The effect of law changes on the match profile of international and national rugby union between 2007 and 2013

Kraak, Wilbur Julio (2015-12)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Rugby union has changed continually since the inception of professionalism in 1995. For example, to increase the appeal, continuity and safety of the game several law changes were introduced after the 2007 Rugby World Cup. The primary aim of this study was to determine the impact of these law changes on selected performance indicators on the match profile of international rugby union between 2007 and 2013 and national rugby union between 2008 and 2013. To this end, three specific objectives were set. The first was to compare the scoring profile of international rugby between 2007 and 2013. The second was to compare the changes in the general match profile of international rugby and the third was to compare the scoring and general match profile of Super Rugby between 2008 and 2013. The study followed a mixed-method study design for data collection. A total of 248 international and 646 national matches were recorded by the Fika Coding Centre and analyzed by the researcher using the Fairplay video analysis software package. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 30 international- and national-level coaches, referees, specialist coaches and players.The year 2007 was used as baseline for international matches and 2008 for national matches in order to compare and track the changes over the different years. Results indicate that law changes over the years have indeed had an influence on the profile of international and national rugby. The scoring profile of international rugby revealed a significant increase in the number of penalty kicks (p<0.01). With regard to the origin of tries, there was a decrease in the number of tries from structured play (47 to 43%) and an increase from turnover possession (27 to 43%). The duration of the international matches increased owing to the increase in the number of stoppages, mainly as a result of greater use being made of the Television Match Official (TMO), substitutions and on-field concussion tests. There was a small practical significant increase in total match time (d=0.34), and a moderate increase in ball-in-play time (d=0.87). Results of the study show that the profile of international rugby has changed to a more continuous game dynamic with a moderate practical significant increase in the number of passes (d=0.73), large ball carries (d=1.22) and tackle breaks (d=2.03), and a very large increase in line breaks (d=3.00), which has led to a moderate increase in the number of tackles (d=0.65). The number of rucks (d=0.86), mauls (d=0.90) and scrums (d=1.03), scrum resets (d=0.74) and line-outs (d=0.61) showed a moderate practical significant decrease. Both penalty kicks (d=0.98) and free kicks (d=1.22) decreased significantly. The scoring profile of national rugby indicated fewer tries (p<0.01), conversion kicks (p<0.01) and significantly more penalty kicks (p<0.01). The duration of national matches decreased due to fewer stoppages, mainly thanks to the improved skill level of the players. There was a small practical significant decrease in total match time (d=0.41). The ball-in-play time (d=0.91) showed a moderate practical significant decrease. Results of the study show that the profile of national rugby has changed to a game with more contact situations, with a small practical significant increase in the number of passes (d=0.43), a large practical significant increase in the number of ball carries (d=1.34), tackle breaks (d=1.59) and line breaks (d=2.40), and has led to a moderate practical significant increase in the number of tackles (d=0.63). A large practical significant decrease in the number of rucks (d=1.73) and scrum resets (d=1.36) was found. A moderate practical significant increase in penalty kicks (d=2.04) and a moderate practical significant decrease in free kicks (d=4.53) between 2008 and 2013 were observed. By analyzing the scoring and match profile of international and national rugby, coaches and trainers could be better informed in order to develop training programmes that are specific to the technical, tactical and physical demands of modern rugby. Based on the findings of this study, coaches and trainers should develop individual and team performance profiles to better understand the demands experienced by the players and teams. This type of information could assist with implementing more specific periodization models, strategic planning, drill design, recovery strategies and planning of training loads.