Purpose: The current study aimed to investigate the ball-in-play (BIP) and ball-out-of-play (BOP) differences between U17, U21 and senior hurling matches. Methods: Video recordings of matches (n = 36) were coded and analysed for BIP and BOP. Time when the ball was continuously in-play was considered BIP, whereas any stoppages were considered BOP. Results: The total and mean BIP cycle duration showed no difference between levels. The number of BIP cycles were higher in senior matches compared to U17 (ES = 1.80: large) and U21 (ES = 1.27: large). U17 matches had a lower frequency of BIP cycles between 16 and 30 s (ES = − 1.75: large) compared to senior. Total BOP duration was longer in senior (45:30 ± 4:13 min) matches compared to U17 (36:31 ± 2:30 min, ES = 2.59: very large) and U21 (36:48 ± 2:53 min, ES = 2.40: very large). Senior matches had a longer BOP duration and greater number of BOP cycles than U17 (ES = 0.17: trivial, ES = 2.20: very large, respectively) and U21 (ES = 0.17: trivial, ES = 0.99: moderate, respectively). U17 matches had a lower frequency of BOP cycles > 60 s (ES = − 1.33: large) compared to senior. Conclusion: Although there was a difference in the total match duration, U17 and U21 matches have similar BIP time as seniors, suggesting that U17 and U21 players should be conditioned to withstand the elite senior BIP duration. In training practice, high-intensity short-duration games are suggested for repeating the duration demands of competition.
- Ball-in-play–ball-out-of-play ratio
- Physical demands
- Team sport
- Time–motion analysis
- Worst case scenario
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine