Using absolute critera, a team of researchers found how the sports performance of men and women soccer players were different.
Over a hundred soccer players of both genders were monitored by the Faculty of Physical Activity and Sports Sciences, conducted in collaboration with other universities in Europe, during UEFA Champions League matches to conduct this research.
Julen Castellano, researcher at the Faculty of Physical Activity and Sports Sciences (UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country) and member of the group that conducted the comparative study of physical and technical performance between genders, men and women, in elite soccer matches.
The results, obtained after monitoring over 100 men and women players, could be summed up in two aspects: firstly, the physical one, in which women run a shorter distance overall and at high intensities and, unlike the men, display fatigue during the second half of the match; and, secondly, the technique-tactics aspect, where there were no differences in the number of ball touches, time in possession of the ball and total duels won.
If absolute values are used as the reference criteria when the comparison is made, we may be committing the error of underestimating the effort made by the female gender. If we take as the reference the values relating to men in order to compare both genders, as men are faster and have more stamina, we might be led to believe that women "don't give all they've got", but "we are in no doubt that women do give the maximum; so if this is relativized to the actual values of the population being studied, the results would be different with respect to the physical demands involved in women's soccer," points out Castellano.