The findings indicate that "composite" training results in an immediate decline in CMJ measures after session possibly due to acute muscle fatigue, and supercompensation augments maximum lower-limb strength after 7 days of recovery.
Team performance indicators which differentiate between winning and losing in elite Gaelic football
(Gamble et al., 2019)
The objective of this study was to identify performance indicators which differentiated between winning and losing elite Gaelic football teams. Eighty three technical and tactical performance variables were measured in 13 teams during 26 league and championship games throughout 2014–2015. Univariate analysis of full-games revealed that winners achieved a significantly higher total score, number of scores, shots, points, points from play and goals, resulting in superior shot efficiency, average attack per score, and scores per 10 possessions. Winners gained significantly more turnovers and completed significantly less unsuccessful hand passes. Winners also performed significantly less kick outs, resulting in fewer successful kick outs and successful dead ball kick passes overall. A principal component analysis, conducted on 18 variables produced 4 components, which explained 81.9% of the variance. Both logistic regression and discriminant analysis revealed that one component, defensive counterattacking, significantly contributed to outcome and differentiated winners from losers with a cross-validation accuracy of 87.5%. Coaches can use this information to organise their defensive system to generate opposition turnovers and also incorporate sufficient flexibility to facilitate effective transitions to exploit their own offensive counterattacking opportunities.
Seasonal Changes in Gaelic Football Match-Play Running Performance.
(Mangan et al., 2019)
Time of season influences performance in many team sports; however, the anomaly has not yet been examined with regards to elite Gaelic football. Global positioning systems were used to monitor 5 elite Gaelic football teams over a period of 5 years (2012-2016). In total, 95 matches equated to 780 full player data sets. Running performance was characterized by total distance and high-speed distance (≥17 km·h). High-speed distance was further categorized into 4 match quarters. Time of season was determined by month of the year. Time of season had a significant effect on total distance and high-speed distance. August and September were significantly different from every other month for total distance and high-speed distance. Month of season and match quarter had a significant interaction with high-speed distance. High-speed distances run in the fourth quarter in August (478 ± 237 m) and in September (500 ± 219 m) were higher than any other quarter in any other month. This is the first study to show that time of season influences running performance in Gaelic football. The findings have major implications for training practices in Gaelic football.
The match-play sprint performance of elite senior hurlers during competitive games.
(Young et al., 2019)
The typical sprint profile in elite hurling has yet to be established. The purpose of this study was to investigate the sprinting demands of elite hurling competition and characterize the sprinting patterns of different playing positions. GPS were used to collect data from 51 hurlers during 18 games. The total sprint (≥22 km·h-1) distance, the number of sprints classified as length (<20 m, ≥20 m) and relative speed thresholds (<80%, 80-90%, >90%), the between-sprint duration and the number of repeated-sprint bouts (≥2 sprints in ≤60 s) were analyzed. The number of sprints was 22.2 ± 6.8 accumulating 415 ± 140 m total sprint distance. The number of sprints <20 m, ≥20 m was 14.0 ± 4.7 and 8.1 ± 3.6 respectively. The number of sprints <80%, 80-90% and >90% was 10.6 ± 4.3, 8.2 ± 3.6, 3.4 ± 2.4 respectively. The between-sprint duration and the repeated-sprint bouts were 208 ± 86 s and 4.5 ± 2.6 respectively. Total sprint distance, number of sprints <20 m, ≥20 m, 80-90%, >90% and repeated-sprint bouts decreased between-halves. Full-backs performed a lower number of sprints <80% than half-backs and a shorter mean duration of sprints than half-backs, midfielders and full-forwards. These findings provide a sprint profile of elite hurling match-play that coaches should consider to replicate the sprint demands of competition in training.
Match-Play Temporal and Position-Specific Physical and Physiological Demands of Senior Hurlers.
(Young et al., 2019)
The aims of the current study were to examine the temporal differences in match-running performances and heart rate in elite senior hurling players between halves of play and field positions. Global positioning systems (10 Hz) and HR monitors were used to collect data from 48 players over 18 games. Running performances (total distance, relative distance, high-speed running, sprint efforts, mean length of sprints, and sprint distance) and heart rate values (average heart rate and peak heart rate) were assessed. Decrements in total distance, relative distance, high-speed running, sprint efforts, sprint distance, average heart rate, and peak heart rate were found between halves. Half backs showed between-half decrements in all metrics except sprint distance. Midfielders and half forwards experienced second-half decrements in high-speed running. No decrements in running performances were found between halves for full backs. Average heart rate was lower in full backs and half backs in the second half. Coaches should consider the specific high-speed running between-half temporal decrements in half backs, midfielders, and half forwards, and customize training program design to minimize these decrements.
Methods of Monitoring Training Load and Their Association With Changes Across Fitness Measures in Hurling Players.
(Malone et al., 2019)
The aim of the current investigation was to assess the dose-response relationship for various methods of monitoring training load and changes in aerobic and anaerobic fitness in hurling players. Training and match load measures were collected from 30 hurling players; speed at different blood lactate (vLT, vOBLA), maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max), speed at VO2max, peak treadmill velocity, running economy, Yo-Yo intermittent recovery test (Yo-YoIR1, Yo-YoIR2), speed at 5, 10 , 20 m, and repeated sprint ability (6 x 35 m) before and after during a 12-week in-season period. Mean weekly training and match loads as determined by session RPE, bTRIMP, luTRIMP, eTRIMP, iTRIMP, and gTRIMP were correlated with each other, percentage change in VO2max, speed at VO2max, running economy, peak treadmill velocity, the speed at blood lactate concentrations of 2 mmol/L (vLT) and 4 mmol/L (vOBLA), and YoYoIR1, Yo-YoIR2 performance.iTRIMP showed a trivial association with session RPE and a small to moderate association with other heart rate-based methods. Small to large changes were observed in aerobic and anaerobic fitness measures were observed across the 12-week period. Trivial to very large associations were observed between TL variables and changes in fitness depending on the variable analyzed. iTRIMP was shown to have large to very large associations with changes in vOBLA, VO2max, running economy, Yo-YoIR1, and RSAb with moderate associations reported between iTRIMP and other variables. All other measures of TL showed trivial to moderate associations. The current investigation shows that fully individualized training load (iTRIMP) measures may potentially offer a better understanding of dose-response relationships when compared with subjective and non-individualized measures of training load to changes in aerobic and anaerobic fitness in team sports athletes; as such, it may be suggested that practitioners should use individualized measures of training load assessment within their day-to-day practices.
The Influence of Exercise-to-Rest Ratios on Physical and Physiological Performance During Hurling-Specific Small-Sided Games.
