Collective team behaviour of Australian Rules football during phases of match play

Jeremy P. Alexander, Bartholomew Spencer, Jocelyn K. Mara, Sam Robertson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Using the spatiotemporal characteristics of players, the primary aim of this study was to determine whether differences in collective team behaviour exist in Australian Rules football during different phases of match play. The secondary aim was to determine the extent to which collective team behaviour differed between competing teams and match half. Data was collected via 10 Hz global positioning system devices from a professional club during a 2 × 20 min, 15-v-15-match simulation drill. Five spatiotemporal variables from each team (x centroid, y centroid, length, width, and surface area) were collected and analysed during offensive, defensive, and contested phases. A multivariate analysis of variance comparing phase of match play (offensive, defensive, contested), Team (A & B), and Half (1 & 2) revealed that x-axis centroid and y-axis centroid showed considerable variation during all phases of match play. Length, width, and surface area were typically greater during the offensive phase comparative to defensive and contested phases. Clear differences were observed between teams with large differences recorded for length, width, and surface area during all phases of match play. Spatiotemporal variables that describe collective team behaviour may be used to understand team tactics and styles of play.;
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-243
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019


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