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Abstract

Bio-banding is the process of grouping athletes on the basis of attributes associated with growth and maturation rather than chronological age. Children of the same age vary considerably in biological maturation with some individuals maturing in advance or delay of their peers. The timing of maturation has important implications for competition, talent identification, and training. Increased awareness and interest in the subject of maturation has sparked a renewed interest in the study and application of biobanding. This overview describes the purpose and process of bio-banding, potential benefits and limitations, and describes some recent advances in its application in youth sports.

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... This can ultimately result in the deselection of later-maturing athletes before they have a chance to realise the full extent of their athletic potential and could cause psychological harm and drop-out from sport in the worst cases (6). To address the above described issue, recent literature has focused on the enhancement of enjoyment, competitive equity and safety with a view to sustaining a young person's engagement in physical activity through positive experiences in sport (7,8). Concepts such as 'competitive engineering' involve the manipulation of game rules to underpin motivation and engagement whilst also helping to ensure that sporting activity is developmentally appropriate (7). ...
... Concepts such as 'competitive engineering' involve the manipulation of game rules to underpin motivation and engagement whilst also helping to ensure that sporting activity is developmentally appropriate (7). Another emerging method of fostering competitive equity in youth sport is the practice of bio-banding which involves the allocation of youth athletes to groups based on their level of biological maturation and physical development (8) or, indeed, their relative age within a given year group in sport (9). Such a practice is considered appropriate given the well-documented mismatches in body size that can occur in youth sport (10) and their resultant implications which can include physical injury (11), drop out (12) from sport, greater difficulty in achieving selection to talent pathways (13) and the negative misjudgement of one's own personal skill level (14). ...
... The selfassessment was completed at the soccer club under the supervision of two researchers, and one of the player's parents, or guardian, was present at all times. The utilised scale is often used alongside, or instead of, the Khamis-Roche method of maturity assessment with which it shares a good level of agreement as outlined in a table of equivalence by Cumming et al. (8). It allocates youths into one of five different stages of maturity based on pubic hair development with stage 1 being approximately equivalent to <85% of predicted adult height (PAH), stage 2 to 85 to 90% of PAH, stage 3 to 90 to 95% of PAH, and stages 4 and 5 to 95 to 100% of PAH (8). ...
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Maturation-related changes in body dimensions and performance can lead to physical mismatches and drop out from youth sport. Here, we propose a new method termed 'discreet performance banding' (DPB). We aimed to determine if dividing youths by actual physical performance of a discreet skill or ability ('change or direction' [COD] ability) could discriminate between the most and least skilled players better than a marker of implied performance, such as an assessment of biological maturation. 182 male academy Spanish soccer players (age: 13-18 years height: 143 to 188 cm; mass: 32.3 to 81.4 kg) were divided into maturation groups (Tanner stages 2 through 5) and COD groups ('fast', 'intermediate' and 'slow'). Players' skills (passing, shooting, ball control) were evaluated on a six-point scale with a value of '1' considered 'very bad' and a value of '6' as 'very good'. When divided by maturity status, analyses revealed no significant differences between groups in soccer skill. However, when divided into COD groups, the analyses revealed significant differences between the fast and intermediate players ([p < 0.001] favouring the fast group) and between the intermediate and slow players ([p < 0.026] favouring the slow group). There was no significant difference in skill between the fast and slow groups, though the fast group demonstrated a higher skill level as indicated by a small effect size. Fast players were more skilful than both the intermediate and slower players, indicating that COD status can be a differentiating factor between players of different skill levels. DPB could be used to equalise competition in youth sport and to enhance the overall level of enjoyment that youths derive from engagement in sport.
... Electronic performance and tracking systems (EPTS) provide affordable and indispensable time-motion technologies for assessing valid training load measures (Linke et al., 2018). The research-practice prominence is due to numerous factors, among which the literature reports practical applicability in the field of strength and conditioning (Cumming et al., 2017), talent identification (Sarmento et al., 2018a), injury prevention (Coppalle et al., 2019;Boullosa et al., 2020), training task design (Coutinho et al., 2017, and control and performance analysis (Sarmento et al., 2018b;Zurutuza et al., 2017). For several years, literature has reported widely on load terminology such as work rate (O'Donoghue, 2004;Carling et al., 2008), workload (Bowen et al., 2017;Williams et al., 2017;Gabbett et al., 2019), and training load (Impellizzeri et al., 2005;Bourdon et al., 2017;Vanrenterghem et al., 2017). ...
... Relative age and biological maturation were independent and non-modifiable factors that should be considered in player selection, as well as in monitoring and assessment performance in youth football (Cumming et al., 2017;Lovell et al., 2019;Hill et al., 2020). Biological maturation refers to progress towards the adult or mature state defined by status, timing, and tempo (Malina et al., 2015. ...
... As well known, no studies have included maturational and birth quartile variables to monitor accumulated training load and perceived exertion in sub-elite youth football. Moreover, training load quantification often uses the age-grouping approach instead of bio-banding strategies to compare inter-and intra-individual differences in weekly accumulated training load (Cumming et al., 2017). Previous studies have analyzed the influence of chronological age, relative age, and maturation from standardized physical fitness assessment (Clemente et al., 2019;Nobari et al., 2021aNobari et al., , 2021bSalter et al., 2021), however this does not include the accumulative outcomes of external and internal training intensity (Oliveira et al., 202;Otte et al., 2019). ...
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The aims of this study were 1) to analyze the influence of chronological age, relative age, and biological maturation on accumulated training load and perceived exertion in young sub-elite football players and 2) to understand the interaction effects amongst age grouping, maturation status, and birth quartiles on accumulated training load and perceived exertion in this target population. A 6-week period (18 training sessions and 324 observation cases) concerning 60 young male sub-elite football players grouped into relative age (Q1 to Q4), age group (U15, U17, and U19), and maturation status (Pre-peak height velocity (PHV), Mid-PHV, and Post-PHV) was established. External training load data were collected using 18 Hz global positioning system technology (GPS), heart-rate measures by a 1 Hz short-range telemetry system, and perceived exertion with total quality recovery (TQR) and rating of perceived exertion (RPE). U17 players and U15 players were 2.35 (95% CI: 1.25-4.51) and 1.60 (95% CI: 0.19-4.33) times more likely to pertain to Q1 and Q3, respectively. A negative magnitude for odds ratio was found in all four quartile comparisons within maturation status (95% CI: 6.72-0.64), except for Mid-PHV on Q2 (95% CI: 0.19-4.33). Between-and within-subject analysis reported significant differences in all variables on age group comparison measures (F = 0.439 to 26.636, p = 0.000 to 0.019, η 2 = 0.003-0.037), except for dynamic stress load (DSL). Between-subject analysis on maturity status comparison demonstrated significant differences for all training load measures (F = 6.593 to 14.424, p = 0.000 to 0.037, η 2 = 0.020-0.092). Interaction effects were found for age group x maturity band x relative age (Λ Pillai's = 0.391, Λ Wilk's = 0.609, F = 11.385, p = 0.000, η 2 = 0.391) and maturity band x relative age (Λ Pillai's = 0.252, Λ Wilk's = 0.769, F = 0.955, p = 0.004, η 2 = 0.112). Current research has confirmed the effects of chronological age, relative age, and biological maturation on accumulated training load. Perceived exertion does not seem to show any differences concerning age group or maturity status. Evidence should be helpful for professionals to optimize the training process and young football players' performance.