(Malone et al., 2019)
The current study examined the impact of different exercise-to-rest ratios on hurling-specific small-sided games. Thirty-four hurling players were monitored during an in-season training period. Heart rate, and global positioning system technology were used to analyze the physical and physiological differences between exercise-to-rest ratios across bouts of hurling-specific small-sided games. Total distance, high-speed distance (17 km/h), very high-speed distance (22 km/h), total accelerations, acceleration distance, peak velocity, and % maximum heart rate were measured. Exercise-to-rest ratios of 2:1, and 1:1, resulted in significant reductions in high-speed distance, very high-speed distance, and acceleration distance. Exercise-to-rest ratios of 1:2, and 1:3, resulted in increased high-speed distance, very high-speed distance, and acceleration distance, but only after the third bout. The first bout of hurling-specific small-sided games resulted in the lowest %HRmax when compared with all other bouts. A significant bout-to-bout increase in %HRmax independent of exercise-to-rest ratio was observed. Exercise-to-rest ratios of 2:1 and 1:1 resulted in significantly higher %HRmax during all hurling-specific small-sided game bouts; however, exercise-to-rest ratios of 1:2 and 1:3, resulted in lower %HRmax during hurling-specific small-sided games. Coaches should be aware that reducing the rest between bouts of hurling-specific small-sided games (2:1 and 1:1 exercise-to-rest ratios) increases the physiological response (%HRmax) with reduced high-speed running performances. Coaches now have data to allow them to best prepare for session needs with regard to specific hurling-specific small-sided games exercise-to-rest ratios.
Effect of Training Load Distribution on Aerobic Fitness Measures in Hurling Players.
(Malone et al., 2018)
The aim of the current investigation was to quantify the training intensity distribution of hurling players and their association with changes in aerobic fitness measures within hurling players. Thirty hurling players were observed during the pre-championship training period (12 weeks). Aerobic fitness measures; VO2max, peak treadmill velocity, heart rates (HRs) at 2 and 4 mmol/L blood lactate concentrations, and Yo-Yo intermittent recovery test performance (Yo-YoIR1) were assessed before and after the training period. Training intensities were categorized using 3 individualized heart-rate zones based on the following criteria: low intensity (HR < 2 mmol/L), moderate intensity (between HR at 2 and 4 mmol/L), and high intensity (HR > 4 mmol/L). Analysis of 1,025 individual training sessions showed that players spent 58.1 +/-2.5%, 24.3 +/-2.9%, and 17.6 +/-1.3% of time in the low-, moderate-, and high-intensity zones, respectively. The training time spent at high intensity (Zone 3) showed moderate-to-large associations with improvements in S2. Similar trends were observed for time spent in high intensity and improvements in VO2max and Yo-YoIR1 performance.Hurling players have been shown to spend the majority of training time in low (>HR 2 mmol/L) to moderate intensity (between HR 2 and 4 mmol/L) training. However, only the time spent at high intensity (>90% of maximal heart-rate) was related to changes in aerobic fitness. These results support the usefulness of the quantification of aerobic training load using heart-rate. The study also supports the efficacy of spending elements of training time within the high-intensity zone to increase hurling player's aerobic fitness characteristics.
The Match Heart Rate and Running Profile of Elite Under-21 Hurlers During Competitive Match-Play.
(Young et al., 2018)
The aims of the current study were to examine the physical and physiological demands of elite under-21 male hurling match-play across halves of play and between positions. Global positioning systems and heart rate monitors were used to collect data from 95 players during 10 games. Total distance, relative speed, high-speed running, sprint distance, total sprints, and mean length of sprint was 6,688 +/-942m, 112 +/-16m/min, 661 +/-203m, 274 +/-111m, 18 +/-8m, and 16 +/-5m, respectively. Players' average heart rate and peak heart rate was 165 and 190, respectively. Decrements in total distance, high-speed running, and average heart-rate were found between halves. Full backs covered significantly less total distance than half backs, mihalf forwards. Half forwards covered a greater total distance than full forwards, greater high-speed running than full backs, and greater sprint distance than half backs. Between-half decreases were evident in total distance, high-speed running, and average heart-rate, with no significant positional differences observed in total distance, high-speed running, number of sprints, length of sprint, peak heart-rate, and average heart-rate between half backs, midfielders, and half forwards. The current findings provide data that coaches should consider to customize training program ddfielders, and esign for under-21 hurlers.
The Seasonal Variations in Anthropometric and Performance Characteristics of Elite Intercounty Gaelic Football Players.
(Kelly and Collins, 2018)
There is limited research assessing the anthropometric and performance variations in elite Gaelic football. The aim of this study was to assess the anthropometric and performance characteristics of an elite intercounty squad within a season. 26 participants were assessed at the start of preseason (November), after early in-season (January), and midseason (March). Measurements included stature, body mass, sum of 8 skinfold sites, estimated body fat percentage (bf%), squat jump (SJ) and countermovement jump (CMJ), 5-, 10-, and 20-m sprint times, upper body and lower-body strength (1 repetition maximum), and Yo-Yo intermittent recovery test 2 (Yo-Yo IR2). A multivariate analysis of variance was used to determine seasonal and positional variations. Anthropometric variations were observed with an overall increase in participants' body mass and a concomitant decrease in sum of the skinfolds and bf%. Performance variations showed improvements in sprint time over 5-m and 10-m, SJ, CMJ, height and Yo-Yo IR2 noted from preseason to midseason. Significant anthropometric variations are observed between the preseason and early in-season; meanwhile, significant performance variations are observed between the preseason and midseason. Distinct positional variations are evident for both anthropometric and performance characteristics at all time points. Applied practitioners should consider these findings when implementing a seasonal training plan.
Positional Anthropometric and Performance Profile of Elite Gaelic Football Players.
(Shovlin et al., 2018)
The aim of the current investigation was to evaluate the variation in the anthropometric and performance characteristics of elite Gaelic football players with respect to position. One hundred forty-eight elite Gaelic footballers underwent anthropometric (height, body mass, sum of 7 skinfolds, and % adipose tissue) and performance (counter movement jump height [CMJ], CMJ peak power, CMJ relative peak power, squat jump [SJ] height, SJ peak power, SJ relative peak power, 5-, 10-, and 20-m sprint times, and Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test Level 2 [Yo-YoIRT2]) during "the early in-season" phase. Data were split into 5 positional groups (full back, half back, midfield, half forward, and full forward). Higher adipose tissue percentage estimate was observed in full forwards when compared with the half backs , midfielders, and half forwards. Full forwards had significantly greater SJ and CMJ when compared with the midfielders with no other positional differences observed. No significant variation in sprint times was observed across the positions. When Yo-YoIRT2 was considered, full forwards and full backs completed significantly lower distances compared with the middle 3 positional lines of half backs, midfielders, and half forwards. The current study is the first to provide normative data for anthropometric and performance values of elite Gaelic football players which in turn can be used by coaches to generate appropriate training regimes to maximize position-specific preparation for competitive match-play.
