Latest Articles

Evaluating the Impact of Concentrated Match Scheduling in College Volleyball during the COVID-19 Pandemic

October 8th, 2021|Sports Management|

Authors:  Mark Mitchell, Yoav Wachsman, and Monica Fine

Corresponding Author:
Mark Mitchell, DBA
Professor of Marketing
Associate Dean, Wall College of Business
NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR)
Coastal Carolina University
P. O. Box 261954
Conway, SC  29528
mmitchel@coastal.edu
(843) 349-2392

Mark Mitchell, DBA is Professor of Marketing at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, SC.

Yoav Wachsman, PhD is Professor of Economics at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, SC.

Monica Fine, PhD is Professor of Marketing at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, SC.

Evaluating the Impact of Concentrated Match Scheduling in College Volleyball during the COVID-19 Pandemic

ABSTRACT

Athletic conferences worked to lower the cost of delivering athletic programs while operating during the COVID-19 global pandemic. One strategy was the use of concentrated schedules for competitions. For example, the Sun Belt Conference focused on divisional play and a concentrated schedule for women’s volleyball for the 2020 season. Schools played three matches in a two-day period against the same team. This practice lowered travel costs and isolated player contact in the event of needed contact tracing as part of player safety protocols. This study evaluates the impact of this scheduling format on player performance and the overall quality of competition. Gathering data from the box scores from all Sun Belt Conference volleyball matches, the impact of player fatigue (daily and cumulative) is not present in the team statistics. Player performance and the overall quality of team play did not decline, even when playing three matches in a two-day period. Conference personnel and university athletic administrators may take comfort that their efforts to lower costs and ensure player safety during a global pandemic did not affect player performance and the overall quality of competition. It remains to be seen if this new scheduling approach will be used in the post-COVID period in women’s volleyball and possibly expanded to other sports. The need to control/lower operating costs will not disappear. This constraint may lead to the adoption of new conference scheduling formats in the future.

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The Impact and Implications of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Design of a Laboratory-Based Coaching Science Experimental Study: A Research Report

October 1st, 2021|Sports Health & Fitness|

Authors: Sam Jermyn, Cian O’ Neill, and Edward K. Coughlan

1 Department of Sport, Leisure & Childhood Studies, Munster Technological University, Cork Campus, Cork, Ireland

Corresponding Author:
Sam Jermyn
Department of Sport, Leisure & Childhood Studies
Munster Technological University, Cork Campus, Cork, Ireland
E: sam.jermyn@mycit.ie
T: +353 86 3409 505

Author Bios:
Sam Jermyn is a PhD candidate in the Department of Sport, Leisure & Childhood Studies at Munster Technological University, Cork, Ireland. His area of research focuses on investigating the impact of weighted implement training on the skill acquisition processes of place-kicking in sport. 

Dr. Cian O’Neill is Head of the Department of Sport, Leisure & Childhood Studies at Munster Technological University, Cork, Ireland. His areas of research include coaching science, sports performance analysis, human performance evaluation and the broad sports science domain.

Dr. Edward K. Coughlan is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sport, Leisure & Childhood Studies at Munster Technological University, Cork, Ireland. His areas of research include skill acquisition, practice-transfer, deliberate practice, sport science and coaching science.

The Impact and Implications of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Design of a Laboratory-Based Coaching Science Experimental Study: A Research Report

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented global issue, posing a great risk and challenge to all facets of sport. Such spontaneous societal restrictions and considerations are posing immense challenges to all, including those conducting laboratory-based coaching science experimental studies. This research report details the necessary amendments applied to a study that was designed prior to the onset of the pandemic. The study, entitled ‘The Acute Effects of Selected Time Intervals Following Weighted Football Place-Kicks on Ball Velocity of a Standard Gaelic Football Place-Kick’, was designed to be conducted in a human performance laboratory. However, due to the pandemic, a multitude of necessary amendments to the experimental set-up and associated procedures were required following a risk assessment of the original experimental design in respect of local, national and international COVID-19 health and safety guidelines. Amendments included remote participant recruitment and the creation of a COVID-19 health screen form. The participant information sheet was updated to enhance understanding of the health and safety requirements, with the number of participants permitted to attend testing sessions reduced to ensure maintenance of social distancing regulations. Data storage procedures were also updated and additional procedures were implemented to ensure safe arrival and exit of participants to and from the testing laboratory. A post-testing session protocol was developed to ensure laboratory sanitization. The purpose of this report is to (i) detail these procedural and methodological amendments that were applied to the original experimental design, and (ii) provide an overview of the implications of these changes as they pertain to the experimental procedure for the duration of data collection. Ultimately, the aim of this report is to provide researchers conducting laboratory-based coaching science studies with considerations pertaining to experimental design that may be impacted by COVID-19 and future pandemics.

