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Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test Performance in Subelite Gaelic Football Players From Under Thirteen to Senior Age Groups

Roe, Mark; Malone, Shane

Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: November 2016 - Volume 30 - Issue 11 - p 3187–3193
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000001417
Original Research

Roe, M and Malone, S. Yo-Yo intermittent recovery test performance in subelite Gaelic football players from under thirteen to senior age groups. J Strength Cond Res 30 (11): 3187–3193, 2016—Gaelic football is indigenous to Ireland and has similar locomotion profiles to soccer and Australian Football. 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 (n = 355) 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 (m) 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 (m) for all age groups were statistically significant when compared to U13 players (p < 0.002). In comparison to U13 players, the magnitude of differences between age groups for total distance was deemed to be large (effect size > 0.8). Similar trends were observed for maximum velocity and estimated V[Combining Dot Above]O2max. 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.

1Health Sciences Centre, School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science, University College Dublin, Belfield, Ireland;

2Gaelic Sports Research Centre, Department of Science, Institute of Technology Tallaght, Tallaght, Ireland; and

3Tom Reilly Building, Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, Henry Cotton Campus, Liverpool, United Kingdom

Address correspondence to Mark Roe,

Copyright © 2016 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.