Potentiating Response to Drop-Jump Protocols on Sprint Acceleration: Drop-Jump Volume and Intra-repetition Recovery Duration.
(Byrne et al., 2018)
The purpose of this study was to investigate the post-activation potentiation response first to bounce drop jump (BDJ) volume; second, BDJ intra-repetition recovery duration and recovery duration between BDJs and 20-meter (including 5- and 10-m split times) sprint performance. The study was undertaken in 2 parts, the first part compared different volumes of BDJs and the second part compared different BDJ intra-repetition recovery periods. The effect of recovery periods between the BDJs and the subsequent 20-m sprints was examined in both parts 1 and 2 (15 seconds, 4, 8, and 12 minutes). Fourteen (part 1) and 15 (part 2) male collegiate and club hurling players volunteered to participate.A randomized cross-over design was used to compare BDJ volumes (1, 2, and 3 sets of 3 repetitions) and BDJ intra-repetition recovery time (15 vs. 60 seconds) after a warm-up followed by 2 baseline 20-m sprints. The results in part 1 reported a significant improvement in 5- and 10-m sprint time for 1 set of 3 BDJs between baseline and 4, and baseline and 12 minutes. Part 2 reported a significant improvement in 5-m sprint time between baseline and 15 seconds after the BDJs. The findings support the use of 1 set of 3 BDJs using a 15-second intra-repetition recovery period to maximize 5-, 10-, and 20-m sprint performance after 15 seconds of recovery after the final BDJ in hurling players. The acute response to this BDJ protocol proves to be time efficient and effective in acutely improving sprint acceleration.
Identification of Maximal Running Intensities During Elite Hurling Match-Play.
(Young et al., 2018)
The current study aimed to describe the duration-specific running intensities of elite hurling players during competition with respect to position using a rolling average method. Global positioning systems were used to collect data from 36 elite hurling players across 2 seasons. Players were categorized according to playing positions (full-backs, half-backs, midfielders, half-forwards, and full-forwards). A total of 230 full match samples were obtained from 22 competitive games for analysis. The velocity-time curve was analyzed using a rolling average method, in which the maximum relative total distance, high-speed running distance, and sprint distance intensities were calculated across 10 different rolling time durations (1-10 minutes) within each game. There were large to very large differences between 1-minute rolling averages and all other durations for total distance, high-speed running, and sprint distance. However, pairwise comparisons between 6 and 10 minutes for total distance, high-speed running, and sprint distance were smaller and more variable. Half-backs, midfielders, and half-forwards achieved a higher maximal relative total distance and high-speed running in all duration-specific fields when compared with full-backs and full-forwards. No positional difference was observed in 1- and 2-minute durations for sprint duration. Because the rolling average duration increased the maximum total distance, high-speed running and sprint distance running intensities decreased across all positions. These data provide knowledge of the peak running intensities of elite hurling competition and can be used to design training activities to sufficiently prepare players for these "worst-case scenarios."
The Work-Rate of Elite Hurling Match-Play.
(Collins et al., 2018)
This study describes the global work-rate of elite hurling match-play and the influence which positional difference has on work-rate is considered. The movement of ninety-four players was recorded using global positioning system, sampling at 4 Hz in a total of 12 games. Data were classified according to the positional line on the field and period of the match. The total and high-speed distance of match-play was 7,617 +/-1,219m and 1,134 +/-358 m respectively. The maximum speed attained was 29.8 +/-2.3 km/h with a mean speed of 6.1 +/-1 km/h. The second, third, and fourth quarter high-speed running distance differed significantly from that of the first quarter. There was a significant difference in total high-speed running, and sprint distance across the positions, with midfielders undertaking the highest volume of work, followed by the half-forward and half-back lines and finally the full-forward and full-back lines. A decrease in high-speed running distance seems to occur throughout the game and in particular at the latter stages of each half. Distinct positional work profiles are evident. The present finding provide a context on which training which replicates the work-rate of match-play may be formulated, thus helping to improve the physical preparation of elite players.
An investigation in to the positional running demands of elite Gaelic football players: how competition data can inform training practice.
(J. McGahan et al., 2018)
This study investigated the positional running demands of elite Gaelic football players during match-play and compared these demands with typical training activities used to prepare players for competition.Global positioning system (GPS) data was obtained from thirty elite Gaelic football players across a full season (13 competitive games and 78 training sessions). Only players who completed the full match and respective training sessions were included. Data was collected using 4-Hz GPS units. Mean high speed (>17 km/h), mean speed, percentage at high speed and mean sprint efforts (>17 km/h) were recorded. Running variables were analysed across the 5 outfield positional lines in Gaelic football.For mean high speed running and mean speed, significant relationships were found between competition and game-based training for players in the full-back, half-back, mid-field and full-forward lines. Analyses of mean sprint efforts and percentage at high speed found positive correlations between competition and training activities across each of the positional lines.Appropriately designed training activities can ensure that the position-specific demands of elite Gaelic football competition are met using a game-based training approach. Collectively, these findings demonstrate the value of, and provide support for, the use of a game-based training approach as a method of preparing players for the physical demands of competition in elite Gaelic football.
An Acceleration Profile of Elite Gaelic Football with Special Reference to Position of Play.
(Ryan et al., 2018)
The current study aimed to characterize the positional match-play demands of elite Gaelic football players with special reference to acceleration utilizing predetermined 5- min periods (epochs). Thirty-five male Gaelic players across five playing positions (full-back, half-back, midfield, half-forward, full-forward) were monitored during the investigation. Player movement was recorded during nineteen matches using 4-Hz global positioning system technology resulting in 154 player observations. GPS was used to record total distance, high-speed running (17 km/h), very high-speed running distance, (22 km/h), the number of accelerations, duration of accelerations, peak acceleration, and distance of accelerations. Acceleration profiles were position dependent with midfielders found to have a high accumulation of acceleration movements when compared to all other positions. Declines of -2% to -32% for acceleration distance depending on positional line of play were observed during match-play. Less high-speed running and very high-speed running distance, was performed by the full-back line (high-speed running; -39%, very high-speed running distance; -36%) and full-forward line (-35%; -29%) when compared to half-back, midfielders and half-forwards. Similar trends were reported for peak acceleration distance. The current investigation provides a greater understanding of temporal differences in acceleration profiles of playing position. We show that half-back, midfield and half-forwards have the highest acceleration movements these data can assist coaches in appropriately preparing players for the required acceleration distances required during match-play.
Comparison of Sprint Interval and Endurance Training in Team Sport Athletes.
