Measuring ice hockey skills in a repeated measures testing context: The effects of fatigue on skating efficiency, passing, agility, and shooting
Authors: Gaetan Martini, M.Sc., JF Brunelle, M.Sc., François Trudeau, Ph.D., & Jean Lemoyne PhD
Jean Lemoyne, Ph.D.
Department of Human Kinetics [Sciences de l’activité physique]
Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières
3351, des Forges, Trois-Rivières (Québec) Canada G9A 5H7
Gaetan Martini is a graduate student (master degree in exercise) and works in the field of fitness testing and sport training. Jean Lemoyne is professor at the Department of Human Kinetics at Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (Canada), and work in the domain of quantitative research in sport sciences. JF Brunelle is a graduate student and physical preparation specialist who work with the UQTR varsity teams. François Trudeau is a professor at UQTR (Human Kinetics), and a certified exercise physiologist.
Measuring ice hockey skills in a repeated measures testing context: The effects of fatigue on skating efficiency, passing, agility and shooting
Purpose: Ice hockey testing traditionally consists of isolated, skills-specific tests that are performed in less realistic contexts. Global testing approaches should offer an improved assessment of players’ skills and performance fluctuations during a hockey game. This study aims to measure ice hockey players’ skills and analyze their fluctuations via a protocol that reproduces the demands of a hockey game. Methods: Fifty-nine hockey players (14.6 ± 2.1 years) participated in the study. The protocol involved four repeated measures assessing five components: speed, acceleration, passing, agility, and shooting, with supervised, 2-minute rest periods. Descriptive statistics and repeated measures ANOVAs were used to analyze performance fluctuations. Results: Findings revealed that the best scores were obtained at the first and second repetitions. A significant decline in performance was observed for speed, acceleration, and shooting (p < .01). Inversely, participants seemed to adapt to puck control and passing stations, as they became faster without decreasing skating abilities. Perceived exertion and recovery time increased during the protocol. Conclusions: In summary, performance was affected by fatigue starting the third repetition of the testing protocol, and should be considered when assessing players’ skills. This study demonstrated the feasibility of an on-ice testing protocol to evaluate players in a hockey-specific context. Applications in sport: This study demonstrated the feasibility of an “on-ice” testing protocol that represents a more realistic context for measuring players’ abilities. Such protocols allow coaches to evaluate the effects of fatigue on multiple determinants associated with performance in ice hockey.