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Positional Anthropometric and Performance Profile of Elite Gaelic Football Players

Shovlin, Aidan1; Roe, Mark1; Malone, Shane1,2; Collins, Kieran1

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: August 2018 - Volume 32 - Issue 8 - p 2356–2362
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000002071
Original Research

Shovlin, A, Roe, M, Malone, S, and Collins, K. Positional anthropometric and performance profile of elite gaelic football players. J Strength Cond Res 32(8): 2356–2362, 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 [CMJ] height, 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 (p = 0.001), midfielders (p = 0.035), and half forwards (p = 0.021). Full forwards had significantly greater SJ (p = 0.036) and CMJ (p = 0.013) 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 (p = 0.00). 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.

1Gaelic Sports Research Center, Institute of Technology Tallaght, Tallaght, Ireland; and

2Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, United Kingdom

Address correspondence to Aidan Shovlin,

Copyright © 2018 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.