The aims of the current study were to investigate the use of dRPE with academy soccer players to: 1) examine the effect of bio-banded and non-bio-banded maturity groups within SSG on players dRPE; 2) describe the multivariate relationships between dRPE measures investigating the sources of intra and inter-individual variation, and the effects of maturation and bio-banding. Using 32 highly trained under (U) 12 to U14 soccer players (mean (SD) age 12.9 (0.9) years, body mass 46.4 (8.5) kg and stature 158.2 (14.9) cm) academy soccer players from two English professional male soccer academies. Players were categorised according to somatic maturity status using estimated percentage of adult stature attainment, with players randomly assigned into teams to play 4v4 SSG. The study used a repeated measures design, whereby the selected players participated within 6 bio-banded (maturity matched [pre-PHV Vs pre-PHV and post-PHV vs post PHV] and miss-matched [pre-PHV vs post-PHV] and 6 mixed maturity SSG at their respective clubs. Using mixed and fixed effect regression models, it was established hat pre-PHV players exhibited higher dRPE compared with their post-PHV counterparts. Mixed bio-banded games reported higher dRPE outputs overall. Variation in dRPE measures across a series of bio-banded games are caused by both between and within sources of variation in relatively equal amounts. Across a series of bio-banded games, the four dRPE measures do not provide unique information, and between variation is best expressed by one or two highly correlated components, with within variation best explained by a single equally loaded component. Using a bio-banding SSG design study, we have shown that pre-PHV players report higher subjective measures of exertion than post-PHV players during. Additionally, when evenly mixing players based on measures of maturation, higher measures of perceived exertion were generally reported.
McLaren-Towlson, C., Abt, G., & Toner, J. Examination of differential ratings of perceived exertion (dRPE) during bio-banded small-sided games - Anonymised dataset. [Dataset]