Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine


Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2007) 06, 233 - 242
Research article
Analysis of the Distances Covered by First Division Brazilian Soccer Players Obtained with an Automatic Tracking Method
Ricardo M.L. Barros1,, Milton S. Misuta1, Rafael P. Menezes1, Pascual J. Figueroa2, Felipe A. Moura3, Sergio A. Cunha3, Ricardo Anido2, Neucimar J. Leite2

1 Laboratory of Instrumentation for Biomechanics, College of Physical Education, Campinas State University, Campinas, Brazil
2 Institute of Computing, Campinas State University, Campinas, Brazil
3 Laboratory of Biomechanical Analysis, Department of Physical Education, Paulista State University, Departamento de Educação Física, Universidade Estadual Paulista, Rio Claro, Brazil

Ricardo M.L. Barros
✉ Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Faculdade de Educação, Física, DEM, Laboratório de Instrumentação para Biomecânica CX 6134, CEP 13083-851, Campinas, São Paulo, BRAZIL

20-11-2006 -- Accepted: 07-03-2007 --
Published (online): 01-06-2007


Methods based on visual estimation still is the most widely used analysis of the distances that is covered by soccer players during matches, and most description available in the literature were obtained using such an approach. Recently, systems based on computer vision techniques have appeared and the very first results are available for comparisons. The aim of the present study was to analyse the distances covered by Brazilian soccer players and compare the results to the European players’, both data measured by automatic tracking system. Four regular Brazilian First Division Championship matches between different teams were filmed. Applying a previously developed automatic tracking system (DVideo, Campinas, Brazil), the results of 55 outline players participated in the whole game (n = 55) are presented. The results of mean distances covered, standard deviations (s) and coefficient of variation (cv) after 90 minutes were 10,012 m, s = 1,024 m and cv = 10.2%, respectively. The results of three-way ANOVA according to playing positions, showed that the distances covered by external defender (10642 ± 663 m), central midfielders (10476 ± 702 m) and external midfielders (10598 ± 890 m) were greater than forwards (9612 ± 772 m) and forwards covered greater distances than central defenders (9029 ± 860 m). The greater distances were covered in standing, walking, or jogging, 5537 ± 263 m, followed by moderate-speed running, 1731 ± 399 m; low speed running, 1615 ± 351 m; high-speed running, 691 ± 190 m and sprinting, 437 ± 171 m. Mean distance covered in the first half was 5,173 m (s = 394 m, cv = 7.6%) highly significant greater (p < 0.001) than the mean value 4,808 m (s = 375 m, cv = 7.8%) in the second half. A minute-by-minute analysis revealed that after eight minutes of the second half, player performance has already decreased and this reduction is maintained throughout the second half.

Key words: Biomechanics, soccer, distance covered, tracking
Key Points
A novel automatic tracking method was presented. No previous work was found in the literature reporting data of simultaneous trajectories of all soccer players obtained by an automatic tracking method.
The study reveals 7% reduction in mean distance covered in the second half and moreover after eight minutes of the second half, player performance has already decreased and this reduction is maintained throughout the second half.



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