Short versus long small-sided game training during Ramadan in soccer players

Hana Baklouti, Noureddine Rejeb, Asma Aloui, Hamdi Jaafar, Achraf Ammar, Hamdi Chtourou, Olivier Girard, Nizar Souissi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Objective To compare the effects of two small-sided game (SSG) training formats (4 × 4 min (SSG-S) and 2 × 8 min (SSG-L)) conducted during Ramadan on Hoff and five-jump (5JT) tests' performances and session rating of perceived exertion (sRPE). Design Three group, case-control. Setting Field tests. Participants Twenty-four male soccer players were divided into 3 groups: 2 groups undertaking 4 weeks of SSG-S (n = 8) or SSG-L (n = 8) during Ramadan and a control group (n = 8). Main outcome measures The Profile of Mood States (POMS) and Hooper questionnaires' scores and 5JT and Hoff test's performances were measured before (BR) and at the end of Ramadan (R4). Results Compared to BR, fatigue estimated by POMS and Hooper questionnaires was higher at R4 in all groups (ES = 0.77–1.57, p < 0.05). Hoff test distance increased to the same extent in SSG-S and SSG-L groups (+7.38–7.39%, ES = 1.49–1.93, p < 0.001). Mean sRPE scores measured during Ramadan were higher after SSG-L (6.49 ± 0.38) than SSG-S (5.61 ± 0.14) sessions (+15.58%, ES = 2.79, p < 0.001). Conclusions SSG training can be implemented as an efficient intervention to avoid detraining and equally improve soccer-specific physical performance during Ramadan. Given the lower perceptual responses associated with shorter SSG sequences, this modality would be better tolerated during the fasting month, and therefore is recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-25
Number of pages6
JournalPhysical Therapy in Sport
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017
Externally publishedYes


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