... However, when considered within specific age groups, which become more homogenous, relationships between maturity and CMJ were mostly non-significant. The only group where a significantly relationship did exist was for the U12, an age which is associated with the start of the growth spurt and may represent a time of more variability in maturity and performance across players [38]. Furthermore, players within the same age group would have similar resistance training ages, due to starting at the academy at the same time. ...
... Those involved in the identification and development of academy players should be aware of, and accommodate for, individual differences in maturation. Bio-banding is the process of periodically grouping athletes on the basis of attributes associated with growth or maturation, rather than chronological age [38]. This approach has been used as a method to ensure holistic development of soccer players in academies and can theoretically benefit both early and late maturers, by levelling out physical requirements, ensuring that players develop technical and tactical abilities as well as using their physical qualities [20,38]. ...
... Bio-banding is the process of periodically grouping athletes on the basis of attributes associated with growth or maturation, rather than chronological age [38]. This approach has been used as a method to ensure holistic development of soccer players in academies and can theoretically benefit both early and late maturers, by levelling out physical requirements, ensuring that players develop technical and tactical abilities as well as using their physical qualities [20,38]. Bio-banding exists as an adjunct to, and not a replacement for, age group competition, meaning late maturing youth can also continue to experience the challenges of competing against their more mature peers in the traditional formats, which is important in the context of the underdog hypothesis [4]. ...
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This study aimed to: (1) examine differences in physical performance across birth-quartiles and maturity-status, and (2) determine the relationships among relative age, maturation and physical performance in young male soccer players. The sample included 199 males aged between 8.1 and 18.9 years, from two professional soccer academies in the English Football League. Data were collected for height, weight, self-reported biological parent heights, 30 m sprint time and countermovement jump (CMJ) height. Relative age was conveyed as a decimal, while maturity status was determined as the percentage of predicted adult height (PAH). There were no significant differences in any measure between birth quartiles, however early maturers outperformed on-time and later maturers in most performance measures. Pearson-product-moment correlations revealed that maturation was inversely associated with 30 m sprint time in U12 to U16 (r = −0.370–0.738; p < 0.05), but only positively associated with CMJ performance in U12 (r = 0.497; p < 0.05). In contrast, relative age was unrelated to sprint performance and only significantly associated with superior CMJ performance in U16. This study indicates that maturity has a greater association with sprint performance than relative age in English male academy soccer players. Practitioners should monitor and assess biological maturation in young soccer players to attempt to control for the influence on physical performance, and avoid biasing selection on absolute performance rather than identifying the most talented player.
... For children and adolescents competing in sport, chronological age has been used as a criterion for aggregating young athletes into competitive age groups, to provide adequate physical and technical training routines and facilitate fairness in competition. Previous research suggests that there are many growth and maturity-associated effects to movement mechanics (Towlson et al., 2020), potentially resulting in impairment of motor coordination and physical performance of youth athletes (Cumming et al., 2017). In competitive sports, athletes who are younger tend to be less developed physically and psychologically, which may place them at a performance disadvantage . ...
... attention on the impact of these variables on youth athletes competing in combat sports such as judo (Nabofa, 2012;Zubitashvili, 2011). Due to the inadequacy of chronological age as a criterion for dividing youth athletes into competitive categories, alternative strategies which use physical attributes as criteria have been examined for their effectiveness and applicability (Cumming et al., 2017). In general, these strategies are based on the use of body size and/or maturational status together with chronological age. ...
... In general, these strategies are based on the use of body size and/or maturational status together with chronological age. A strategy called bio-banding does not neglect other factors which should be considered when it comes to the distribution of youth athletes in competitive categories, such as their skill level and psychological profile (Branco et al., 2019;Cumming et al., 2017). ...
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Studies assessing age and maturation effects on morphological and physical performance measures of young judokas are scarce. This study aimed to assess the independent and combined effects of chronological age and biological maturation on anthropometry and physical performance of 67 judokas aged 11-14. Participants' anthropometric profiles were assessed, and physical performance tests were completed. Multivariate analyses of variance revealed an independent effect of age (anthropometry: F = 1.871; p < 0.05; Pillai's trace = 0.545; η 2 p = 0.272; physical performance: F = 2.876; p < 0.01; Pillai's trace = 0.509; η 2 p = 0.254) and maturity (anthropometry: F = 10.085; p < 0.01; Pillai's trace = 0.669; η 2 p = 0.669; physical performance: F = 11.700; p < 0.01; Pillai's trace = 0.581; η 2 p = 0.581). There was no significant combined effect of age and maturity. The maturation effect remained significant when controlled for age (anthropometry: F = 4.097; p < 0.01; Pillai's trace = 0.481; η 2 p = 0.481; physical performance: F = 3.859; p < 0.01; Pillai's trace = 0.0.318; η 2 p = 0.318). In young judokas, the maturation effect on growth and physical performance seems to be more relevant than the age effect, leading to the need to control this effect in training routines and competitive events. As in studies with youth soccer players and other youth athletes, bio-banding can be a strategy for controlling maturation.
... Methods by Mirwald et al. (53) and Moore et al. (58), which predict maturity offset, may not be valid in prepubertal athletes if they are not approaching peak height velocity (PHV) (47,48). Therefore, the Khamis and Roche method (32) of estimating percent of predicted adult height (% PAH) attained is likely to be the most appropriate method of identifying prepubertal athletes' stage of maturity and has been used within the literature to group athletes into "bands" (10,45). For example, Cumming et al. (10) indicated how %PAH can be used to bioband young athletes using the maturity offset method (i.e., ,21, pre-PHV; 21 to +1, circa-PHV; and .+1, ...
... Therefore, the Khamis and Roche method (32) of estimating percent of predicted adult height (% PAH) attained is likely to be the most appropriate method of identifying prepubertal athletes' stage of maturity and has been used within the literature to group athletes into "bands" (10,45). For example, Cumming et al. (10) indicated how %PAH can be used to bioband young athletes using the maturity offset method (i.e., ,21, pre-PHV; 21 to +1, circa-PHV; and .+1, post-PHV) or bands for %PAH attained (i.e., ,85%, prepubertal; 85-90%, early pubertal; 90-95%, midpubertal; and .95%, ...
