Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis




Kinesiology and Health Promotion

First Advisor

Dr. Mark Abel


There is limited information describing the competition demands of American football. A greater understanding of competition demands will allow strength and conditioning practitioners to create appropriate training programs to enhance athlete readiness and performance. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to analyze the competition demands of collegiate American football players using global positioning systems (GPS), specifically comparing the in-play GPS versus out-of-play GPS outcomes. Twenty-two American football athletes (Age: 20.8 ± 0.9 yr, Height: 190.2 ± 4.7 cm, Body mass: 113.4 ± 22.3 kg) were monitored during 12 regular season competitions over 13 weeks. Athletes were divided into specific offensive and defensive position groups. The study utilized relative velocity zones to determine the distance traveled by athletes in different velocity zones. In-play GPS variables were stratified from out-of-play GPS variables using velocity tracings from Openfield software and competition video. Paired samples T-tests were used to identify differences between in-play and out-of-play variables. The findings indicate that total duration, total distance, standing distance, walking distance, and jogging distance were significantly lesser for in-play versus out-of-play (p < 0.001), and extensive tempo distance, intensive tempo distance, sprint distance, and intensity were significantly greater for in-play versus out-of-play (p < 0.001). The results of the present study provides novel insights regarding the in-play competition demands of collegiate American football and provides a different method of analyzing American football.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)