Movement Characteristics and Heart Rate Profiles Displayed by Female University Ice Hockey Players

Joel Jackson, Gary Snydmiller, Alex Game, Pierre Gervais, Gordon Bell


Background: Women’s ice hockey is widely popular but the various movement patterns, heart rate responses and work to rest ratios during competitive games has not been adequately investigated.  Objectives: This study determined the frequency and duration of movements that female players perform in ice hockey games using time-motion analysis. The intensity of the game activities were also assessed by heart rate (HR) responses and work to rest ratios (W:R). Methods: Twenty-two university female ice hockey players were filmed performing a number of movements during three regular season league games. Results: The following movement patterns were categorized in percent of time performed during the games: forward gliding on ice (36.3 ± 6.2%), forward skating at a moderate intensity (31.2 ± 6.2%), backward glide (9.5 ± 4.1%), standing (7.1 ± 5.9%), struggling (6.3 ± 2.6%), forward skating at maximal intensity (5.3 ± 3.3%), backwards skating at moderate intensity (3.1 ± 3.3%). Defense stood and glided backward more than forwards but skated less at a high or maximal intensity. Positional differences were also observed during different game play situations. The highest HR (±SD) achieved during shifts was 182 ± 10 and HR averaged 174 ± 9 bpm for the whole duration of the shifts. The shift and game W:R ratios for all players were 1:1.6 and 1: 3.7, respectively. Conclusions: The findings of this study indicate that female ice hockey games are played at a low to moderate intensity most of the time (~84% of the time spent) and are interspersed with brief, intermittent high intensity activities that vary according to player position and game play situation. It was also apparent that female players display markedly high HR responses during game-play indicative of a substantial cardiovascular demand in ice hockey.

Keywords: game analysis, work to rest ratios, exercise intensity

Full Text:



Barris, S. & Button, C. (2008). A review of vision-based motion analysis in sport. Sports Medicine, 38(12), 1025-1043.

Bell, G., Game, A., Bouchard, J., Reid, C., Gervais, P., & Snydmiller, G. (2011). Near maximal heart rate responses during a varsity ice hockey game. Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism, 36(Suppl.), S2.

Bloomfield, J., Polman, R., & O’Donoghue, P. (2007a). Physical demands of different positions in FA premier league soccer. Journal of Sport Science and Medicine, 6(1), 63-70.

Bloomfield, J., Polman, R., O’Donoghue, P., & McNaughton, L. (2007b). Effective speed and agility conditioning methodology for random intermittent dynamic type sports. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 2(4), 1093-1100.

Bracko, M. R., Fellingham, G. W., Hall, L. T., Fisher, A. G., & Cryer, W. (1998). Performance skating characteristics of professional ice hockey forwards. Sports Medicine, Training and Rehabilitation, 8(3), 251-263.

Carey, D. G., Drake, M. M., Pliego, G. J., & Raymond, R. L. (2007). Do hockey players need aerobic fitness? Relation between VO2max and fatigue during high-intensity intermittent skating. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 21(3), 963-966.

Cox, M. H., Miles, D. S., Verde, T. J., & Rhodes, E. C. (1995). Applied physiology of ice hockey. Sports Medicine, 19(3), 184-201.

Dillman, C. J., Stockholm, A. J., & Greer, N. (1984). Movement of ice hockey players. International Symposium on Biomechanics in Sports, 2, 189-194.

Dobson, B. P. & Keogh, J. W. L. (2007). Methodological issues for the application of time-motion analysis research. Strength and Conditioning Journal, 29(2), 48-55.

Falinger, C. M., Kruisselbrink, L.D., & Fowles, J. R. (2007). Relationships to skating performance in competitive hockey players. Strength and Conditioning Journal, 21(3), 915-922.

Fernandez-Fernandez, J., Boullosa, D.A., Sanz-Rivas, D., Abreu, L., Filaire, E., & Mendez-Villanueva, A. (2014). Psychophysiological stress response during training and competition young female competitive tennis players. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 36(1), 22-28.

Forbes, S. C., Kennedy, M. D., & Bell, G. J. (2013). Time-motion analysis, heart rate, and physiological characteristics of international canoe polo athletes. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 27(10), 2816-2822.

