Variability in tactical behavior of futsal teams from different categories

The aim of the present study was to analyze the time series of team spread during futsal official matches in the frequency domain for different categories. Using an automatic tracking method, trajectories of 258 players (excluding goalkeepers) were obtained, composed of 79 players from the under-15 (U15) category, 86 from the under-18 (U18), and 93 from the professional. We calculated the team spread defined as the Euclidean norm of the distance-between-player vector as a function of time. We applied the Fast Fourier Transformation method and calculated the median frequency for each time series of spread. The results of mean ± SD of the median frequency of the time series of spread from the first to the second half were significantly different only for the U15 category (first half, 1.04 ± 0.46, second half 1.40 ± 0.34). The frequency values differed significantly between the categories. The younger categories presented a higher frequency of spread oscillation than the professional category, which reflects the dynamics of the game between attack and defense sequences. The results provide insights into the features of the sport and present a basis for appropriate training interventions for players in each category, planning for future transition to the following category.