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On the Development and Application of an Expected Goals Model for Lacrosse

September 17th, 2021|Research, Sports Management|

Authors: Bret R. Myers, Ph.D.1, Michael Burns2, Brian Q. Coughlin3, Edward Bolte4

1Department of Management and Operations, Villanova University, Villanova, PA, USA
2Villanova School of Business, Villanova University, Villanova, PA, USA
3Department of Athletics, Villanova University, Villanova PA, PA, USA
4Department of Athletics, Villanova University, Villanova PA, PA, USA

Corresponding Author:
Bret R. Myers, Ph.D.
800 E Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085
bret.myers@villanova.edu
(804) 357-5876

Bret R. Myers, Ph.D. is a Professor of Practice in the Department of Management and Operations in the Villanova School of Business. His research interests focus on sports analytics, specifically, in the areas of team evaluation and managerial decision-making. He is also an Analytics Consultant for the Columbus Soccer Club of Major League Soccer

Michael Burns is an MBA Candidate and Graduate Research Fellow at Villanova School of Business.  Michael is also the Director of Operations for the Men’s Soccer team at Villanova University.   

Brian Q. Coughlin is the Director of Men’s Lacrosse Operations at Villanova and also has both a BBA and MBA from Villanova School of Business. Brian is also a Data Analyst at goPuff.  

Edward Bolte is a student at Villanova University and student manager on the Lacrosse team. Edward is majoring in Civil Engineering

On the Development and Application of an Expected Goals Model for Lacrosse

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study is to develop and apply an Expected Goals metric in lacrosse for team evaluation. Expected Goals is a metric that is used to represent the likelihood of a shot being a goal. The metric has gained traction in both soccer and hockey and has proven to add information and value in both team and player evaluations in both sports respectively. Like in soccer and hockey, the Expected Goals model for lacrosse in this paper is developed using logistic regression.  Specifically, two metrics are created through this technique: 1) The standard Expected Goals model (xG) based on characteristics of the scoring opportunity before the shot is taken and 2) Post-shot Expected Goals (xGOT) which is updated to reflect whether or not the shot is on target.

Results: In terms of development, the logistic regression models used for the development of the xG and xGOT models both yield high levels of significance for fit (p < 0.001). The xG and xGOT metrics have higher correlations to team winning percentage (0.65 and 0.75) than their counterpart statistics of shots and shots on target. In terms of application, teams in the sample that had more xG than their opponents won 73% of the time as opposed to winning only 65% of the time when they outshoot their opponents. Similarly, teams in the sample that had more xGOT than their opponents won 71% of the time as opposed to only 62% of the time when they have more shots on target than their opponents. The evidence in this study suggests that using Expected Goals as a measure of attacking performance adds both value and information that can be useful for team evaluation.

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The effects of an ocean surfing course intervention on spirituality and depression

September 10th, 2021|Research, Sports Health & Fitness|

Authors: Michael Amrhein1, Harald Barkhoff2, and Elaine M. Heiby3

1Independent Researcher
2Department of Kinesiology & Exercise Sciences, University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, Hilo, HI, USA
3Department of Psychology, The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Honolulu, HI, USA

Corresponding Author:

Harald Barkhoff, PhD
Dean College of Health Sciences and Human Services
California State University, Monterey Bay
100 Campus Center, Ocean Hall A, Rm. 101
Seaside, CA 93955

hbarkhoff@csumb.edu

(831) -582-5458

Michael Amrhein, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist in Maryland and Hawaiʻi, and an independent researcher who graduated from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa in 2016. His research interests focus on the intersection of sports psychology and spirituality, and he currently works full-time as a clinical practitioner in Ellicott City, Maryland.

Harald Barkhoff, Ph.D., is a tenured Professor and current Chair for the Department of Kinesiology & Exercise Sciences at University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo. His areas of research interest include the role of spirituality in sport and exercise, particularly of ocean sports in indigenous environments. 

