Competitive result structure in women's heptathlon

PhD, Associate Professor V.V. Mekhrikadze1
Dr.Biol., Professor B.V. Ermolaev2
E.V. Slavkina1
1Russian State University of Physical Education, Sports, Youth and Tourism (SCOLIPE), Moscow
2Moscow Polytechnic University, Moscow

Keywords: interrelation of heptathlon disciplines, correlation analysis, intergroup relation, heterarchy.

Introduction. The analysis of the structure of competitive results in women’s heptathlon, built based on the correlation between the disciplines, enables to describe their mutual influence, outline the paths of conjugate effects of various training means, and formulate the criteria for balanced training programs [2, 3]. However, the detected relationships between all-around disciplines do not form any specific hierarchy of disciplines or groups of disciplines and do not allow revealing the core of this structure - the central element of correlation.

Objective of the study was to substantiate the structural and functional relationships of women’s heptathlon disciplines and establish the key elements in this structure.

Methods and structure of the study.  The competitive performance of the strongest female heptathletes at the world championships for the whole their history - from 1983 to 2017 was analyzed. 128 results in women's heptathlon were statistically processed (top 8 female athletes at each world championships).

Pearson correlation analysis between the results in all-around events was carried out. In cross-country heptathlon disciplines a decrease in the run time value corresponds to an increase in the result; therefore, the scores in each discipline were taken from the official competition protocols [4], along with the amounts calculated for the correlation analysis between the groups of heptathlon disciplines. When interpreting the obtained correlation relationships, only high, noticeable and moderate correlations on the Chaddock scale were taken into account. Weak correlations (–0.3<r<0.3) were not considered in the study.

Results and discussion. Figure 1 illustrates the structural relationships of heptathlon disciplines, built based on the matrix of coefficients of correlation between the disciplines. The revealed structure, which assimilates these correlations between the disciplines, reflects the coordinated development of heptathlon disciplines and emerging confrontations taking place both between the disciplines and groups of disciplines in women’s heptathlon.

Fig. 1. Structure of interrelation of disciplines in women’s heptathlon

200 m distance run, characterized by the largest number of statistically significant correlations with other disciplines, is central to the system of interrelationship of heptathlon disciplines, being a specific link to other disciplines. Improvement of the results in 200 m run mutually "stimulates" those in hurdle race, standing long jump and 800 m run, but "oppresses" the results in javelin throwing. 100 m hurdle run with correlates with all groups of disciplines, except for middle distance run. 800 m run has a negative correlation with throwing (shot put, javelin throwing), having a depressing effect on them.

Standing long jump does not come into confrontation with any all-round discipline, being a kind of a "stimulant" of effectiveness of associated disciplines. High jump refers to an isolated, relatively independent discipline, not associated with most all-round disciplines.

Javelin throwing, just like shot put, where coordination and explosive force of the muscles are the key factors, have a pronounced "oppressive" effect on cross-country heptathlon disciplines, especially those in which endurance is manifested.

The analysis of the matrix of coefficients of correlation between the groups of heptathlon disciplines: sprint (100 m hurdle race, 200 m run), jumps (standing long jump, high jump), throws (shot put, javelin throwing) and 800 m distance run - enabled to build the structure of interrelation of groups of disciplines(Fig. 2).

Fig. 2. Structure of interrelation of groups of disciplines in women’s heptathlon

It was found that the sprint group is moderately positively correlated with the jump group (r=0.39), as well as with 800 m run (r=0.31), and has a negative correlation with the throw group (r=-0.38), which, in turn, negatively correlates with 800 m run (r=-0.57). The data obtained demonstrate that it’s the sprint group that holds the central place in interrelation of groups of disciplines, and it forms meaningful links to all groups. The jump group is quite isolated and forms a connection with the sprint group only. The throw group, just like the types of throwing (see Fig. 1), comes into conflict with the running groups (sprint and middle distance run), and is characterized by the mutual “oppressive” effect.

Based on the data analysis, it can be argued that the structure of disciplines and groups of disciplines in heptathlon is a heterarchical. It was found that, by the number of statistically significant correlations with other heptathlon disciplines, the central form is 200 m run, the central group of disciplines is a sprint group.

Conclusion. The study of the structure of women's heptathlon showed that the central link is the 200 m run and sprint group. Running kinds, possessing the maximum number of correlations with other kinds, mutually stimulate the jump group, especially the standing long jump. The throw group is in confrontation with all running kinds, primarily with 800 m distance run. The study revealed that the jump and sprint groups are of “stimulating” (multiplier) effect for other groups, and the throw group and 800 m distance run (for the throw group only) - of “oppressive” effect.

References

  1. Medik V.A., Tokmachev M.S. Matematicheskaya statistika v meditsine [Mathematical statistics in medicine]. Moscow: Finansy i statistika publ., 2007. 800 p.
  2. Nemtsev O.B., Nemtseva N.A., Doronin A.M., Skidan M.N. Vremennye trendy struktury sorevnovatelnogo rezultata v zhenskom legkoatleticheskom semiborye [Temporary trends in competition result structure in women's heptathlon]. Uchenye zapiski universiteta im. P.F. Lesgafta. 2018, no. 7 (161), pp. 197-202.
  3. Gassmann F., Fröhlich M., Emrich E. Structural analysis of women’s heptathlon. Sports.2016 Vol. 4, no. 12 P. 1-11.

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Abstract

Objective of the study was to substantiate the structural and functional relationships of women’s heptathlon disciplines and establish the key elements in this structure.

The competitive performance of the strongest heptathletes at the world championships for the whole their history - from 1983 to 2017 was analyzed. 128 results in women's heptathlon were statistically processed. Pearson correlation analysis between the results in all-around events was carried out. In cross-country heptathlon disciplines a decrease in the run time value corresponds to an increase in the result; therefore, the scores in each discipline were taken from the official competition protocols, along with the amounts calculated for the correlation analysis between groups of heptathlon disciplines. When interpreting the obtained correlation relationships, only high, noticeable and moderate correlations on the Chaddock scale were taken into account. Weak correlations (–0.3 <r <0.3) were not considered in the study.

The study revealed the structure of the interrelation of disciplines and groups of disciplines in women’s heptathlon. The 200 m run and sprint group are the link in the structure. It is established that the jump and sprint groups are of “stimulating” effect for other types of action, and the throw group is of - “oppressive” effect.