This study investigated the thermoregulatory responses and match running performance of elite team sport competitors (Australian Rules football) during preseason games in a warm environment. During 2 games in dry bulb temperatures above 29 degrees C (>27 degrees C wet bulb globe temperature), 10 players were monitored for core temperature (Tcore) via a telemetric capsule, in-game motion patterns, blood lactate ([La]), body mass changes, urine specific gravity, and pre- and postgame vertical jump performance. The results showed that peak Tcore was achieved during the final quarter at 39.3 +/- 0.7 degrees C and that several players reached values near 40.0 degrees C. Further, the largest proportion of the total rise in Tcore (2.1 +/- 0.7 degrees C) occurred during the first quarter of the match, with only small increases during the remainder of the game. The game distance covered was 9.4 +/- 1.5 km, of which 2.7 +/- 0.9 km was at high-intensity speeds (>14.4 km x h(-1)). The rise in Tcore was correlated with first-quarter high-intensity running velocity (r = 0.72) and moderate-intensity velocity (r = 0.68), second-quarter Tcore and low-intensity activity velocity (r = -0.90), second-quarter Tcore and moderate-intensity velocity (r = 0.88), fourth-quarter rise in Tcore and very-high-intensity running distance (r = 0.70), and fourth-quarter Tcore and moderate-intensity velocity (r = 0.73). Additional results included mean game [La-] values of 8.7 +/- 0.1 mmol x L(-1), change in body mass of 2.1 +/- 0.8 kg, and no change (p > 0.05) in pre- to postgame vertical jump. These findings indicate that the plateau in Tcore may be regulated by the reduction in low-intensity activity and that pacing strategies may be employed during competitive team sports in the heat to ensure control of the internal heat load.