(Kelly et al., 2018)
High-volume endurance training (ET) has traditionally been used to improve aerobic capacity but is extremely time-consuming in contrast to low-volume short-duration sprint interval training (SIT) that improves maximal oxygen uptake to a similar extent. Few studies have compared the effects of SIT vs. ET using running-based protocols, or in team sport athletes. Club level male Gaelic football players were randomly assigned to SIT (7 players) or ET (8 players) for 6 sessions over 2 weeks. VO2max, muscle mitochondrial enzyme activity, running economy, and high-intensity endurance capacity were measured before and after training.An increase in VO2max after 2 weeks of both SIT and ET was observed. Performance in high-intensity endurance capacity increased by 31.0 and 17.2% after SIT and ET, respectively. Running economy assessed at 8, 9, 10, and 11 km/h, lactate threshold and velocity at VO2max were unchanged after both SIT and ET. Maximal activity of 3-hydroxylacyl coenzyme A dehydrogenase was increased in response to both SIT and ET, whereas the maximal activity of citrate synthase remained unchanged after training. A running-based protocol of SIT is a time-efficient training method for improving aerobic capacity and high-intensity endurance capacity, and maintaining indices of running economy and lactate threshold in team sport athletes.
Match-play running demands and technical performance among elite Gaelic footballers: Does divisional status count?
(J. H. McGahan et al., 2018)
The aim of the current study was to compare positional differences in running demands and technical performance variables among elite Gaelic football teams from separate Divisions. Data were obtained from a Division 1 and a Division 3 team. Match-play running variables were collected using 4-Hz global positioning system (GPS) units. Selected variables assessed were high speed running distance (>17 km/h), number of high-speed efforts (>17 km/h), relative high-speed distance (>17 km/h) and percentage of time at high speed. Each variable was analysed across the 5 positional groups in Gaelic football (full-back, half-back, midfield, half-forward, full-forward). The same 25 competitive games were analysed using GPS and the Sports Code video analysis system. Technical performance variables selected for analysis were total kick/hand passes, tackles, shots and percentage of time in possession. High speed running demands were differentiated between the divisions.The Division 3 team demonstrated significantly greater high-speed running, high-speed efforts, relative high-speed distance and percentage of time at high speed than the Division 1 team. Positional-specific analysis found that the Division 3 fullback and midfield positional lines had significantly greater high-speed running, relative high-speed distance and percentage of time at high speed than their Division 1 counterparts. The Division 1 team made a greater number of total tackles, with significantly more tackles in the middle third. The Division 3 team performed a significantly greater number of hand passes and unsuccessful shots per game. The results of the present study indicate that overall technical proficiency, rather than high-speed running profiles, differentiate Division 1 and 3 Gaelic football teams.
Acceleration Profile of Elite Gaelic Football Match Play.
(Ryan et al., 2018)
The use of global positioning system (GPS) technology in Gaelic football is the primary source of quantifying game demands. The aim of this study was to quantify the acceleration profile of elite Gaelic football. Thirty-six elite male Gaelic football players across 5 playing positions took part in a multiple study (154 observations).Player movement was recorded during 19 competitive games over 2 seasons using 4-Hz GPS. The average total distance, high-speed running distance (17 km/h), and very high-speed running distance (22 km/h) were recorded. In addition, the number, distance, and the duration of accelerations were quantified. Accelerations were subdivided into 14 equal parts of 5-minute epochs (E1 = 0-5 minutes, E2 = 5-10 minutes, E3 = 10-15 minutes etc). Players performed 166 +/-41 accelerations. High-speed running distance and very high-speed running distance was 1563 +/-605 and 524 +/-190 m, respectively. The mean acceleration distance was 267 +/-45 m distributed between 12 +/-5 accelerations per 5-minute epoch. The maximum acceleration epoch classified as the greatest distance covered accelerating during a predetermined 5-minute epoch was 296 +/-134 m. The PEAK epoch resulted in a significant reduction of acceleration distance covered in the period before and in the subsequent epoch. An understanding of the acceleration profile in Gaelic football can inform the prescription of appropriate training regiment.
Influence of Team Rating on Running Performance in Elite Gaelic Football.
(Mangan et al., 2018)
It is currently unknown how team rating influences running performance in Gaelic football. Global positioning system technologies were used to quantify match-running performance within 5 elite Gaelic football teams over a period of 5 years (2012-2016). In total 780 player data sets were collected over 95 matches. Running performance variables included total distance, high-speed distance (>17 km.h), and the percentage of high-speed distance. Team ratings were determined objectively using the Elo rating system for Gaelic football. Reference team rating had trivial effects on total distance and high-speed distance. Opposition team rating had small effects on total distance and high-speed distance. Top-tier teams cover greater total distances and high-speed distance than lower tier teams. Players cover considerably less total distance and high-speed distance against tier-3 and tier-4 teams. Tier-1 players ran a significantly higher percentage of distance at high speed than players who played for tier-2 teams. The competitive advantage of top-tier Gaelic football teams is closely linked with their ability to demonstrate a higher physical intensity than lower tier teams.
The effects of a combined static-dynamic stretching protocol on athletic performance in elite Gaelic footballers: A randomised controlled crossover trial.
(Loughran et al., 2017)
The aim of this study was to determine the effect of three different static-dynamic stretching protocols on sprint and jump performance in Gaelic footballers.The participants were seventeen male elite level Gaelic footballers, aged 18-30 years, and completed three stretching protocols.Athletic performance was measured by countermovement jump height and power, and timed 10 m, 20 m, and 40 m sprints.Static stretching reduced sprint speed by 1.1% over 40 m and 1.0% over 20 m. Static stretching also reduced counter-movement jump height by 10.6% and jump power by 6.4%. When static stretching was followed by dynamic stretching, sprint speed improved by 1.0% over 20 m and 0.7% over 40 m. The static - dynamic stretching protocol also improved counter-movement jump height by 8.7% and power by 6.7%.Static stretching reduces sprint speed and jump performance. Static stretching should be followed by dynamic stretching during warm-up to nullify any performance deficits caused by static stretching.
Duration specific Running performance in Elite Gaelic Football.
(Malone et al., 2017)
The aim of the current investigation was to determine the position and duration specific running performance of elite Gaelic football players through the use of a moving average method. Global positioning system data were collected from thirty-five elite Gaelic football players across a two season period. A total of 32 competitive matches were analysed with 300 full match play data samples obtained for final analysis. Players were categorised based on positional groups; full-back, half-back, midfield, half- forward and full-forward. The velocity-time curve was analysed for each position using a rolling average method, where maximal values were calculated for ten different time durations (1-10 min) using total distance, high-speed and sprint distance across each match. There were large differences between the 1 and 2 min rolling averages and all other rolling average durations. Smaller differences were observed for rolling averages of a greater duration. Midfielders covered significantly more relative total, high speed and sprint distance than other positions across all time periods, with half-backs and half-forwards covering more relative distance than full-backs and full-forwards. The results of the current investigation suggest that running performance within Gaelic football fluctuates across match-play. These data provide further knowledge of the running requirements of Gaelic football competition and this information can be used to aide coaches and practitioners in adequately preparing athletes for the most demanding periods of play.
