Adequate Interval between Matches in Elite Female Soccer Players

Trevor C. Chen*, Tai Ying Chou, Kazunori Nosaka

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The present study compared four different intervals between three simulated soccer matches for changes in muscle damage and performance parameters. Thirteen well-trained female university soccer players performed three bouts of 90-min Loughborough Intermittent Shuttle Test (LIST) with four different intervals between bouts; one (1d), two (2d), three (3d) and four days (4d), with >12-weeks between conditions in a counterbalanced order. Heart rate, blood lactate, rating of perceived exertion and distance covered in each LIST were measured. Changes in several muscle damage markers (e.g., maximal voluntary isometric torque of the knee extensors: MVC-KE, muscle soreness), performance parameters (e.g., Yo-Yo intermittent recovery test level 1: Yo-Yo IR1), and blood measures (e.g., osmolality, high sensitivity cardiac tro-ponin T) before the first LIST, 1 h after each LIST, and one to five days after the third LIST were compared among the conditions. The total distance covered during the first two LISTs was not different among the conditions, but that during the third LIST was shorter (P < 0.05) for the 1d (9,416 ± 885 m) and 2d conditions (9,737 ± 246 m) than the 3d (10,052 ± 490 m) and 4d conditions (10,432 ± 538 m). Changes in all measures were smaller (P < 0.05) in the 3d and 4d conditions (e.g., the decrease in MVC-KE at one day after the third LIST was-13 ± 4% and-10 ± 3%, respectively) when compared with the 1d and 2d conditions (-20 ± 7%,-18 ± 5%). Performance parameters showed smaller (P < 0.05) changes in the 4d (e.g., the decrease in Yo-Yo IR1 at one day after the third LIST was-9 ± 3%) and 3d (-13 ± 6%) conditions when compared with the 1d (-19 ± 4%) and 2d (-20 ± 8%) conditions. These results suggest that muscle damage and fatigue accumulate when soccer matches are performed three consecutive days or every other day, but if more than three days are inserted between matches, this could be minimized.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)614-625
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Sports Science and Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Dec


  • 30-m dash
  • 90-minute Loughborough intermittent shuttle test
  • Yo-Yo intermittent recovery test level 1
  • counter movement jump
  • muscle damage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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