Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



high-speed running; acceleration; metabolic load; football; sport



This is the first study to report the whole match, ball-in-play (BiP), ball-out-of-play (BoP), and Max BiP (worst case scenario phases of play) demands of professional soccer players competing in the English Championship. Effective playing time per soccer game is typically <60 min. When the ball is out of play, players spend time repositioning themselves, which is likely less physically demanding. Consequently, reporting whole match demands may under-report the physical requirements of soccer players. Twenty professional soccer players, categorized by position (defenders, midfielders, and forwards), participated in this study. A repeated measures design was used to collect Global Positioning System (GPS) data over eight professional soccer matches in the English Championship. Data were divided into whole match and BiP data, and BiP data were further sub-divided into different time points (30–60 s, 60–90 s, and >90 s), providing peak match demands. Whole match demands recorded were compared to BiP and Max BiP, with BiP data excluding all match stoppages, providing a more precise analysis of match demands. Whole match metrics were significantly lower than BiP metrics (p < 0.05), and Max BiP for 30–60 s was significantly higher than periods between 60–90 s and >90 s. No significant differences were found between positions. BiP analysis allows for a more accurate representation of the game and physical demands imposed on professional soccer players. Through having a clearer understanding of maximum game demands in professional soccer, practitioners can design more specific training methods to better prepare players for worst case scenario passages of play.

Source Publication


Volume Number


Issue Number