Anaerobic performance in ice hockey : the effect of skate blade radius of hollow
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The purpose of the study was to investigate the effect of skate blade radius of hollow (ROH) on anaerobic performance, specifically during the acceleration and stopping phases of an on-ice skating test. Fifteen, male Junior B hockey players (mean age 19 y ± 1.46) were recruited to participate. On-icc testing required each participant to complete an on-ice anaerobic performance test [Reed Repeat Skate (RRS)) on three separate days. During each on-ice test, the participant's skate blades were sharpened to one of three, randomly assigned, ROH values (0.63 cm, 1.27 cm, 1.90 cm). Performance times were recorded during each RRS and used to calculate anaerobic variables [anaerobic power (W), anaerobic capacity (W), and fatigue index (s, %)). Each RRS was video recorded for the purpose of motion analysis. Video footage was imported into Peak Motus™ to measure kinematic variables of the acceleration and stopping phases. The specific variables calculated from the acceleration phase were: average velocity over 6 m (m/s), average stride length (m), and mean stride rate (strides/s). The specific variables calculated from the stopping phase were: velocity at initiation of stopping (rn/s), stopping distance (m), stopping time (s). A repeated measures ANOV A was used to assess differences in mean performance and kinematic variables across the three selected hollows. Further analysis was conducted to assess differences in trial by trial performance and kinematic variables for all hollows. The primary findings of the study suggested that skate blade ROH can have a significant effect on kinematic variables, namely stride length and stride rate during the acceleration phase and stopping distance and stopping time during the stopping phase of an on-ice anaerobic performance test. During the acceleration phase, no significant difdifferences were found in SR and SL across the three selected hollows. Mean SR on the 1.27 cm hollow was significantly slower than both the 0.63 cm and 1.90 cm hollows and SL was significantly longer when skating on the 1.27 cm hollow in comparison to the 1.90 cm hollow. During the stopping phase, stopping distance on the 0.63 cm hollow (4.12 m ± 0.14) was significantly shorter than both the 1.27 cm hollow (4.43 m ± 0.08) (p < 0.05) and the 1.90 cm ho])ow (4.35 m ± 0.12) (p < 0.05). Mean ST was also significantly shorter when stopping on the 0.63 cm hollow then both the 1.27 cm and 1.90 cm hollows. Trial by trial results clearly illustrated the affect of fatigue on kinematic variables; AV, SR, IV decreased from trial 1 to 6. There was no significant effect on anaerobic performance variables during the RRS. Altering the skate blade ROH has a significant and practical affect on accelerating and stopping performance will be discussed in this paper.