Match-lay demands of Gaelic football and fitness profiles were assessed at club competitive level. English Gaelic football club championship players (n = 11) were assessed for anthropometry, leg strength and time to exhaustion on a treadmill run. A similar test battery was administered to a reference group of University competitive soccer players (n = 12). Heart rate was recorded during match-play using radio telemetry and blood lactate concentrations were determined at half-time and after full-time. No differences (p > 0.05) were observed between the Gaelic and soccer players in: body mass (70.7 +/- 10.3 vs 76.6 +/- 10.3 kg); height (176 +/- 5.9 vs 177.7 +/- 6.4 cm); leg to trunk ratio (0.53 +/- 0.01 vs 0.54 +/- 0.03); adiposity (12.2 +/- 2.1 vs 13.5 +/- 3.2% body fat); mean somatotype (2.8 - 4.3-2.0 vs 2.4-4.2-2.4); leg strength measures; and performance on the treadmill. The percentage muscle mass values were lower for the Gaelic players compared to the soccer players (41.9 +/- 5.4 vs 47.3 +/- 5.2%; p > 0.005). For the Gaelic and soccer players, respectively, mean heart rate recorded during each half of match-play were (157 +/- 10 and 158 +/- 12 beats/min) and (164 +/- 10 and 157 +/- 11 beats/min), whilst blood lactates measured at the end of each half, were (4.3 +/- 1 and 3.4 +/- 1.6 mmol/l) and (4.4 +/- 1.2 and 4.5 +/- 2.1 mmol/l). Gaelic footballers at English club championship level seem to exhibit similar fitness profiles, and are subject to broadly similar physiological demands as University-level competitive soccer players.
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