The Effects of the Gaelic Athletic Association 15 Training Program on Neuromuscular Outcomes in Gaelic Football and Hurling Players: A Randomized Cluster Trial
(O'Malley et al., 2017)
Team-based neuromuscular training programs for injury prevention have been tested primarily in female and adolescent athletes in soccer, handball, and basketball with limited research in adult male field sports. This study explored whether the GAA 15, a multifaceted 8-week neuromuscular training program developed by the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), could improve risk factors for lower limb injury in male Gaelic footballers and hurlers. Four Gaelic sports collegiate teams were randomized into intervention or control groups. Two teams (41 players), one football and one hurling, were allocated to the intervention, undertaking a 15 minutes program of neuromuscular training exercises at the start of team training sessions, twice weekly for 8 weeks. Two matched teams (37 players) acted as controls, participating in usual team training. Lower extremity stability (Y-Balance test) and jump-landing technique using the Landing Error Scoring System (LESS) were assessed preintervention and postintervention. There were moderate effect sizes in favor of the intervention for right and left composite Y-Balance test scores, with adjusted mean differences between intervention and control of 3.85 +/-0.91% and 4.34 +/-0.92% for right and left legs, respectively. There was a greater reduction in the mean LESS score in favor of the intervention group after exercise training. Clinically and statistically significant improvements in dynamic balance and jump-landing technique occurred in collegiate level Gaelic football and hurling players who adopted the GAA 15, when compared with usual training. These findings support application and evaluation of the GAA 15 in other player groups within the Gaelic games playing population.
The Influence of Pitch Size on Running Performance and Physiological Responses During Hurling-Specific Small-Sided Games.
(Malone and Collins, 2017)
The current study examined how the impact of pitch dimensions influences physiological and running performance during 4-minute small-sided games (SSGs). Twenty-four hurling players were monitored with global positioning system and heart rate monitors during the in-season training period. Total distance, high-speed running distance (>17 km/h), very high-speed running distance (>22 km/h), total accelerations, acceleration distance (in meters), and peak and mean velocity were calculated. Additionally, small-sided hurling games rate of perceived exertion, % maximum heart rate, and individualized training impulse (iTRIMP) were collected. The current results show that the manipulation of small-sided hurling games pitch size has an impact on the running performance and physiological responses. The data showed that small-sided hurling games played on large pitches (80 x 20 m) had greater running demands than medium (60 x 20 m) or small (40 x 20 m) pitches, with significantly more distance covered in all movement categories. Total distance covered at high speed was 354 +/-111 m on a large pitch, 254 +/-72 m on a medium pitch, and 198 +/-62 m on a small pitch. Large pitch dimensions resulted in greater physiological and perceptual demands on players (higher %HRmax, iTRIMP, and RPESSG) compared with medium and small pitches. The current data help applied practitioners to understand further how modifying different aspects of small-sided hurling games can alter the running and physiological responses of players. Moreover, applied practitioners now have consistent information to design and optimize their training time in mixing the physical, technical, and tactical elements within specific small-sided hurling games pitch dimensions.
Interday Reliability of the Reactive Strength Index and Optimal Drop Height.
(Byrne et al., 2017)
The purpose of this study was to investigate the interday reliability of the reactive strength index (RSI) and optimal drop height (ODH) identification from multiple drop heights.Nineteen male trained hurling players completed 2 maximal depth jumps from 4 incremental drop heights (30, 40, 50, and 60 cm), over 2 separate testing sessions 48 hours apart.The RSI and ODH were analyzed for reliability using intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and coefficient of variation (CV). The RSI and ODH both demonstrated good reliability with ICC >0.80 (0.87 and 0.81) and CV <10% (4.2 and 2.98), respectively. The results of this study support the use of an incremental depth jump protocol to find the RSI and ODH in trained hurlers. It is recommended that the incremental depth jump protocol be used when assessing an athlete's reactive strength, as it allows a reactive strength profile, maximum RSI, and an ODH to be determined, all of which can provide vital information when determining an athletes training intensity and load.
The Running Performance Profile of Elite Gaelic Football Match-Play.
(Malone et al., 2017)
The current study examined (a) the match running performance of Gaelic football and (b) the decrement in match running performance with respect to position. Global positioning satellite system technologies were used with 3 elite intercounty teams across 3 full seasons with 250 full game data sets collected. Game movements were classified according to game actions and distance covered across speed zone thresholds (total distance, high-speed running distance [17 km/h], sprint distance [22 km/h]; accelerations; peak speed). The influence of running performance in each quarter on the subsequent quarter was analyzed across all positional roles. The mean total distance and high-speed running distance covered during the game were 8,889 +/-1,448 m and 1,596 +/-594 m, respectively. Results show a temporal profile for total distance with reductions in the second (-4.1%), third (-5.9%) and fourth (-3.8%) quarters, respectively. There was a significant reduction in high-speed running distance in the second (-8.8%), third (-15.9%), and fourth (-19.8%) quarters when compared to the first quarter. Positional differences were observed for distance-based measures with the middle 3 positions (half-back, midfield, and half-forward) completing the highest running performances. These positions also showed increased decrements in total distance and high-speed running distance and sprint distance across quarters. The current data indicate a reduction in exercise intensity over the duration of elite Gaelic football match-play. It is unclear if this reduction is because of fatigue, pacing, contextual factors, or nutritional strategies employed by players.
The metabolic power and energetic demands of elite Gaelic football match play.
(Malone et al., 2017)
Metabolic power has not yet been investigated within elite Gaelic football. The aim of the current investigation was to compare the metabolic power demands between positional groups and examine the temporal profile of elite Gaelic football match play.Global positional satellite system (GPS) data were collected from 50 elite Gaelic football players from 4 inter-county teams during 35 elite competitive matches over a three season period. A total of 351 complete match samples were obtained for final analysis. Players were categorized based on positional groups; full-back, half-back, midfield, half-forward and full-forward.Instantaneous raw velocity data was obtained from the GPS and exported to a customized spreadsheet which provided estimations of both speed based, derived metabolic power and energy expenditure variables (total distance, high speed distance, average metabolic power, high power distance and total energy expenditure).Match mean distance was 9222 +/-1588 m, reflective of an average metabolic power of 9.5-12.5 W/kg-1, with an average energy expenditure of 58-70 Kj/kg-1 depending on position. There were significant differences between positional groups for both speed-based and metabolic power indices. Midfielders covered more total and high-speed distance, as well as greater average and overall energy expenditure compared to other positions. A reduction in total, high-speed, and high-power distance, as well as average metabolic power throughout the match was observed.Positional differences exist for both metabolic power and traditional running based variables. The middle three positions (midfield, half-back and half-forward) possess greater activity profiles when compared to other positional groups. The reduction in metabolic power and traditional running based variables are comparable across match play. The current study demonstrates that metabolic power may contribute to our understanding of Gaelic football match-play.
