TIME-MOTION ANALYSIS OF ICE-HOCKEY SKILLS DURING GAMES

  • Dany Lafontaine
  • Mario Lamontagne
  • Kelly Lockwood
Keywords: motion analysis, skating skills, ice-hockey, frequencies, positions, levels

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Time-motion analysis (TMA) has been performed for a variety of sporting activities, including ice-hockey. However, these previous TMA studies of ice-hockey did not differentiate between playing levels and/or playing positions. The main goal of this study is to establish whether differences exist between the skills most frequently performed by players in various positions during actual competition (forwards, defensemen and goaltenders). Furthermore, to determine if there are differences in the skills performed by players of two different playing levels (university and major junior). Recommendations for coaches at the grassroots and elite levels will be made to assist them in more appropriately training players for actual play. METHODS: Ten (5 at each level) regular season games, in the last quarter of the regular season, were recorded on videotape for analysis. This time frame was chosen to ensure that team cohesiveness was well established. One video-camera (total of 6) was assigned to follow a set position on the ice, e.g., one camera for the left wing, right wing, etc. All of the subjects involved in the study gave their informed consent, in accord with the regulations of the Health Sciences Ethics Committee. Analysis of these videotapes was performed by coding the observed skills. Descriptive statistics (mean, std, etc.) on the frequency of occurrence of the specific skills are calculated. RESULTS: Preliminary results show that the most frequently performed skills are skating forward without the puck and gliding forward without the puck. The two skills typically occurred in the neutral zone, even during strength play. Further analysis of the data will point to differences between playing levels and/or positions. Goaltender skills were analyzed separately. These players spend the greatest amount of their time standing in front of the middle of their net. The next most frequent skill for goaltenders, is the ready position, on the left side of the net. DISCUSSION/CONCLUSIONS: At this point of the study, it seems that hockey players spend most of their playing time waiting for the play to develop, and then reacting to what they see happening. This appears to be more easily done by gliding forward on both feet. As well, players spend a very limited amount of their playing time with the puck. Therefore, a significant amount of practice time should be spent in developing the most common skills with a puck, so that players will be more proficient at playing with the puck in game situations. However, skating skills without a puck should be developed equally well, since players rarely have the puck. For goaltenders, it seems that they would benefit greatly from concentration exercises, since most of their time is spent standing in the center of their net. The ready position should also be well practiced, since it is the second most frequent skill for goaltenders.