... PWV tends to occur after PHV, and notably, boys and girls reach PWV within different periods (i.e., boys 5 approximately 6 months and girls 5 few months up to a year) (44). Coaches can subsequently use growth and maturation data to estimate when early specializing athletes are experiencing rapid periods of growth or are approaching the adolescent growth spurt, which may inform the training strategies detailed below (10,45). ...
... To control for the within-group, maturity-related variance in growth and physical fitness development, maturity status bio-banding has been implemented within-academy soccer programmes [14][15][16][17][18] as an alternative to chronologically ordered playing age groups. The typical intended use of maturity status bio-banding is to reduce the (likely) temporary anthropometric (e.g., superior stature) and physical (e.g., superior strength and power) fitness advantages afforded to early maturing players in comparison to their later maturing counterparts [19,20], a concept which should be considered separate to relative age bias in soccer [21]. Permitting a playing or training environment which is suggested to comprise of a homogenous group of players who exhibit similar maturity-related anthropometric, physical fitness and functional movement characteristics. ...
... players. In addition, although the limitations associated with estimating maturation status using original [23] and subsequent iterations [16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23][24] of the maturity-offset method are well discussed [11,[25][26][27], the maturity-offset measure remains a popular method within soccer academies for estimating the maturation status of academy soccer players [28] and has been used to bio-band players [14][15][16][17][18]. Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine if maturity status bio-banding using popular maturity offset measures (i.e. [23,24,29]) reduces the within-group variance of anthropometric, physical fitness and functional movement characteristics of academy soccer players. ...
... Although the magnitude of change was more varied, with the number of physical metrics that displayed a reduction in %CV compared to the chronological group were less within the 'circa-PHV' groups across the three banding methods in comparison to the 'pre-PHV' and 'post-PHV' groupings; 3) In general, maturity status bio-banding had a limited effect on reducing the withingroup variance of FMS™ characteristics, with only a small proportion of metrics reducing in comparison to chronological grouping. Typically, the intended purpose of maturity status bio-banding is to reallocate players into groups characterised by homogenous maturity-related anthropometric and physical profiles [19,20]. However, evidence to specifically examining the efficacy of this is absent. ...
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The study examined if maturity status bio-banding reduces within-group variance in anthropometric, physical fitness and functional movement characteristics of 319, under-14 and under-15 players from 19 UK professional soccer academies. Bio-banding reduced the within-bio-banded group variance for anthropometric values, when compared to an aggregated chronological banded group (chronological: 5.1–16.7%CV; bio-banded: 3.0–17.3%CV). Differences between these bio-banded groups ranged from moderate to very large (ES = 0.97 to 2.88). Physical performance variance (chronological: 4.8–24.9%CV; bio-banded: 3.8–26.5%CV) was also reduced with bio-banding compared to chronological aged grouping. However, not to the same extent as anthropometric values with only 68.3% of values reduced across banding methods compared to 92.6% for anthropometric data. Differences between the bio-banded groups physical qualities ranged from trivial to very large (ES = 0.00 to 3.00). The number of functional movement metrics and %CV reduced by bio-banding was lowest within the ‘circa-PHV’ groups (11.1–44.4%). The proportion of players achieving the threshold value score of ≥ 14 for the FMS™ was highest within the ‘post-PHV’ group (50.0–53.7%). The use of maturity status bio-banding can create more homogenous groups which may encourage greater competitive equity. However, findings here support a bio-banding maturity effect hypothesis, whereby maturity status bio-banding has a heightened effect on controlling for characteristics which have a stronger association to biological growth.
... More accurate body fat measurements could be considered once the athletes are selected and have reached APHV (e.g., DEXA scan, underwater weighing) could be used to control for maturity status (age of peak height velocity = APHV). Moreover, the Kamish-Roche procedure could be applied for bio-banding (predicted adult height = PAH) (Cumming et al., 2017). Nevertheless, any non-invasive method that estimates the biological age (e.g., Khamis-Roche, Mirwald, Fransen) should account for a certain degree of error Laureys et al., 2021b ...
... As indicated before, the strength of this dissertation was that benchmarks were provided (studies 1, 2; Addendum C). Previous research showed that benchmarks could also be constructed and interpreted through the concept of 'bio-banding' (Cumming et al., 2017). In this approach, athletes are grouped according to their biological age rather than their chronological age, which limits the misinterpretation of the performance results due to inter-individual differences in biological maturation. ...
... In this approach, athletes are grouped according to their biological age rather than their chronological age, which limits the misinterpretation of the performance results due to inter-individual differences in biological maturation. Nevertheless, any non-invasive method that estimates the biological age (e.g., method of Khamis-Roche estimating the percentage of predicted adult height (%PAH), Mirwald calculating maturity offset, Fransen calculating maturity ratio, etc.) should account for a certain degree of error Cumming et al., 2017;Teunissen et al., 2020;Laureys et al., 2021b). Since growth varies considerably from individual to individual during adolescence, it is recommended to monitor the growth status to adjust training goals accordingly. ...
... It is, therefore, suggested that the planning and prescription of training to develop MDS is considered in the broader context of the youth soccer player's training environment, which considers the intricacies of TL, growth and maturation, training experience, as well as other factors that are at play within a certain period of a young soccer player's developmental journey (Figure 1). It is of the authors' beliefs that the assessment of growth and maturation should be a key driver in determining the content of MDS training delivered to the youth athlete (29,79,81,82,84,87). As mentioned previously, there is much variation in the timing and tempo of an individual's growth, maturation, and development (84)(85)(86), particularly within the adolescent years (i.e., 11-14 years) (87), which can lead to large disparities in performance across a range of athletic tasks between individuals of the same chronological age (17,84,108,112). ...
... With this information, practitioners can decide to more appropriately categorize individuals into athletic training groups based on the maturity status, as opposed to chronological age groups; for example, ,90% PAH, .90% to ,95% PAH, and .95% may equate to individuals who are early-pubertal to prepubertal, midpubertal, and late-pubertal to postpubertal, respectively (29). Notably, PHV may occur between 88 and 96% of PAH, reaching its peak between approximately 90 and 92% (109), which may have implications for training; however, practitioners are advised to collect and develop their own growth and maturation data that is population-specific, wherever possible. ...
... Indeed, the level of biological maturity has been reported to strongly influence selection processes in youth soccer. It is well-recognised that young soccer players who are advanced in maturity for their age are more likely to be selected into professional academies (Cumming et al., 2017). Evidence has also shown that playing time given to youth players in competition was related to their physical attributes (Deprez et al., 2015). ...
