Megan A. Gordon, Brandi E. Decoux, FACSM, Bovorn Sirikul, FACSM. Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond, LA.

BACKGROUND: Soccer is a high intensity sport requiring frequent changes in speed and direction. Though the sport is traditionally played on natural grass (NG), it has become more prominent in recent years for artificial turf (AT) to be considered as an acceptable alternative. Consequently, there has been an increase in studies focused on the impact of different playing surfaces on injury rates and player perception. Additional research, however, is needed to better understand how these surfaces influence the mechanical demands observed during performance as well as the perceived physiological demands. Thus, the purpose of this study is to investigate acceleration and deceleration profiles and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) among NCAA Division I women’s soccer players on NG vs AT. METHODS: Participants between the ages of 18 to 23 years will be recruited from a Division I women’s soccer team. Data will be collected across a competitive season using TITAN 1+ GPS wearable sensors and the TITAN Athlete App (Integrated bionics, Houston, TX, USA). Each participant will wear a GPS sensor within a fitted undergarment vest under their jersey during each match, and afterwards, each will report their RPE in the app using their personal smartphone. At each match, the type of playing surface (i.e., NG or AT) will be documented and wet bulb globe temperature (WBGT) will be recorded at 15 minute intervals throughout each 90-minute event to account for the effect of temperature, humidity, and solar radiation on the players. Data collected with the GPS sensors and the app will automatically be compiled in the TITAN Session Explorer software from which the accelerations, decelerations, and RPE collected for each game will be exported for analysis. Data on NG vs AT will be analyzed using repeated measures t-tests. Pearson correlation tests will also be conducted to measure the strength of the relationship between RPE and accelerations, decelerations, and WBGT. ANTICIPATED RESULTS: It is hypothesized that there will be a greater number of accelerations and decelerations on AT than NG, and RPE will be higher on AT than NG. In addition, it is also hypothesized that accelerations, decelerations, and WBGT will be correlated to RPE.

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