Game, A., Voaklander, D., Syrotuik, D., & Bell, G. (2003). Incidence of exercise-induced bronchospasm and exercise induced hypoxaemia in female varsity hockey players. Research in Sports Medicine, 11: 11-21.

Geithner, C. A., Lee, A. M., & Bracko, M. R. (2006). Physical and performance differences among forwards, defensemen, and goalies in elite women’s ice hockey. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 20(3), 500-505.

Gilenstam, K. M., Thorsen, K., & Henriksson-Larsen. (2011). Physiological correlates of skating performance in women’s and men’s ice hockey. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 25(8), 2133-2142.

Green, H., Bishop, P., Houston, M., McKillop, R., Norman, R., and Stothart, P. Time-motion and physiological assessments of ice hockey performance. Journal of Applied Physiology, 40(2), 159-163.

Hockey Canada. (2014). [Online] Available: (January 22, 2014).

Hopkins, W. G. (2014). [Online] Available: (June 30, 2014).

Lafontaine, D., Lamontagne, M., & Lockwood, K. (1998). Time-motion analysis of ice-hockey skills during games. International Symposium on Biomechanics in Sport, 16, 481-484.

Linseman, M. E, Palmer, M. S, Sprenger, H. M, & Spriet, L. L. (2014). Maintaining hydration with a carbohydrate-electrolyte solution improves performance, thermoregulation, and fatigue during an ice hockey scrimmage. Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism, 39(11), 1214-1221.

Lythe, J. & Kilding, A. E. (2011). Physical demands and physiological responses during elite field hockey. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 32(7), 523-528.

Matthew, D., & Delextrat, A. (2009). Heart rate, blood lactate concentration, and time-motion analysis of female basketball players during competition. Journal of Sports Sciences, 27(8), 813-821.

McInnes, S. E., Carlson, J. S., Jones, C. J., & McKenna, M. J. (1995). The physiological load imposed on basketball players during competition. Journal of Sports Sciences, 13(5), 387-397.

Montgomery, D. L. (2006). Physiological profile of professional hockey players – a longitudinal comparison. Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism, 31(3), 181-185.

O’Donoghue, P. G. (2008). Time-motion analysis. In M. Hughes & I. M. Franks (Eds.), The Essentials of Performance Analysis: An Introduction (pp. 180-205). New York: Routledge.

Peterson, B. J., Fitzgerald, J. S. Dietz, C. C., Ziegler, K. S., Ingraham, S. J., Baker, S. E., & Snyder, E. M. (2015). Aerobic capacity is associated with improved repeated shift performance in hockey. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 29(6), 1465-1472.

Quinney, H. A., Dewart, R., Game, A., Snydmiller, G., Warburton, D., & Bell, G. (2008). A 26 year physiological description of a National Hockey League team. Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism, 33(4), 753-760.

Ransdell, L. B. & Murray, T. (2011). A physical profile of elite female ice hockey players from the USA. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 25(9), 2358-2363.

Rudkin, S. T. & O’Donoghue, P. G. (2008). Time-motion analysis of first-class cricket fielding. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 11(6), 604-607.

Seliger, V., Kostka, V., Grusova, D., Kovac, J., Machovcova, J., Pauer, M., & Urbankova, R. (1972). Energy expenditure and physical fitness of ice-hockey players. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 30(4), 283-291.

Spiering, B. A., Wilson, M. H., Judelson, D. A., & Rundell, K. W. (2003). Evaluation of cardiovascular demands of game play and practice in Women’s Ice Hockey. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 17(2), 329-333.

Stanula, A. & Roczniok, R. (2014). Game intensity analysis of elite adolescent ice hockey players. Journal of Human Kinetics, 44, 211-221.

Taylor, J. (2003). Basketball: Applying time motion data to conditioning. Strength and Conditioning Journal, 25(2), 57-64.

Thoden, J. S. & Jette, M. (1975). Aerobic and anaerobic activity patterns in junior and professional hockey. Movement (Special Hockey), 2, 145-153.

Virr, J. L., Game, A., Bell, G. J. & Syrotuik, D. (2014). Physiological Demands of women’s rugby union time motion analysis and hear rate response. Journal of Sport Sciences, 32(3), 239-247.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2013-2023 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD.

International Journal of Kinesiology and Sports Science

You may require to add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list’ If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox'. Otherwise, you may check your 'Spam mail' or 'junk mail' folders.