... Biological maturity status has been © Editorial Committee of Journal of Human Kinetics reported to affect selection policies in youth soccer (Cumming et al., 2017) and other team sports (Saavedra et al., 2020;Lago-Fuentes et al., 2020), and playing time given to youth players during competition has been reported to be related to their individual physical attributes (Deprez et al., 2015). On this basis, these findings would suggest that in the present study, such differences would also exist between the SLG and NSG for sT, PHV, and fitness performance. ...
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This study examined changes in match running performance (MRP) in Under-14 soccer players (13.5 ± 0.7 yrs) during a congested match schedule (CMS) (4 matches played within a 5-day period). It also examined the difference in salivary testosterone (sT) concentration, somatic maturation, jumping tests, and Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test Level 1 (Yo-Yo IR1) between the players selected to play (SLG; group who participated in all matches) and players non-selected to play (NSG). A significant difference was observed for the frequency of decelerations (DEC) across matches (match 4 vs. matches 1, 2 and 3; p = 0.05; partial ƞ 2 = 0.20). No difference between matches was observed for total running distance (TRD), high-speed running distance (HSRD), and frequency of accelerations (ACC) (p > 0.05). A wide range for within-player coefficient of variation (CV) values was observed for all MRP variables (range: 10.5 = TRD to 30.6 = HSRD). No difference between SLG and NSG for any of the assessed variables was observed (p > 0.05). The findings suggest that DEC was the most pertinent variable for monitoring changes in MRP during the CMS. In addition, at an elite youth soccer level, the biological maturity and fitness might not influence selection to play.
... Although the mechanisms of the relative age effects need to be examined further, it is known that it is promoted by annual age-grouping . One of the strategies to overcome annual age-grouping is to introduce bio-banding (Cumming et al., 2017;Mann & van Ginneken, 2017). Bio-banding involves the grouping and/or evaluation of athletes on the basis of size and/or maturity status rather than chronological age, which can reduce selection bias, especially when combined with visual reminders such as age-ordered shirt numbering (Mann & van Ginneken, 2017). ...
... Multi-sport practice experience (Güllich, 2017): Experience in participating in multiple sports during childhood and youth ages Relative age effect Cumming et al., 2017;Mann & van Ginneken, 2017;Smith et al., 2018;Turnnidge et al., 2014): The advantage of being relatively older within a specified cohort Birth-place effect (Turnnidge et al., 2014): The association between the size of the city in which an individual is born and the development of sport expertise Deliberate practice (Ericsson et al., 1993): Expert performance is facilitated through 10 years or 10,000 hours of practice that is goal oriented, effortful, not inherently enjoyable nor intrinsically motivating ...
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Establishing trajectories and collecting insights of athletes to better understand sport expertise development is an important step for illustrating developmental milestones for the next generation of athletes. The purpose of this study was to use a transdisciplinary approach with a large cohort of talented Japanese athletes to investigate the holistic development of sport expertise. The national athlete development pathway survey was conducted with 604 athletes across 53 sports. The talented athletes were categorized into three groups: youth international level (n = 100), youth national squad (n = 437), and potential sporting talents (n = 67) based on the highest competition levels achieved in their main sport. The facilitators and barriers to athlete development were analyzed for the three groups. The key complementary factors for the development of talented athletes in Japan included: deliberate play; sport sampling; structured practice and competition in other sports; deliberate practice; and deliberate planning/programming, including talent identification and talent transfer. The pathway trajectory (milestones) of talented athlete development revealed in this study can be used as a helpful guide for the next generation of athletes. Finally, this study addresses the various challenges associated with systemic culture, and its impact on athlete development.
... Relative age effects (RAEs) are a well-known but relevant factor in youth sport [1][2][3]. During the developmental years, RAEs are described as an indirect factor [4], which may affect training and competition opportunities and potentially the athletes' long-term careers [5]. ...
... Not surprisingly, the teams with the relatively older players are usually more successful than teams with relatively younger players [30]. An emerging argument within RAEs research is the need to educate and raise the attention of the coaches to the effects of relative age [2,31]. This is supported by findings where RAEs decreased when the coaches were aware of the players' relative age [28]. ...
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Talent selection is often affected by the relative age effects (RAEs), resulting in the overrepresentation of relatively older (vs. relatively younger) players among those selected. The use of sport-specific tasks is suggested to reduce RAEs during talent selection. Purpose: To test the hypothesis that talent selection including only sport-specific tasks is not affected by the RAEs and to analyse the body size and biological maturity of the top selection level according to relative age. Methods: Participants were U14 female (n = 5428) and U15 (n = 4408) male handball players participating in four programs consisting of four selection levels (local, county, regional, and national) grouped in bi-annual age. Handball-specific generic skills, position-specific technical drills and in-game performance were the selection criteria evaluated by experts and coaches. Body dimensions were measured and bone age, as an indicator of maturity, was estimated. The relative age quartile distributions within the bi-annual cohorts were examined using Chi-square and Odds Ratios. Results: In terms of all the registered players no RAEs were evident. However, the RAEs of moderate effect size were evident at the county level; χ2 = 53.2 (girls) and 66.4 (boys), OR = 2.5 and 3.3, respectively. The RAEs of a large effect size were found at the regional level; χ2 = 139.5 (girls) and 144.9 (boys), OR = 8.2 and 5.2, respectively. At national level, RAEs were still present, but with no further increase in the effect size. At the highest selection level, there were no differences in the anthropometric measures between the relatively older and younger players. Conclusion: The findings provide support to the hypothesis that the selection process exacerbates RAEs even when using only sport-specific selection criteria. The performance metrics in technical skills, but also coaching assessments are likely involved. In addition, an advanced maturity and/or an above-average body size increases the selection odds for relatively younger players.
... 2,3 Sınıflandırma sırasında ulaşılan tahmini yetişkin boyunun [predicted adult height (PAH)] yüzdesi, biyo-gruplama için kullanılan olgunluk göstergesi olmakla beraber, performans gelişiminin izlenmesinde de önemli bir rol oynamaktadır. 4, 5 Baker ve Logan, erken olgunlaşan sporcuların başarı sonrası ödüle erken ulaşmaları ve deneyimlerinin daha fazla olmaları sebebiyle diğer sporculara psikolojik üstünlük sağladıklarını söylemektedir. Buna ek olarak, spora devam süreleri uzamakta ve katılımları da kalıcı olmaktadır. ...
