An investigation into the specificity of the Giessener soccer fitness test
Asembo, John Musee
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The current trend in Sports Science is to develop sport specific fitness tests which can be used to monitor the conditioning and training regimen in competitive sports. The purpose is to avoid over training which is associated with pathophysiological effects that deter performance. The present study investigated whether the Giessener Soccer Fitness Test is specific to the game of Soccer. Three teams' performance (Hockey, Rugby and Soccer) were compared. The Hockey team (n=25; age 24.48 ± 4.4. years; weight 69.2± 7.3Kg; and height. 173.8 ± 6.3cm) participated in the Kenya Hockey National League the Rugby team (n=30; age 21.96 ± 3.7 years; weight 73.33± 3.7Kg; and height 175.43± 5.17cm) took part in Kenya Cup Rugby League; while the Soccer team (age 23.88± 4.5 years; weight 66.1± 5.3Kg; height 172.9± 5.6cm) played in the Kenya Amateur Football National League. The three teams were randomly sampled. All the players were tested once during the mid season of their respective leagues on the Giessener Soccer Fitness Test instrument as described by Kruemmelbein et al.(1989(. The dependent variables measured were the resting heart rate, exercise heart rate, recovery heart rate (monitored) by auscultation using a stethoscope) and time (min) taken to perform the test. A one way analysis of variancea was used to determine whether the dependent variables varied significantly across the independent variable (type of sport); The Scheffes' test was applied where necessary while a paired t-test was applied to compare the results of this study with those of Kruemmelbein et al.(ebd,) The results showed no significant difference in the anthropometrical measures of age and height of the subject between the teams (p>0.05). However, a weak significant difference was established in the weight of the subjects between Soccer and Rugby as well as Hockey and Rugby teams (p>0.05).As pertains to the exercise heart rate, a strong significant difference was revealed in the resting heart rate between Soccer and Hockey groups (p<0.01), but no significant difference was established between Soccer and Rugby teams (p>0.05). For circuits one and town, no significant difference in exercise heart rate was revealed (p>0.05) between the teams. At circuits three, four, five, six, and average heart rate, a very strong significant difference was found between Soccer and each of Rugby and Hokey teams (p<0.001) but no significant difference was established between Rugby and Hockey for same circuits (p0.05). There was no significant difference between the groups in the time taken to perform the test (p>0.05). As regards the recovery heart rate and recovery pulse sum a very strong significant difference was established between Soccer and each of Rugby and Hockey (p<0.001), but no significant difference between Rugby and Hockey (p>0.05). The finding of this study suggest that the Giessener Soccer Fitness Test appears to be a specific test to the game of Soccer. However, more research ought to do to establish its diagnostic usefulness in soccer.