Elaine M. Heiby, Ph.D., is a Professor Emerita of Psychology at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Her research areas include culturally sensitive psychological assessment, mood disorders, health and sports psychology, spirituality, and scope of practice issues.

The effects of an ocean surfing course intervention on spirituality and depression

ABSTRACT

Although there is very little research on the psychological aspects of ocean surfing, preliminary evidence suggests that engaging in this sport has mental health benefits (2, 12). The current study, using a pre-test post-test quasi-experimental design, aims to examine the effects of a surfing course intervention on the mental health indicators of spirituality and depression. Fifty-four participants (46 new surfers and 8 regular surfers) were recruited over two semesters from four sections of a one-credit surfing course at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo. Participants were asked to complete a pre-test assessment at the beginning of the course examining demographics, spirituality, and depression. Participants were also asked to complete a post-test assessment at the end of the course consisting of the same measures, coupled along with a scale of spiritual surfing experiences. New surfers demonstrated a significant increase in overall levels of spirituality from pre-test to post-test. Additionally, for the entire sample of both new and regular surfers, scores on the spiritual surfing experiences scale were positively and significantly correlated with overall levels of spirituality. No significant changes were observed from pre-test to post-test on measures of depression, possibly due to a restricted range of scores. The results suggest that participating in a surfing course may contribute to an individual’s development of overall spirituality. Limitations, future research directions, and applications for sport are discussed.

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American Football and COVID-19: reducing on-field exposures to respiratory particles

September 3rd, 2021|Research, Sports Health & Fitness|

Authors: Taylor N. Langon1, W. Cary Hill2, Mark B. Rogers1, Mike Goforth1, Robert I. MacCuspie2, Stefan M. Duma3, and Matthew S. Hull2,3

1Sports Medicine Department, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, USA
2NanoSafe, Inc., Blacksburg, VA, USA
3Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science (ICTAS), Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, USA

Corresponding Author:
Matthew S. Hull, PhD
325 Stanger Street, Kelly Hall Suite 410
Blacksburg VA, 24061
mahull@vt.edu
540-449-3388

Taylor N. Langon, MS, LAT, ATC is research associate and concussion research coordinator in the Department of Sports Medicine at Virginia Tech. Her primary responsibilities include coordination of concussion research for Virginia Tech Athletics under the NCAA-DoD CARE Consortium.

W. Cary Hill, PhD is currently vice president at NanoSafe, Inc. Cary’s areas of research interest include materials science and engineering, nano-enabled human health and safety technologies and testing strategies, and advanced material processing methods.

Mark B. Rogers, DO, CAQSM, FAAFP, FAOASM, is the chief medical officer at Virginia Tech and an associate professor in the Departments of Family Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine, Discipline of Sports Medicine at the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM). Mark oversees administration and delivery of care to Virginia Tech student athletes.

Mike Goforth, MS, LAT, ATC, is associate athletics director for sports medicine at Virginia Tech. Mike oversees the healthcare needs of all student-athletes and organizes all trainers and doctors while supervising all other healthcare-related services offered at Virginia Tech.

Robert I. MacCuspie, PhD, is director of regulatory and testing services at NanoSafe, Inc. Rob’s areas of research interest include nanotechnology and multifunctional materials, responsible commercialization of advanced technologies, and safe use of nano enabled products.

Stefan M. Duma, PhD, is Harry C. Wyatt Professor, Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics, and Director, Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science (ICTAS) at Virginia Tech. Stefan’s areas of research interest include injury and impact biomechanics, and innovative methods for measuring the safety of athletes, occupants, and consumers.

Matthew S. Hull, PhD, is research scientist, Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science (ICTAS), at Virginia Tech, and president/founder of NanoSafe, Inc. Matthew’s areas of research interest include applications and implications of converging technologies, environmental nanotechnology, and occupational health and safety.   

American Football and COVID-19: reducing on-field exposures to respiratory particles

ABSTRACT

American football poses unique challenges to protecting the health of athletes both on and off the field. While off-field activities likely pose the greatest risk of COVID-19 transmission among members of the same team, on-field activities may pose transmission risks from one team to another. The findings of this study suggest that, when used in well-ventilated outdoor environments, helmet modifications combining upper and lower visors may help reduce on-field respiratory transmission risks with relatively minimal effects on athletic performance. These findings may offer practical insights to team physicians and athletic trainers as they seek strategies to protect athletes against on-field transmission of COVID-19 in the weeks and months ahead.

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