... Özellikle geç olgunlaşan sporcuların psikolojik ve sosyal yönden en uygun şekilde gelişebilmeleri gibi yararlarının olduğu belirtilmiştir. 4 Takvim yılı içerisinde aynı süreçte doğan sporcuların, gelişme ve olgunlaşma seviyeleri değişkenlik gösterebilmekte, bu durum da genç sporcular üzerinde performans farklılıklarının olmasına sebep olmaktadır. Ayrıca bu farklılıklar, dezavantajlı sporcuların erken yaşlarda spordan kopabilmesine neden olabilmektedir. ...
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Amaç: Bu çalışmanın amacı, çocuklarda olgunlaşma düzeyinin (biyo-gruplama) belirlenmesi ve olgunlaşma düzeyine göre çocukların motor beceri seviyelerinin karşılaştırılmasıdır. Gereç ve Yöntemler: Çalışmaya 12-14 yaş arası 205 çocuk gönüllü olarak katılmıştır. Çalışmaya katılan çocukların kaba motor becerileri 8 testten oluşan Deutscher Motorik Test 6-18 (DMT 6-18) (DMT20 m sprint, DMT yana sıçrama, DMTesneklik, DMTdurarak uzun atlama, DMTmekik, DMTdenge, DMTşınav, DMT6 dk koşu) ile olgunluk düzeyleri biyo-gruplama yöntemi ile belirlenmiştir. Bulgular: Çocukların olgunluk düzeylerine göre sınıflandırılmasında 12 yaş grubunda pubertal öncesi, 13 yaş grubunda erken pubertal, 14 yaş grubunda pubertal dönemlerinin yoğun olduğu belirlenmiştir. Çocukların olgunluk düzeyine göre, kaba motor beceri test ortalamalarının karşılaştırılmasında sürat (20 m sprint) performansında pubertal öncesinin 4,06±0,41 sn, erken pubertalın 4,28±0,68 sn, pubertalın 4,33±0,51 sn ve geç pubertalın 4,28±0,68 sn olduğu tespit edilmiştir. Sürat performansında pubertal öncesi lehine anlamlı fark olduğu belirlenmiştir. Çocukların yana atlama performansı pubertal öncesinde 29,66±4,78 adet, erken pubertalda 31,94±4,08 adet, pubertalda 32,71±4,66 adet ve geç pubertalda 30,83±6,20 adet olarak tespit edilmiştir. Yana atlama performansında pubertal lehine anlamlı fark olduğu belirlenmiştir. Çocukların durarak uzun atlamada performanslarının pubertal öncesinde 117,04±23,58 cm, erken pubertalda 122,95±18,87 cm, pubertalda 130,00±25,75 cm ve geç pubertalda 129,00±16,38 cm olduğu belirlenmiştir. Durarak uzun atlama performansında pubertal lehine anlamlı fark olduğu tespit edilmiştir. Sonuç: Olgunlaşma düzeyinin motor performansı etkilediği, geç pubertal düzeyine sahip çocukların diğer çocuklara göre avantajlı olduğu belirlenmiştir. Bu avantaj durumunu dengelemek amacıyla, çocukların olgunluk düzeylerinin belirlenmesinin, fırsat eşitliği sağlamasıyla iyi bir rekabet ortamı, yeteneklerini sergileme ve liderlik gibi vasıfların öne çıkması açısından önemli olduğu düşünülmektedir.
... 6,7 In contrast, there is a systematic exclusion of individuals who are the youngest/least mature in soccer academies, 2 with late maturing individuals more likely to be overlooked or released regardless of the technical, tactical, and/or psychological competency. 8,9 Buchheit et al 10 suggested that biological maturation was positively associated with locomotor capacity during competitive play in highly trained youth soccer players (U13-18). For example, they highlighted that earlier maturing compared with later maturing boys presented significantly higher values for maximum speed, distance covered at high-speed, and absolute higher intensity actions during competition. ...
... This observation may contribute toward the overrepresentation of early maturing in comparison with late maturing boys during the adolescent phase of development. 9 Note 3 classifications of maturity status follow: prepubescent, circapubescent, and postpubescent. ...
Purpose: To investigate the influence of maturation on match running performance in elite male youth soccer players. Methods: A total of 37 elite male youth soccer participants from an English professional soccer academy from the U14s, U15s, and U16s age groups were assessed over the course of 1 competitive playing season (2018-2019). Relative biological maturity was assessed using percentage of predicted adult height. A global positioning system device was used between 2 and 30 (mean = 8 [5]) times on each outfield player. The position of each player in each game was defined as defender, midfielder, or attacker and spine or lateral. A total of 5 match-running metrics were collected total distance covered, high-speed running distance, very high-speed running distance, maximum speed attained, and number of accelerations. Results: Relative biological maturity was positively associated with all global positioning system running metrics for U14s. The U15/16s showed variation in the associations among the global positioning system running metrics against maturity status. A multilevel model which allowed slopes to vary was the best model for all parameters for both age groups. In the U14 age group, advanced maturation was associated with greater high-speed running distance. However, maturation did not contribute toward variance in any of the indices of running performance in the U15/16s. In the U15/16 age group, significance was observed in the spine/lateral playing positions when undertaking actions that required covering distance at high speeds. Conclusions: Maturation appeared to have an impact on match-running metrics within the U14s cohort. However, within the U15/16s, the influence of maturation on match-running metrics appeared to have less of an impact.
... The regression model showed that COD performance can be predicted using the training load parameters and the PHV. Physical maturity has been reported to influence football-related physical characteristics performance [59][60][61]. Previous studies by Parr et al. (2020) and King et al. (2021) have also reported that maturation status can be used as a significant and positive predictor for performance during COD tasks in youth soccer players [62,63]. ...
... Previous studies by Parr et al. (2020) and King et al. (2021) have also reported that maturation status can be used as a significant and positive predictor for performance during COD tasks in youth soccer players [62,63]. These changes in performance could be attributed to the combined changes in the anatomical structure, size, metabolism and neuromuscular system [61]. The training load parameters also contributed to predicting COD performance during the early-season and end-season. ...
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Background: The main aim of this study was to evaluate the relationships between training workload (WL) parameters with variations in the change of direction (COD) in under-16 soccer players. Methods: Twenty-seven under-16 elite soccer players were daily monitored for their WL across 15 weeks during the competitive soccer season. Additionally, players were assessed two times for anthropometric measures (weight, height, sitting height and leg length), COD performance (modified 505 test) and maturity offset measured using the peak height velocity (PHV). Results: A correlational analysis was performed to determine the relationship between the variation in COD performance and accumulated WL parameters. Moreover, a regression analysis was executed to explain the variations in the percentage of COD performance considering the accumulated WL parameters and PHV of the season (r = 0.93; p ≤ 0.01) and training monotony during the early-season (r = 0.53; p ≤ 0.05). There were associations between the acute workload during the start of the season and the COD during the end of the season (r = 0.47; p ≤ 0.05). The multiple linear regression analysis showed that 55% of the variation in COD performance between the early and end of season could be explained by the acute or chronic WL, training monotony or strain and the PHV. Conclusions: This information might be useful for practitioners and coaches aiming to improve the COD performance in youth soccer players during an entire competitive season.
