Movement Classification

The classification of movements during a game into specific categories, allows us to identify what rugby players do most often on the pitch which can greatly inform training. Some of the common locomotion categories in research is presented in the table below. You will notice some differences in terminology and speeds associated with each locomotion category in the different studies. As there are no uniform definitions for categories of movement these slight differences are to be expected. We can still use this body of research to guide our understanding of the common movements undertaken during the game.

While the basic locomotion movement patterns outlined in the table are often the focus of GPS and time-motion analysis, more variables are often recorded and analysed including; contacts, collisions, accelerations, decelerations, work: rest ratio and repeated high-intensity efforts. This gives a much more holistic view of the physical demands during the game of rugby.

Roberts et al, 2008Jones et al, 2015Tree et al, 2016
Standing/non purposeful movement: 0-0.5 m/sWalking: 0-1.6 m/sWalking: 0-2 m/s
Walking: 0.5-1.7 m/sJogging: 1.6-2.7 m/sJogging: 2-4 m/s
Jogging: 1.7-3.6 m/sCruising: 2.7-3.8 m/sStriding: 4-6 m/s
Medium intensity running: 3.6-5 m/sStriding: 3.8-5 m/sSprinting: >6 m/s
High intensity running: 5-6.7 m/sHigh intensity running: 5-5.5 m/s
Maximal speed running: >6.7 m/sSprinting: >5.6 m/s