Effect of Game Design, Goal Type, and Player Numbers on the Physiological and Physical Demands of Hurling-Specific Small-Sided Games.
(Malone and Collins, 2017)
The current study examined the effect that game design modification, goal type, and player numbers on the running performance and physiological demands of small-sided hurling games. Forty-eight hurling players performed 4 types of small-sided hurling games (possession, normal play, regular goals and small goals) in 4-a-side, 5-a-side, and 6-a-side formats. Heart rate and global positioning system technology were used to analyze the physical and physiological differences between small-sided hurling games. Total distance, high-speed running distance (>17 km/h), very-high speed running distance (>22 km/h), peak and mean velocity were analyzed as an indicator of the physical demands of play. The 4-a-side small-sided hurling games independent of game design and goal type resulted in a significantly higher relative exercise intensity compared with 5-a-side and 6-a-side small-sided hurling games independent of game design or goal type. The 4-a-side small goals resulted in the highest distance when compared with all possession and regular goals.Similar trends were observed for 5-a-side and 6-a-side games with small goals resulting in increased total running performance. In conclusion, the current observations reveal that 4-a-side normal play, small goals, and regular goals have the highest physiological demands with 4-a-side small goals having increased running performance in contrast to other game design and goal-type games. Furthermore, independent of game design and goal type, 4-a-side small-sided hurling games show increased relative intensity compared with 5-a-side and 6-a-side small-sided hurling games.
Physiological Profile and Activity Pattern of Minor Gaelic Football Players.
(Cullen et al., 2017)
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the physiological profile and activity pattern in club- and county-level under-18 Gaelic football players relative to playing position. 18 players were analyzed during 17 official matches using GPS and heart rate monitoring. During the second part of this study, 63 participants underwent an incremental treadmill test to assess their VO2 max and peak heart rate. Players covered a mean distance of 5,774 +/-737 m during a full 60-minute match. The mean %HRmax and %VO2max observed during the match play were 81.6 +/-4.3% and 70.1 +/-7.75%, respectively. The playing level had no effect on the distance covered, player movement patterns, or %HRmax observed during match play. Midfield players covered significantly greater distance than defenders. Playing position had no effect on %HRmax or the frequency of sprinting or high-intensity running during match play. The frequency of jogging, cruise running, striding, and walking was greater in the midfield position than in the forward position. Time had a significant effect, and on distance covered and %HRmax, both of which showed a reduction between playing periods. Gaelic football is predominantly characterized by low-to-moderate intensity activity interspersed with periods of high-intensity running. The information provided may be used as a framework for coaches in the design and prescription of training strategies. Positional specific training may be warranted given the comparatively greater demands observed in the midfield playing position. Replicating the demands of match play in training may reduce the decline in distance covered and %HRmax observed during the second half of match play.
Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test Performance in Subelite Gaelic Football Players From Under Thirteen to Senior Age Groups.
(Roe and Malone, 2016)
Given the increasing attention on long-term player development, investigations on age-related variation in Yo-Yo intermittent recovery test level 1 (Yo-YoIR1) performance may provide useful information in talent identification, program design, and player monitoring. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate Yo-YoIR1 performance across Gaelic football age groups. Male participants (355 players) were recruited from division one, Gaelic football teams. Participants were allocated to one of the 7 groups according to respective age groups from under 13 (U13), under 14, under 15 (U15), under 16 (U16), minor, under 21 (U21), to senior age groups. Total Yo-YoIR1 distance increased progressively from U13 (885 +/-347 m) to U16 (1,595 +/-380 m) equating to a rate of change of 180.2%. In comparison to U13, total distance at minor (1,206 +/-327 m) increased by 136.4%. Subsequent increases were observed in U21 (1,585 +/-445 m) and senior players (2,365 +/-489). Minimum (800-880 m) and maximum (2,240-2,280 m) total distances were comparable for U15, U16, and U21 players. Differences in total distance for all age groups were statistically significant when compared to U13 players. In comparison to U13 players, the magnitude of differences between age groups for total distance was deemed to be large. Similar trends were observed for maximum velocity and estimated VO2max. The evolution of Yo-YoIR1 performance in Gaelic football players from adolescents to adulthood highlights how maturation may influence sport-related running ability. Changes in Yo-YoIR1 performance should be closely monitored to optimize interventions for individuals transitioning across age groups.
The Integration of Internal and External Training Load Metrics in Hurling.
(Malone et al., 2016)
The current study aimed to assess the relationship between the hurling player's fitness profile and integrated training load metrics. Twenty-five hurling players performed treadmill testing for VO2max, the speed at blood lactate concentrations of 2 mmol/L-1 (vLT) and 4 mmol/L-1 (vOBLA) and the heart rate-blood lactate profile for calculation of individual training impulse (iTRIMP). The total distance, high speed distance and sprint distance covered were measured using GPS technology which allowed for the measurement of the external training load. The external training load was divided by the internal training load to form integration ratios. Pearson correlation analyses allowed for the assessment of the relationships between fitness measures and the ratios to performance during simulated match play. External measures of the training load alone showed limited correlations with fitness measures. Integrated training load ratios showed significant relationships with fitness measures in players. TD:iTRIMP was correlated with aerobic fitness measures VO2max and vOBLA. HSD:iTRIMP also correlated with aerobic markers for fitness vLT; vOBLA. Interestingly SD:iTRIMP also showed significant correlations with vLT. The current study showed that TL ratios can provide practitioners with a measure of fitness as external performance alone showed limited relationships with aerobic fitness measures.
Relationship Between Individualized Training Impulse and Aerobic Fitness Measures in Hurling Players Across a Training Period.
(Malone and Collins, 2016)
The current study examined the association between individual internal training load (individualized training impulse, iTRIMP) and aerobic fitness variables in male hurling players. Twenty hurling players performed treadmill testing for VO2max, running economy (RE), and the speed at blood lactate concentrations of 2 mmol/L (S2) and 4 mmol/L (S4) on separate occasions before and after an 8-week training period. The Yo-Yo intermittent recovery (Yo-YoIR1, Yo-YoIR2) test performance were also assessed before and after the training period. Individualized training impulse was calculated using the blood lactate and heart rate profile of each individual player and was further assessed for each training session across the intervention period (n = 990). The results showed that iTRIMP had large to very large association with the percentage improvements in VO2max, running economy, S2, S4, Yo-YoIR1, and Yo-YoIR performance. The study shows that iTRIMP is a means of quantifying training load in team sports and can be used to prescribe training for the maintenance or improvement of aerobic fitness during the competitive season with strong relationships seen between weekly iTRIMP measures and improvements in aerobic fitness measures.
Positional Match Running Performance in Elite Gaelic Football.