... A selecBon bias toward more mature players is likely due to physical advantages (mainly in strength, associated with earlier gains in lean mass) that aid performance. 20 In our group of young cricketers, the most mature players were stronger, performed beler on tests of throwing distance and speed and tended to jump further (although this finding just failed to reach staBsBcal significance). This is similar to previous reports in youth soccer players that indicated more mature players perform beler in funcBonal tests of strength and power. ...
... For early maturers, biobanding creates challenge and the environment that would encourage them to develop addiBonal technique as opposed to relying upon their superior strength. This final point is supported by similar research with bio-banding in football.20 ...
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Aims The aims of this study conducted at a male youth cricket camp were to investigate (i) maturation status and relative age (ii) the relationship between biological maturation and physical performance (iii) the impact of bio-banded games on players’ enjoyment and performance and (iv) coach perceptions of bio-banded games. Study Design Exploratory multi-method study. Setting A 3-day regional under-14 boys’ cricket development camp. Participants Fifty-seven youth male cricket players (mean age 13.3 ±0.29 yrs). Method Biological maturity status, physical performance (strength and jump tests) and cricket performance (batting, bowling, and throwing) were assessed and players engaged in a series of bio-banded games. Focus groups with players and interviews with coaches were conducted to gain deeper insight and to evaluate player and coach experiences during the bio-banded games. Results Late maturing players were underrepresented in the age group cricketers investigated in this study, however there was no relative age effect. Bio-banded games were viewed favourably by both coaches and players with the biggest benefits appearing to be to the least mature players. More mature players have advantages in terms of strength that give them certain batting advantages and likely allow them to throw faster and further. Conclusion These findings have important implications for selection processes, talent development, player enjoyment and relevance for other sports beyond cricket. Keywords: Maturation, growth, adolescents, talent identification, skill development, youth sport.
... Multiple solutions have been offered by researchers to alleviate the separate selection biases onset by both relative age (Helsen et al., 2005(Helsen et al., , 2012Cobley et al., 2009;Mann and van Ginneken, 2017;Kelly et al., 2020) and timing of maturation (Cumming et al., 2017;Malina et al., 2019). Several proposals have been suggested to remove relative age bias including changing (Barnsley, 1988;Helsen et al., 2012) and rotating the cutoff dates (Barnsley, 1988), installing sport-specific cut-off dates (Musch and Grondin, 2001), and particular [i.e., age-ordered numbered soccer shirts and birthday banding (Kelly et al., 2020)] talent identification strategies (Mann and van Ginneken, 2017). ...
... Several proposals have been suggested to remove relative age bias including changing (Barnsley, 1988;Helsen et al., 2012) and rotating the cutoff dates (Barnsley, 1988), installing sport-specific cut-off dates (Musch and Grondin, 2001), and particular [i.e., age-ordered numbered soccer shirts and birthday banding (Kelly et al., 2020)] talent identification strategies (Mann and van Ginneken, 2017). Maturity-related selection bias between players' differences has been addressed using maturity bio-banding (Reeves et al., 2018;Abbott et al., 2019;Macmaster, 2021;Towlson, 2021;Towlson et al., 2021a), whereby players are grouped according to their maturation status (Cumming et al., 2017;Malina et al., 2019). Despite the relative success of some of the aforementioned methods to reduce RAE (i.e., birthday and bio-banding) and maturity selection bias (i.e., bio-banding), many proposed solutions can be difficult to implement and rely on the flexibility of coaches in how they structure games and training programs. ...
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Relative age selection bias persists within all major soccer leagues and youth soccer academies across the globe, with the relative age effect (RAE) being typically characterized as the over selection of relatively older players (who have sometimes also been shown to be early maturing). The aim of this study was to examine if a new allocation method (i) eliminates the RAE, and (ii) reduces the presence of any additional maturity-related differences in anthropometric and physical fitness characteristics which may exist between players within the same selection category. In the first phase, 1,003 academy soccer players [under (U) 9–16] from 23 UK professional soccer clubs were sampled and a clear RAE per birth quarter (Q) was observed for the overall sample (Q1 = 45.0% vs. Q4 = 9.8%) as well as for the different age categories. Using the newly suggested reallocation method, youth players were divided by allocation date which was defined as the midway point between the chronological age and the estimated developmental (ED) birthdate. Stature was used as an anthropometric reference point on the P50 of the growth curve to determine the developmental birthdate for this new method. After the reallocation of the players using ED, the distribution of players was more equally spread (Q1 = 25.3%, Q2 = 25.6%, Q3 = 22.4%, Q4 = 26.7%). After reallocation, the mean delta stature was reduced by 16.6 cm (from 40.3 ± 7.08 to 23.7 ± 4.09 cm, d = 2.87). The mean delta body mass difference after allocation was reduced by 6.7kg (from 33.2 ± 6.39 to 26.5 ± 4.85 kg, d = 1.18). The mean age difference increased from 1.8 to 3.9 years. A total of 42.7% of the sample would have been reallocated to a different age group compared to the current one. After reallocation, 45% of the anthropometric and physical fitness comparisons showed reductions in the within-group variation expressed as a percentage of coefficient of variation (CV%). The U10 players demonstrated the largest reduction in CV% (−7.6%) of the anthropometric characteristics. The U10 squad also showed the largest reduction in CV% for various physical fitness characteristics (−7.5%). By both eliminating the RAE and reducing temporary maturity-related anthropometric and physical fitness differences, soccer academies across the world may diversify and increase the size of the talent pool both for clubs and national youth teams. In conclusion, this study provides further evidence that the newly proposed allocation method shows the potential to remove the RAE and to create a more “leveled playing field” by reducing the within-group variation of anthropometric and physical fitness characteristics affording relatively younger, and eventually, late-maturing players the opportunity to develop their talent fairly.
... In addition, the interest in this topic in the context of youth sports is evident. Several studies about bio-banding in football (bio-banding is the process of grouping practitioners based on attributes associated with growth and maturation and not chronological age) have been conducted [5,[16][17][18]. Previous canoeing studies have focused on analyzing athletes from a morphological and a maturity standpoint [19][20][21][22], considering performance [23]. ...
