n International SportMed Journal - Consequences of a busy soccer match schedule on team performance : empirical evidence from Spain : original research article

Volume 10, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1528-3356



: It has been speculated that a busy match schedule in sport can lead to player fatigue, which may result in underperformance during that period. There is also the risk of injury to the players.

: An inference study.
: The sample consists of the 180 matches of the Spanish Soccer League played in the first 15 weekend match days of the 2003-2004, 2004-2005 and 2005-2006 seasons respectively by Spanish teams playing simultaneously the group stage of the UEFA Champions League. The dependent variable was the result obtained by the teams in the Spanish Soccer League matches. Data were analysed using multinomial logit regression with three independent variables: the number of matches played during the week, the match location, and the status of the observed teams as Champions League debutants.
: Contrary to conventional knowledge, this study indicates that Spanish Champions League teams did not perform below their normal standard at the weekend when they had also played a midweek match. In fact, the Champions League debutants performed above their normal standard in the weekend matches when they played a Champions League midweek match.
: The risk of underperformance did not increase during the first 15 weeks of the Spanish Soccer League despite the increase in the number of matches played. This indicates that, to a certain extent, a top team can cope with a busy match schedule without underperforming.

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