Biology

How far does a footballer run during a match?

football

Football, known as soccer in the United States, is a very physically demanding game. A match typically lasts 90 minutes, but can go to 120 minutes if Extra Time is played. 11 players have to cover a pitch, the size of which varies and can be between 100-130 yards (90-130m) in length and between 50-100 yards (45-90m) in width.

The ball is almost constantly in play and can travel great distances in a matter of seconds, requiring players to give chase. There is some variation on how much different players on the pitch will run depending on their position. For example a midfielder will typically run the most compared to a goal keeper who wont.

An academic study by the University of Rome using sports analysis data provided by Prozone, has shown that Championship players cover a total match distance of 6.9 miles ± 0.6 miles (11.1 km (±0.9 km)) as compared with 6.7 miles ± 0.6 miles (10.8 km (±1.0 km)) for Premier League players. It was also found that Championship players covered greater distances while jogging, running, high-speed running and sprinting, with top-flight players travelling further at walking pace.

A similar sports analysis provider in the United States, SportVU, has tracked players running as much as 9.5 miles (15.3 km) in a single game!