... All participants were distributed into groups depending on their maturity status [16] at the time of the assessment: <88% (Bottom%PAH), ≥88% to <92% (Middle%PAH), and ≥92% (Top%PAH) for the U14 category, and <95% (Bottom%PAH), ≥95% to <97% (Middle%PAH), and ≥97% (Top%PAH) for the U16 kayakers. Additionally, maturity offset [34] was used. ...
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Previous canoe sprint studies evaluated the best paddlers of their categories. This investigation aimed to identify the importance of biological maturation and athletes’ experience in kayaking performance and observe possible differences regarding anthropometry, years of practice, and performance. Eighty under 14 years of age (U14) and fifty under 16 years of age (U16) kayakers aged 13.40 ± 0.54 and 15.25 ± 0.61 years were evaluated. Kayakers were assessed for anthropometry (body mass (kg); stretch stature (cm); and sitting height (cm)), performance (time at 3000 m for U14 and 5000 m for U16 kayakers), and somatic maturation (predicted adult height (PAH) and maturity offset). In the U14 kayakers, years of practice, sitting height, and maturity offset showed significant differences (p < 0.05) between the Top10 and Middle, and Middle and Bottom10 performance times. Significantly higher (p < 0.05) sitting heights were identified between the Top10 and Middle U16 kayakers. Significant differences (p < 0.05) were observed for maturity offset and PAH% between the Top10 and Middle groups compared to the Bottom10 group. In conclusion, this research shows differences in the maturity status of young U14 and U16 kayakers, identifying that the more biologically mature individuals, with more years of specific practice, achieved better performances.
... However, physical scores are diluted with very low scores of maturity related attributes. The effects, biases and acknowledgements of maturity has been well researched and documented within soccer [7,30,49]. Of these attributes perceived as low importance, four attributes (Height, Relative Age Effect, Maturation and Early Developers) were predicted to be less essential when determining talent from the initial survey. ...
... However, given the non-significance and poor association of those predictions, it might be argued that these attributes are not as widely understood, and were ranked lower because of this. A plethora of research exists, discussing the concept of the underdog hypothesis, whereby a late-developing player must perform to a higher relative standard to contend with their earlier developed peers, whereby this superior standard of performance will be realised in later ages beyond adolescence [7,8]. However, the success of the underdog hypothesis would be enhanced if coaches possess a higher understanding and interpretation of maturation and related attributes, which is potentially indicated by their low score of perceived importance. ...
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PurposeUnderstanding the desired attributes for talented soccer players may give insight into the process of (de)selection and player development. This study aimed to explore soccer academy personnel’s perceptions of attributes associated with talent and development.Methods Thirty English and Scottish academy personnel (managers, coaches, recruitment, sports scientists) provided perceptions into what attributes contribute to ‘talent’, via an online survey. Utilising an E-Delphi method, seven experts refined these inputs over several rounds until a consensus was reached, resulting in 82 agreed terminology. This terminology was resubmitted via a second online survey, where 45 academy personnel rated each using a Likert scale.ResultsA ranking of attributes by importance was produced, finding Psychological and Technical/Tactical attributes considered of greatest importance. Differences were observed, whereby recruitment personnel consistently over-emphasised the importance of several attributes compared to other personnel (P = 0.02–0.04). When analyzed within each age phase, 11 variations in the perceived importance of attributes were demonstrated in the youth phase (11–16 years, P = 0.01) compared with 5 in the professional phases (17–23 years, P = 0.01–0.05)Conclusion The present study demonstrates that ‘talent’ requires multifaceted developments, with academy personnel perceiving psychological attributes the most important contributor to development
... In this line of reasoning, bio-banding has been introduced in order to account for maturity-associated variation (Cumming, Lloyd, Oliver, Eisenmann, & Malina, 2017). The aim of bio-banding is to reduce the impact of inter-individual maturational differences by helping both late and early-maturing youth to potentially participate and compete on a more developmentally matched basis . ...
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Bio-banding has been introduced to reduce the impact of inter-individual differences due to biological maturation among youth athletes. Existing studies in youth soccer have generally examined the pilot-testing application of bio-banding. This is the first study that investigated whether bio-banded (BB) versus chronological age (CA) competition affects reliable physiological and technical-tactical in-game key performance indicators (KPIs) using a randomized cross-over repeated measures design. Sixty-five youth elite soccer players from the under-13 (U13) and under-14 (U14) age category and with maturity offsets (MO) between −2.5 and 0.5 years, competed in both a BB and CA game. For statistical analysis, players were divided into four sub-groups according to CA and MO: U13MOlow (CA ≤ 12.7, MO ≤ −1.4), U13 MOhigh (CA ≤ 12.7, MO > −1.4), U14 MOlow (CA > 12.7, MO ≤ −1.4), U14 MOhigh (CA > 12.7, MO > −1.4). The two-factor mixed ANOVA revealed significant (p < .05) interactions between competition format and sub-group for the KPIs high accelerations (eta= .176), conquered balls (eta= .227) and attack balls (eta= .146). Especially, U13 MOhigh (i.e. early maturing players) faced a higher physiological challenge by having more high accelerations (|d| = 0.6) in BB games. Notably, U14 MOlow (i.e. late maturing players) had more opportunities to show their technical-tactical abilities during BB games with more conquered balls (|d| = 1.1) and attack balls (|d| = 1.6). Affected KPIs indicate new challenges and learning opportunities during BB competition depending on a player’s individual maturity status. Present findings help apply bio-banding more focused and adjusted to the player’s developmental needs. Bio-banding can beneficially be applied to enhance the talent development of youth elite soccer players.
... The results indicated that lower-body RPA implies higher cardio-respiratory performance (e.g. the mean oxygen uptake) 33 . The regression results for VJ and VO 2 max (maturity timing: direction and value) and the adjusted values for decimal age, body height, and body mass (where the mean values of average maturers from 14-year-old and 15-year-old groups were slightly higher than in the early maturing peers) might be explained as a response to a combination of anatomical changes occurring in the structure, size, metabolism, and the neuromuscular system 72,73 . These changes determine the ability of the cardiopulmonary system to cope with increased training demands in the later stages of puberty 73 . ...
