FSI Selected Publications of the Week

1. The Moral Gatekeeper: Soccer and Technology, the Case of Video Assistant Referee (VAR)
Tamir I, Bar-Eli M.

This paper argues that, despite fierce objections and extensive criticism, VAR represents a moral revolution in the evolution of the sport as a whole, improving the professional standards, its public image and prestige, and making it possible to discover weaknesses in the rules that professional soccer will probably be forced to address in the future.

Front Psychol. 2021 Jan 12;11:613469. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.613469. eCollection 2020.


2. A Preliminary Analysis of the Importance of Distance, Angle, and Insight When Soccer Referees Make Penalty Decisions.
Johansen BT, Erikstad MK.

An expert panel consisting of two active referees with relevant academic background analyzed referees positioning when making correct or erroneous decisions regarding penalties. In 42 situations analized, referees’ positioning that resulted in the highest rate of correct decisions were when the distance were under 10 meters (83% correct decisions), good angle (88%), and good insight (86%).

Front Sports Act Living. 2021 Jan 8;2:595703. doi: 10.3389/fspor.2020.595703. eCollection 2020.


3. How does the mid-season coach change affect physical performance on top soccer players?
Guerrero-Calderón B, Owen A, Morcillo JA, Castillo-Rodríguez A.

Analysis of training and match load data professional players in the top three competitive standards of Spanish soccer (First, Second and Second ‘B’ division) during the four weeks before and after dismissal the coach revealed that the players covered longer high-intensity distance with the dismissed coach than the new coach in training, whilst a similar performance was found in the competition, suggesting that the coach turnover at mid-season did no increase the players’ physical performance either in training or in competition.

Physiol Behav. 2021 Jan 21;232:113328. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2021.113328. Online ahead of print.


4. Elite football of 2030 will not be the same as that of 2020: What has evolved and what needs to evolve?
Harper DJ, Sandford GN, Clubb J, Young M, Taberner M, Rhodes D, Carling C, Kiely J.

Letter to editor discussing a previous opinion paper highlighting that soccer players will likely play more matches per season, with more frequent and dense periods of high- intensity efforts in the near future. This will require the implementation of advances in sport science applied to player’s conditioning, injury surveillance and prevention, and recovery methods, creating the need to appropriate coaching education.

Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2021 Feb;31(2):493-494. doi: 10.1111/sms.13876.