(Malone et al., 2016b)
There is currently limited information available on match running performance in Gaelic football. The objective of the current study was to report on the match running profile of elite male Gaelic football and assess positional running performance. In this observational study, 50 elite male Gaelic football players wore 4-Hz global positioning systems units across 30 competitive games with a total of 215 full game data sets collected. Activity was classed according to total distance, high-speed distance (17 km/h), sprint distance (22 km/h), mean velocity, peak velocity, and number of accelerations. The average match distance was 8,160 +/-1,482 m, reflective of a relative distance of 116 +/-21 m/min, with 1,731 +/-659 m covered at high speed, which is reflective of a relative high-speed distance of 25 +/-9 m/min. The observed sprint distance was 445 +/-169 m distributed across 44 sprint actions. The peak velocity was 30.3 +/-1.8 km/h with a mean velocity of 6.5 +/-1.2 km/h. Players completed 184 +/-40 accelerations, which represent 2.6 +/-0.5 accelerations per minute. There were significant differences between positional groups for both total running distance, high-speed running distance, and sprint distance, with midfielders covering more total and high-speed running distance, compared with other positions. There was a reduction in high-speed and sprint distance between the first and second half. Reductions in running performance were position dependent with the middle 3 positions experiencing the highest decrement in performance. The current study is the first to communicate a detailed description of match running performance during competitive elite Gaelic football match play.
Match-play demands of elite youth Gaelic football using global positioning system tracking.
(Reilly et al., 2015)
Global positioning systems (GPS) technology has made athlete-tracking a convenient and accepted technique to specify movement patterns and physical demands in sport. The purpose of this study was to examine positional demands of elite youth Gaelic football match-play using portable GPS technology to examine movement patterns and heart rates across match periods. Fifty-six elite youth male Gaelic footballers fitted with portable 4-Hz GPS units were observed during 6 competitive matches (60 minutes). Data provided from the GPS unit included total distance, high-intensity (>17 km/hr) distance, sprint (>22 km/hr) distance, and total number of sprints. Heart rate was monitored continuously throughout the games. Players covered a mean distance of 5732 +/-1047 m, and the mean intensity of match-play was 85% of the peak heart rate. There was a significant drop in the total distance covered in the second half (2783 +/-599 m) compared with the first half (2948 +/-580 m). In particular, there is a noticeable drop in the distance covered in the third quarter of the game (after half-time), which has implications for re-warming up at the end of the half-time interval. There was a highly significant difference in the distance traveled across the 5 positional groups with midfielders covering the greatest total distance (6740 +/-384 m). The significant differences found with respect to positional groups support the implementation of individual, position-specific strength and conditioning programs.
Normative data for the Functional Movement Screen in male Gaelic field sports.
(Fox et al., 2014)
The aim of this study was to determine normative values for the Functional Movement Screen (FMS) in Elite and Sub-Elite male Gaelic Football and Hurling players.The authors examined a cross sectional study of functional movement in Gaelic games at Elite and Sub-Elite level. Players were video recorded completing the Functional Movement Screen Tool and scored post-test. Comparisons were analysed using Mann-Whitney U tests.A total of 62 players were tested. This consisted of 41 Hurling, and 21 Gaelic Football players. 30 of these participants were deemed Elite and 32 were deemed Sub-Elite. The mean age of the sample was 22.15 +/-3.02 years.The FMS mean score for the sample was 15.56 +/-1.46. The Elite group (15.8 +/-1.58) scored higher than the Sub-Elite group (15.34 +/-1.31) but there was no significant difference between groups.This study provides normative reference values for Gaelic Players. Elite Gaelic Players perform no better than a young, active population in the FMS indicating a potential problem with the FMS as a measure.
Fitness profiling of elite level adolescent Gaelic football players.
(Cullen et al., 2013)
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the anthropometric characteristics and fitness levels of elite level under 18 (U-18) Gaelic football players to establish normative centile scores for selected fitness parameters and to compare the physical and fitness characteristics relative to each playing position. A total of 265 male U-18 Gaelic football players (age: 16.96 +/-0.7 years; height: 178.11 +/-6.27 cm; weight: 72.07 +/-8.68 kg) participated in the study. According to positional roles, players were categorized as 13 goalkeepers, 113 defenders, 30 midfielders, and 109 forwards. Height and weight were measured, and skinfolds were taken before participants sequentially performed a sit and reach test (S&R), countermovement jump (CMJ), standing long jump (SLJ), 5- and 20-m speed test, and the Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test Level 1 (YYIRT1). The percentage body fat was higher in goalkeepers than the other playing positions. Goalkeepers had a higher body mass index than defenders and forwards. Midfielders and goalkeepers were taller and heavier than defenders and forwards. The total distance covered in the YYIRT1 was significantly lower in goalkeepers than the other playing positions. There was no significant positional difference in the performance scores in the S&R test, CMJ, SLJ, and 5- and 20-m running speed. The study findings indicate minimal differences in the anthropometric and physiological characteristics between playing positions in elite youth level Gaelic football players. The norm-referenced percentile scores will enable conditioning coaches to benchmark elite performance and design training programs.
Fitness test profiles as determined by the Eurofit Test Battery in elite female Gaelic football players.
(Keane et al., 2010)
The present study entailed a cross-sectional comparison of performances in a motor test battery between elite female players and an age-matched reference group. The aim was to identify the fitness items that characterize top performers in the game. Altogether, 83 women aged 18-29 participated in the study and completed a series of tests consisting of 8 items in the Eurofit Test Battery. The profiles of the 2 groups were subjected to logistic regression analysis. Four of the test items contributed to group discrimination (endurance, flexibility, trunk strength, and limb speed). Based on percentage difference, the most prominent discriminator was the estimated VO2max. Grip strength and agility were also significantly superior in the Gaelic Football players, who had significantly lower body fat than the reference group. The use of the Eurofit Test battery in games players was confirmed as were the multifactorial requirements of fitness for women playing this sport. It was concluded that elite Gaelic Football at top level is characterized mainly by high aerobic fitness, but a holistic training program is needed to cover the multiple fitness requirements of the game. Practical applications include the use of this game for health-related purposes.
Plyometric training in Gaelic games: a case study on a county-level hurler.
A 10-week plyometrics-based intervention was carried out with a county-level hurler during preseason preparation. The intervention resulted in a number of physiological changes specific to hurling performance. Most notably, it enabled the athlete to complete repeated sprints with less decrement in performance compared with baseline scores.
A comparison of the physiological profiles of elite Gaelic footballers, hurlers, and soccer players.
