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ABSTRACT: To evaluate variation in skeletal age (SA) within single-year chronological age (CA) groups of soccer players aged 11 to 17 years in the context of using SA for age verification in age-group competitions.
Regional and elite youth soccer programs.
Five hundred ninety-two male players from Portugal and Spain.
Skeletal age assessed with the Fels method.
Skeletal age and maturity status (late, average, early, or mature).
Chronological age and SA overlapped in players aged 11 to 12 years, but SA was advanced relative to CA in players aged 14 to 16 years. The majority of players between 11 and 12 years of age were on time in skeletal maturity and percentages of late and early maturers did not differ. The majority of players between 13 and 14 years of age were also on time, but early maturers were 4 times more frequent than late maturers. Percentages of late maturers were low among players aged 14 to 16 years. Among 200 players aged 15 to 16 years, 80 (40%) were advanced in SA by > 1 year and 27 (14%) were skeletally mature, whereas among 23 players aged 17 years, 9 (39%) were skeletally mature.
Among adolescent soccer player, boys advanced in SA for CA are overrepresented and those later in SA for CA are underrepresented with increasing CA. If Fels SA was used to verify CA in this sample of youth for under-17 competition, 36 skeletally mature players aged 15 to 17 years (16%) would be disqualified. The results for this sample of male soccer players question the utility of SA or magnetic resonance imaging as a valid estimate of CA in youth sport competitions.
Clinical journal of sport medicine: official journal of the Canadian Academy of Sport Medicine 11/2010; 20(6):469-74. · 1.50 Impact Factor
Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise - MED SCI SPORT EXERCISE. 01/2010; 42.
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ABSTRACT: Skeletal age (SA) tends to be advanced for chronological age (CA) in adolescent male soccer players.
The study compared SA assessments with the TW3 and Fels methods in a sample of male, elite youth soccer players.
SAs were assessed with the Tanner-Whitehouse 3 (TW3) radius-ulna-short bone (RUS) and Fels methods in a sample of 40 elite youth soccer players 12.5-16.1 years of age. Players were classified as late, on time or early on the basis of relative SA, the difference between SA and CA. Players who reached skeletal maturity were labeled mature.
SA was in advance of CA. Among 14 players >15.0 years, two are skeletally mature with the Fels method (CA 15.7 and 15.9 years), while 11 are skeletally mature with the TW3 method (CA 15.0-16.1 years).
The TW3 and Fels methods yield different SAs in elite youth soccer players. Significantly more 15-year-old boys are classified as skeletally mature with the TW3 method than with the Fels method. These observations have implications for international age group competitions as well as for medico-legal circumstances that require CA verification. SA is not a valid measure of CA and should not be used as such.
Annals of Human Biology 01/2007; 34(2):265-72. · 1.48 Impact Factor
Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise - MED SCI SPORT EXERCISE. 01/2003; 35.