Acute responses to 4 vs. 4 small-sided games in football players

  • Pascual Bujalance-Moreno Universidad de Jaen, Spain
  • Pedro Angel Latorre-Román
  • Rodrigo Ramírez-Campillo
  • Felipe Garcia-Pinillos Department of Physical Education, Sport and Recreation. Universidad de La Frontera (Temuco, Chile)


The aim of this study was to examine the acute physiological responses, physical fitness parameters and time-motion characteristics associated with a 4-a-side small-sided game in amateur level players.Sixteen male football players (age, 23.9±4.2 years) completed one 4-a-side small-sided game with the aim of maintain ball possession as long as possible, with. The participants were monitored for external load and physiological parameters, and tested before and after for physical fitness assessment. A Student’s paired t-test was conducted to determine the differences in physical fitness assessment. A repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA), with Bonferroni post-hoc test, was used to determine the dynamic of physiological parameters, RPE and time-motion characteristics.A significant difference was found in 20 m sprint time between before and after the SSG (Δ=+1.3%). No significant differences were found between bouts or recovery periods for THb and SmO2, nor HR-related variables (ES=0.005-0.383). Compared to RPE in bout 1, greater values were observed in bouts 2, 3, and 4 (Δ=+5.3%,P=0.008, ES=0.40; Δ=+9.6%,P=0.002, ES=0.98; Δ=+15.1%,P=0.000, ES=1.29; respectively). No important differences were found between bouts for time-motion characteristics. This 4-a-side SSG format implies that RPE responses increased throughout bout periods and the rest of physiological parameters were maintained over the entire protocol. Due to possible fatigue accumulation, the physical fitness performance was impaired (sprint) and the external load was reduced as the work periods occurred.

Author Biography

Rodrigo Ramírez-Campillo

Department of Physical Activity Sciences, Research Nucleus in Health, Physical Activity and Sport, Laboratory of Measurements and Assessment in Sport. Universidad de Los Lagos (Osorno, Chile).