Analysis of diachronic relationships in successful and unsuccessful behaviors by world fencing champions using three complementary techniques

Rafael Tarragó, Xavier Iglesias, Daniel Lapresa, María Teresa Anguera, Laura Ruiz-Sanchis, Javier Arana

Abstract


The aim of this study was to investigate diachronic relationships in successful and unsuccessful behaviors by world fencing champions using three complementary techniques: T-pattern analysis, lag sequential analysis, and polar coordinate analysis. We employed a nomothetic, point, multidimensional observational design in which we analyzed 24 bouts fenced by six world fencing champions in 2014. The actions were recorded and coded using LINCE software. The results revealed a series of behaviors that were significantly associated with successful outcomes, and also identified actions that contributed to poorer performance. One key conclusion to be drawn from the study is that the use of these complementary techniques is perfectly feasible and holds great potential in the field of sport. Lag sequential analysis of occurrences at lag 0 (co-occurrences) and analysis of basic T-patterns provided tactical insights into the different fencing actions employed. This analysis is focused on the actions and reactions of each fencer and his rival during each exchange. Insights into combat strategy, by contrast, were provided by lag sequential analysis of occurrences at lags -1 to -5 and lags +1 to +5, analysis of T-pattern clusters, and polar coordinate analysis. In the last case, we observed how prospective and retrospective behaviors, reflected in the modification or extension of certain behaviors during each bout, improved the efficacy of actions performed throughout the competition.


Keywords


Tactics, lag sequential analysis, polar coordinates, T-patterns, observational methodology, fencing.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.6018/analesps.33.3.271041

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