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The relationship between the 'play the ball' time, post-ruck action and the occurrence of perturbations in professional rugby league football

Eaves, Simon J. and Evers, Adam L. (2007) The relationship between the 'play the ball' time, post-ruck action and the occurrence of perturbations in professional rugby league football. International journal of performance analysis in sport, 7 (3). pp. 18-25. ISSN 1474-8185

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to identify if a relationship exists between types of perturbation, post-ruck action and 'play the ball' time in professional rugby league football. Six full games were notated post-event using a commercially available computerized system. Initial intra-observer reliability analysis established that the level of observer agreement exceeded 97% for all variables under examination. Data analysis revealed a significant (F2, 35 = 3.62, P < 0.02) Post-Ruck Action main effect for mean ruck time. Post-hoc analysis of this effect indicated the difference was significant (P < 0.005) between ruck times preceding a hit up (4.27 s) and ruck times preceding a dummy run (3.31 s). A significant Post-Ruck Action (F2, 36 = 15.27, P < 0.0005) main effect was identified for perturbation percentage. Post-hoc analyses of this effect indicted that the percentage of perturbations created during pass play (32.7%) was significantly higher (P < 0.001) than from hit ups (14.5%) and from dummy runs (9.7%). It was concluded that both the speed of the 'play the ball' and the position of attack relative to the initial ruck position are factors associated with creating perturbations in play in professional rugby league football.

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