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Met die koms van professionalisme in rugby het die spel sedert 1995 vinnig en aanhoudend verander. Een van hierdie veranderinge was verskeie reëlveranderings wat ná die 2007 Rugby Wêreldbekertoernooi ingestel is om die aantreklikheid, kontinuïteit en veiligheid van die spel te verhoog. Die primêre doel van hierdie studie was om die impak van reëlveranderinge op die wedstrydprofiel van internasionale rugby tussen 2007 en 2013 en nasionale rugby tussen tussen 2008 en 2013 te bepaal. Vir hierdie doel is drie doelwitte gestel. Die eerste was om die profiel van puntetoekenning van internasionale rugby tussen 2007 en 2013 te vergelyk. Die tweede was om die veranderinge in die algemene wedstrydprofiel van internasionale rugby te vergelyk en die derde was om die puntetoekenning en die algemene wedstrydprofiel van Super Rugby tussen 2008 en 2013 te vergelyk. Die huidige studie het ʼn studie-ontwerp met gemengde metodes vir data-insameling gebruik. Altesaam 248 internasionale en 646 nasionale wedstryde is deur die Fika Coding Centre opgeneem en deur die navorser met behulp van die Fairplay video-ontledingsprogrammatuur ontleed. Die jaar 2007 is as basislyn vir internasionale en 2008 vir nasionale wedstryde gebruik om veranderinge oor die verskillende jare te vergelyk. Die resultate toon dat reëlveranderinge oor die jare heen ʼn beduidende impak op die profiel van internasionale en nasionale rugby gehad het. Die tellingprofiel van internasionale rugby het ʼn afname getoon in die aantal drieë gedruk (p=0.07). Die oorsprong van die drieë toon dat daar ʼn afname in drieë vanuit gestruktureerde spel (47 tot 43%) en ʼn toename vanaf omgekeerde balbesit (27 tot 43%) was. Die tydsduur van die internasionale wedstryde het toegeneem as gevolg van die toename in die aantal spelonderbrekings, hoofsaaklik as gevolg van die groter impak van die televisiewedstrydskeidsregter (TWS), plaasvervangers en konkussietoetse wat op die veld uitgevoer word. Dit kom duidelik na vore in die beduidende toename in totale wedstrydtyd (d=0.34) en bal-in-spel-tyd (d=87). Die resultate van die huidige studie toon dat die profiel van internasionale rugby meer na ʼn aaneenlopende speldinamika verander het met ʼn toename in die aantal bal-draers (d=1.22), aangeë (d=0.73), laagvatbreuke (d=2.03) en lynbreuke (d=3.00), en aanleiding gegee het tot ʼn toename in die aantal laagvatte (d=0.65). Die resultate van die huidige studie toon dat die profiel van internasionale rugby na ʼn meer aaneenlopende speldinamika verander het, met ʼn toename in die aantal baldraers. ʼn Afname in die aantal losskrums (d=0.86), losgemale (d=0.90) en skrums (d=1.03), skrumhervatte (d=0.74) en lynstane (d=0.61) is aangetoon. ʼn Afname in straf- (d=0.98) én vryskoppe (d=1.22) is tussen 2007 en 2013 waargeneem. Die tellingprofiel van nasionale rugby het ʼn afname in die aantal drieë (p<0.01) en doelskoppe (p<0.01) en ʼn beduidende toename in die aantal strafskoppe (p<0.01) getoon. Die tydsduur van die nasionale wedstryde het as gevolg van die afname in die aantal onderbrekings verminder, hoofsaaklik danksy minder foute deur spelers en beter vaardighede. Dit kom duidelik na vore in die beduidende afname in totale wedstrydtyd (d=0.41). Die bal-in-spel-tyd (d=0.91) toon ʼn matige afname. Die resultate van die huidige studie toon dat die profiel van nasionale rugby na ʼn meer ononderbroke speldinamika verander het, met ʼn toename in die aantal baldraers (d=1.34), aangeë (d=0.43), laagvatbreuke (d=1.59) en lynbreuke (d=2.40) en tot ʼn toename in die aantal duikslae (d=0.63) aanleiding gegee het. ‘n Beduidende afname in die aantal losskrums (d=1.73) en skrumhervatte (d=1.36) het voorgekom. ʼn Matige toename in strafskoppe (d=2.04) en ʼn matige afnamein vryskoppe (d=4.53) is tussen 2008 en 2013 waargeneem. Deur die tellings en wedstrydprofiel van internasionale en nasionale rugby te ontleed, soos wat met hierdie proefskrif gedoen word, kan afrigters en mede-afrigters beter ingelig wees om inoefeningsprogramme te ontwikkel wat spesifiek gerig is op die tegniese, taktiese en fisieke vereistes van moderne rugby. Gegrond op die resultate van hierdie studie moet afrigters en mede-afrigters individuele en spanprestasieprofiele ontwikkel om die eise wat deur die spelers en die span ervaar word, beter te verstaan. Dit sal hulle in staat stel om meer spesifieke strategiese periodisasiemodelle, strategiese beplanning, oefeningontwerp, herstelstrategieë en die beplanning van inoefeningsladings te implementeer.

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