Long-haul flights as well as Super Rugby performance
Super Rugby is arguably the most effective expression of rugby at club level around the world. Its closest competitor within the realm of competitive international rugby at the club level is the European Rugby Champions Cup (Heineken Champions Cup). Super Rugby involves teams from South Africa, Argentina, New Zealand, Australia and Japan. Since the tournament is played across several countries, teams are required to travel extensively during the entire six-month season.
Travel is often viewed to be “the” major factor that affects the team’s performance. A loss to away games lowers the likelihood of achieving a high finish in the rankings or playing grand finals. In the end, it reduces the chance that a team will win. In all 23 seasons of tournament, only six teams have been crowned champions, and only once has that been the case following travel from abroad to play in the final.
We determined to determine whether this belief was based on scientific evidence. In order to better comprehend the intricate connection between flights and the athletes’ psychological reaction and performance, we examined the effects the travel experience had on their performance in the initial 21-year period in Super Rugby (1996-2016).
We closely monitored the performance of players from four teams after long-haul trans-meridian travel. The results of our study reveal that long-haul travel has a significant impact on the performance of teams. However, the disadvantage associated with playing away is likely the primary cause of the negative effects on the outcomes of games. A fatigue-related issue arising from long-haul travel has been suggested to affect the individual performance of players travelling abroad.
The disadvantage of playing awayis the result of a mix of factors like crowd support and the potential for officials’ bias, which can affect the mental and behavioral state of athletes and their performance in the event of a game performed away.
While away-match and travel disadvantage are equally detrimental on every team in a game played against a weaker adversary, team statistics such as the amount of tackles, carries and tries are slightly affected, even with the trans-meridian journey. Although the technical capabilities as well as physical ability of the players aren’t significantly affected when playing away from home could influence strategic and tactical factors that are involved in Super Rugby matches, and impact the outcomes of games.
Travel fatigue and jet lag
There is plenty of anecdotal evidence that frequent travel can adversely affect travelers because of jet lag and travel fatigue. The term “travel fatigue” is a condition of weariness that occurs over the course of a single travel experience and continues to increase over time. Jetlag is a sign that the cycle of circadian rhythms that are the pattern of rhythm that governs every physiological function and systems in our body do not get in sync by the outside clock.