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Power law distributions in pattern dynamics of attacker-defender dyads in the team sport of Rugby Union : phenomena in a region of self-organized criticality?

Passos, Pedro, Araujo, Duarte, Davids, Keith W., Milho, João, & Gouveia, Luis (2009) Power law distributions in pattern dynamics of attacker-defender dyads in the team sport of Rugby Union : phenomena in a region of self-organized criticality? Emergence: Complexity and Organization, 11(2), pp. 37-45.

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Abstract

In the region of self-organized criticality (SOC) interdependency between multi-agent system components exists and slight changes in near-neighbor interactions can break the balance of equally poised options leading to transitions in system order. In this region, frequency of events of differing magnitudes exhibits a power law distribution. The aim of this paper was to investigate whether a power law distribution characterized attacker-defender interactions in team sports. For this purpose we observed attacker and defender in a dyadic sub-phase of rugby union near the try line. Videogrammetry was used to capture players’ motion over time as player locations were digitized. Power laws were calculated for the rate of change of players’ relative position. Data revealed that three emergent patterns from dyadic system interactions (i.e., try; unsuccessful tackle; effective tackle) displayed a power law distribution. Results suggested that pattern forming dynamics dyads in rugby union exhibited SOC. It was concluded that rugby union dyads evolve in SOC regions suggesting that players’ decisions and actions are governed by local interactions rules.

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7 citations in Scopus
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ID Code: 28684
Item Type: Journal Article
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Emergence, Complexity, Self-Organisation, Pattern Formation, Dynamics
ISSN: 1521-3250
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > HUMAN MOVEMENT AND SPORTS SCIENCE (110600) > Motor Control (110603)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences
Deposited On: 20 Nov 2009 16:51
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 23:57

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