The aim of this study was to evaluate and compare the mid-season physiological profiles of elite players.Physiological assessments were carried out on 29 inter-county Gaelic footballers, 30 inter-county hurlers, and 21 League of Ireland soccer players.Significant differences were reported for % body fat, aerobic capacity, flexibility , upper body strength, upper body strength endurance, abdominal endurance, and speed endurance, while there were no differences recorded for height, weight, or speed levels. A relatively heterogeneous body size is evident for all three sports. Soccer players had lower body fat levels, greater aerobic capacity, greater strength endurance, and greater flexibility compared to both Gaelic footballers and hurlers, possibly due to specific training and conditioning programmes or physical adaptation to match play The greater strength of both Gaelic footballers and hurlers and the superior speed endurance levels of Gaelic footballers also reflect the physical nature of the sports. Similar speed levels amongst all three sports reflect the importance of speed for performance.The various physiological attributes for Gaelic football, soccer, and hurling reflect the physical requirements for success and participation in each of these field games.
Physiological profile in relation to playing position of elite college Gaelic footballers.
(McIntyre and Hall, 2005)
The aim of this study was to examine the physiological profile, and its relation to playing position, of elite college Gaelic footballers.The subjects were 28 elite Gaelic footballers (12 backs, 12 forwards, and four midfielders) who won a major intervarsity tournament (Sigerson Cup) three times in succession.There was general similarity among the members of the team, probably the result of a typical, common training programme. The team means for stature (1.81m), body mass index (81.6) and percentage body fat (14.5%), power output by Wingate test (absolute power 912W or 10.72W/kg) and sit and reach test (22.3cm) displayed no significant differences when analysed according to playing position. However, midfielders did have significantly larger body mass than backs and greater maximal oxygen consumption and greater vertical jumping ability than backs and forwards. Midfielders also had greater absolute handgrip strength.The differences exhibited by midfielders despite identical training suggests that they stem from physiological adaptation to competition rather than training.
Anthropometric and fitness profiles of elite players in two football codes.
(Strudwick et al., 2002)
The aims of this study was to describe anthropometric and performance characteristics of elite players in two football codes and explore the differences between them.Subjects were 19 professional soccer players and 33 inter-county Gaelic football players.Measurements were made on members of a Premier League soccer team throughout their regular season, whilst the Gaelic footballers were members of the Mayo squad preparing for the 1999 All-Ireland championship.The variability in stature was significantly greater in the soccer players compared to the Gaelic footballers. Performances in the 10-m and 30-m sprints, and in vertical jump were superior in the soccer group compared to the Gaelic footballers.The intra-group variability on the anthropometric and performance measures of the soccer players is likely to be due to the specificity of positional roles. The combined groups could be described as lean and muscular with a reasonably high level of capacity in all areas of physical performance. Anaerobic characteristics of the professional soccer players were superior to those of Gaelic football players. It is concluded that anthropometric and performance assessment of elite footballers using mean values masks the heterogeneity evident within the football codes.
Science and Gaelic football: a review.
(Reilly and Doran, 2001)
This review focuses on Gaelic football and scientific reports of the characteristics of its players and the demands of the game. Anthropometric characteristics vary according to positional role, but top players display high muscularity and good all-round fitness at the peak of the competitive season. Match analysis indicates that exercise intensity is roughly equivalent to that for professional soccer. Average heart rates are approximately 160 beats.min-1 during competitive matches, and average oxygen consumption is about 72% of maximum. Metabolic fatigue in active muscles is unlikely. Conventional biomechanical and electromyographic techniques are useful in gaining insight into individual games skills. Inadequate attention has been given to injury prevention and to psychological aspects of the game. Although possessing unique characteristics, Gaelic football has many similarities with other football codes, especially Australian Rules football where the ball is played by both hands and feet and where tackling is permitted.
A study of the physical working capacity of Gaelic footballers and hurlers.
The possible contribution of endurance fitness to performance in the Gaelic games, football and hurling, has been investigated. Two groups of 15 players were compared. The first consisted of members of teams reaching interprovincial finals and the second were similar members of comparable but less successful teams. The measurements taken were: height and weight, skinfold thicknesses on the triceps, biceps, subscapular and suprailiac sites, and the physical working capacity at a heart rate of 170 beats per minute (PWC 170). The more successful players were found to be taller and heavier and to have a higher PWC 170. There was no difference in estimated percentage of fat. The difference in PWC 170 of the two groups remained after correction for the difference in body weight. A group of seven of the players who participated in two or more finals was studied longitudinally. In six of these subjects PWC 170 was higher at the time of these matches than before or after. These findings are discussed and it is suggested that endurance fitness is a factor contributing to performance in football and hurling.
Physical and fitness characteristics of successful Gaelic footballers.
Anthropometric and fitness observations were made on 32 members of a top level Gaelic football squad that reached the All Ireland final in the year in which these measurements were taken. The subjects were found to be large and well muscled with a mean somatotype of 2.6:5.6:3.1 (endomorphy:mesomorphy:ectomorphy). Body fat content of the whole squad averaged 15.0% but the most successful group of players averaged 12.4%. The body mass index (BMI) of the group was high and averaged 24.7 km.m-2. This group of Gaelic footballers was found to be taller and heavier than top level soccer players but smaller than Australian rules and American footballers. At 58.6 ml.min-1.kg-1 maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max) was higher than that reported for rugby players and American footballers and is probably similar to that of professional soccer players. Scores on three lung function tests: (1) forced vital capacity, (2) forced expiratory volume during 1 s, and (3) peak expiratory flow rate were between 112% and 115% of the values predicted from height and age. There were wide variations in flexibility among the members of the group, the best individuals being as flexible as elite track and field athletes while the worst were less flexible than untrained subjects. Vertical jump scores were high and averaged 503 mm. The fitness observations made on this group of elite Gaelic footballers showed that they were not only fitter but more homogeneously fit than rugby players and American footballers and their fitness was generally similar to that reported for professional soccer players.
The physiological demands of Gaelic football.
(Florida-James and Reilly, 1995)
Match-day demands of Gaelic football and fitness profiles were assessed at club competitive level. 11 English Gaelic football club championship players were assessed for anthropometry, leg strength and time to exhaustion on a treadmill run. A similar test battery was administered to a reference group of 12 University competitive soccer players. Heart rate was recorded during match-play using radio telemetry and blood lactate concentrations were determined at half-time and after full-time. No differences were observed between the Gaelic and soccer players in: body mass; height; leg to trunk ratio; adiposity; mean somatotype; leg strength measures; and performance on the treadmill. The percentage muscle mass values were lower for the Gaelic players compared to the soccer players. For the Gaelic and soccer players, respectively, mean heart rate recorded during each half of match-play were and, whilst blood lactates measured at the end of each half, were 4.3 +/-1 and 3.4 +/-1.6 mmol/l & 4.4 +/-1.2 and 4.5 +/-2.1 mmol/l. Gaelic footballers at English club championship level seem to exhibit similar fitness profiles, and are subject to broadly similar physiological demands as University-level competitive soccer players.