Fixture Congestion

Fixture congestion is a term in football that refers to the situation wherein a team is required to participate in several matches within a short span of time. This situation is usually caused by bad weather or extended runs. The congestion happens as matches are piled close together after days of postponement to catch up with the agreed schedule.

When there is a fixture congestion, a team may issue an appeal to the organizers of competitions to allow for an extension of the season so as not to tire players. Though this can be done, governing bodies of these competitions are not required to act upon these requests.

Effects of Fixture Congestions

Research had suggested that fixture congestions along with intense training are factors that can cause several effects to a team’s subsequent performance. One of these effects include high injury rates. It has been found out that the number of injuries that happen during fixture congestions are higher than normal matches and trainings.

In addition, it was also found out that the physical activity of players are affected in such a way that its rate also decreases. Furthermore, decreased technical performance is also said to be an effect.

Although the three major effects mentioned are considered common in research results, it is only the incidence of high injury rates that proves to have a significant effect.

Coping with Fixture Congestions

Football clubs do all the things necessary when it comes to coping with the possible effects of fixture congestions. There are several ways of coping that players can use to avoid the harsh effects. One of these include easing back in training. Players are already on their physical limits during congestions and it is wise to wind down the training. This does not mean cutting on the training but rather adapting to the hectic schedule. A good recommendation would be to employ short but intense training sessions.

Another way to cope with fixture congestions is by doing a lot of stretches. Every athlete knows how important stretching is especially for football players who are playing twice a week. During congestions, it is good for players to do pre-training warm-up and post-match stretches. These stretches will prepare and ease muscles which helps in preventing injuries.

The last two ways on how to cope with congestions include loading on carbohydrates and getting enough sleep. During hectic game schedules, it is bad for a team to have players running out of steam or energy. This is why it is very important to maintain a good diet with a good amount of carbohydrates. It is recommended to eat carb-enriched meals a night before and a few hours after a game. In terms of sleep, experts recommend seven to eight hours. This time allotment allows players’ bodies to recover from the physical strain endured during the game. It is also good to sleep early.

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