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Alvarez, JCB, D'ottavio, S, Vera, JG, and Castagna, C. Aerobic fitness in futsal players of different competitive level. J Strength Cond Res 23(7): 2163-2166, 2009-Recently the use of small-sided games (mainly 5 vs. 5) proved to be a valid training method to improve aerobic fitness in soccer. Thus, it could be hypothesized that professional futsal (soccer 5-a-side indoor version) players may possess a well-developed aerobic fitness as a consequence of training and game participation. The aim of this study was to examine maximal oxygen uptake ([latin capital V with dot above]O2max), ventilatory threshold (VT), and running economy (RE, [latin capital V with dot above]O2 at 8 km[middle dot]h-1) of futsal players of different competitive levels to determine whether aerobic fitness is a discriminative variable for futsal success. Subjects were 24 male futsal players from a professional top-ranked second division team (PT, n = 11) and a semi-professional top-ranked third division team (ST, n = 13). Aerobic fitness was assessed with a running protocol performed on a motor-driven treadmill. Professional team and ST players' [latin capital V with dot above]O2max were 62.9 /- 5.3 and 55.2 /- 5.7 mL[middle dot]kg-1[middle dot]min-1, respectively (p < 0.05). RE was 34.1 /- 2.7 and 32.4 /- 2.7 mL[middle dot]kg-1[middle dot]min-1 for PT and ST, respectively (p >0.05). PT and ST attained VT at 70.5 /- 2.7 and 71.3 /- 5.2% of [latin capital V with dot above]O2max, respectively (p > 0.05). Results showed that [latin capital V with dot above]O2max may be considered a competitive-level dependent physical variable in futsal. VO2max values of or above 60 mL[middle dot]kg-1[middle dot]min-1 are advisable to play futsal at the professional level.

(C) 2009 National Strength and Conditioning Association