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The aims of this study were (i) to identify the motor potential and basic anthropometric characteristics of Polish basketball players aged 13 to 15 years, (ii) to demonstrate the effect of maturity timing on the results achieved in motor tests and basic body composition parameters, and (iii) to determine which index contributes most to the prediction of performance in the individual tests of speed, jumping ability, agility, and endurance. The sample included 818 male Polish players. Analysis of values related to age-adjusted characteristics showed that in the under 13-year-old group, early maturers had significantly better results (except for stage 1 in the agility test) than average maturers. However, in the endurance test in the under 14- and 15-year-old groups (both distance covered and VO 2max ), the average maturers obtained higher values. Furthermore, maturity differentiation in the under 14- and 15-year-old groups significantly affected body size, 20-m sprinting time (under 14-year-old group only), and the results of all jumping tests. ANCOVA results (age, body height, and body mass as covariates) showed better results of early maturers in the under 13-year-old group. The opposite trend was observed in the under 14- to 15-year-old groups, where early maturing individuals performed worse in the running vertical jump (VJ) and endurance tests (both distances covered and VO 2max ). Maturity timing (VJ and VO 2 max), chronological age (5 m, 10 m, 20 m, agility, and VO 2max tests), body height (all tests), body mass (5 m), and the interaction between body mass and height (10 m, 20 m, agility, standing vertical jump, vertical jump) were significant (adjusted R 2 = 0.08–0.25; p < 0.001) predictors of motor skills. These findings can be helpful in quantifying and controlling the results of youth sports programs adjusted to biological requirements used in the training process.
... From a talent identification and selection process point of view, it would be reasonable to group young soccer players in clubs and academies according to their maturity status rather than to their chronological age (Cumming et al., 2017). However, the structure of soccer federations (regional, national and international) does not allow this kind of grouping to compete. ...
... From a talent identification and selection process point of view, it would be reasonable to group young soccer players in clubs and academies according to their maturity status rather than to their chronological age (Cumming et al., 2017). However, the structure of soccer federations (regional, national and international) does not allow this kind of grouping to compete. ...
Article
Under the current structure of soccer, young players are organized according to their chronological age, which may create physical differences between them within a same age-group. These differences influence the player talent identification and selection process and the strength and conditioning development as they give an advantage to those players who are more advanced in their maturation. The present study provides an example carried out by a Spanish soccer academy which reorganized their players according to their maturity status and their physical condition with the aim of comparing conditioning levels and development in a more homogeneous context. The measurements, the player data analysis that was performed and the examples of players who were assigned to other teams according to this grouping model are shown. Final strength and conditioning training recommendations are provided from the scientific literature regarding the specific adaptations throughout the maturation process. © Copyright: Federación Española de Asociaciones de Docentes de Educación Física (FEADEF).
... For instance, players born later in the year showed less technical and tactical actions compared to their peers born earlier in the same year [21]. Additionally, late maturing and biologically younger players may also be less involved in the technical and tactical actions [22]. As talent development aims for a holistic development in a large number of talents [23], match formats should maximize technical and tactical actions, as well as game involvement of all players. ...
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As young football players develop important technical and tactical skills during competitive matches, this study investigated quantity and quality of technical and tactical actions in real game conditions in a 4v4 compared to the traditional 7v7 match format. In total, three matches of each format were played by 103 young football players (10.3±0.6 years) and video monitored for subsequent manual tagging of technical and tactical events. Based on the number of technical and tactical actions in the 7v7 matches, players were classified as dominant or non-dominant and changes in these subgroups were assessed during the 4v4 match format. The 4v4 match format significantly (P<0.001) increased total number of actions per player per minute compared to the 7v7 matches (5.59±1.44 and 2.78±0.73, respectively) and the number of successful (2.88±0.92 and 1.15±0.49, respectively) and unsuccessful (1.05±0.42 and 0.67±0.23, respectively) actions. Both dominant and non-dominant players increased their number of actions during the 4v4 compared to 7v7 match format. Despite a missing significant interaction effect, there was a larger percentage increase in number of actions for the non-dominant players (143%) compared to dominant players (72%) in 4v4. The 4v4 match format shows twice as many technical and tactical actions in real game conditions and, therefore, may improve players' skill development.
... Determining an athlete's maturity status can allow practitioners to group and compare athletes more fairly. Subsequently, practitioners can use growth and maturity data to help inform training groupings or interpret changes in physical performance in line with maturity status (19). ...
... Depending on the specific characteristics and requirements of a sport, being late or advanced in maturation may be the key factor in the selection and the development of young talented athletes. For instance, in females, while being a late maturer may provide over-representation in gymnastics and figure skating, it may lead to underrepresentation in tennis and swimming [14]. ...
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Purpose. The aim of this study was to determine the maturity-related variations in anthropometry, physical fitness, and sport-specific skills among young male and female futsal players. Methods. Overall, 77 athletes (44 boys and 33 girls) aged 10.5-13.7 (12.3 ± 0.9) years were measured for stature, body mass, 2 skinfolds, as well as 3 fitness and 2 sport-specific test items. Results. Compared with boys, girls were significantly more advanced in maturation and had greater body mass index and body fat percentage. Except for the countermovement jump result, boys outperformed girls in all fitness and sport-skill assessments. Regardless of gender, early maturing players were significantly taller and heavier and had higher body fat percentage and grip strength than their late-maturing counterparts. In boys, none of the other physical fitness and sport-specific skill measures significantly differed between contrasting maturity groups. In turn, early maturing girls had significantly better scores in all physical fitness measurements than late maturing girls. Partial correlations, with chronological age controlled as a covariate, indicated moderate to high correlations between the maturation indicator and stature and body mass in both boys and girls. Except for grip strength and dribbling tests for boys and girls, respectively, other physical fitness and sport-specific skill measures did not show a significant correlation with maturity status. Conclusions. These results highlight that rather than with functional and sport-specific characteristics, physical maturity status may be associated with greater body size in young futsal players.
... The critical question is how this preference for early born youngsters could be changed and if that contributes to greater success. Researchers have proposed several solutions to address RAEs, including rotating cut-off dates, shorter age categories bandwidths, physical and/or maturation classification schemes and educating trainers, coaches and parents (Andronikos, Elumaro, Westbury, Martindale, 2016;Cumming, Lloyd, Oliver, Eisenmann, Malina, 2017;Haycraft, Kovalchik, Pyne, Larkin, Robertson, 2018). Furthermore, regarding sprinting events, it has been suggested the application of corrective adjustments to youth results so as to remove RAE from top rankings (Cobley et al., 2019;Romann, Cobley, 2015). ...
Article
Physical differences associated with birth-date among athletes of the same selection year have been described as the Relative Age Effect (RAE). The aim of this study was to examine whether RAE still exists in soccer and running sport disciplines as well as to evaluate its progress among different gender, age, and sport context and if it has an effect on performance. Using official archives of the international sports’ associations (World Athletics-UEFA), birthdates and performance were collected for 7226 athletes (4033 males; 3198 females) who participated in soccer and running events. A chi-square test was used to assess differences between observed and expected birth date distributions. The study showed an over-representation of athletes born in the first quarter of the selection year for both soccer and running events. RAE is more obvious in younger age groups and in sports that require higher explosive speed, strength, power and anaerobic capacity such as soccer and short distance sprints. It was also found that RAE is associated with performance. In conclusion, athletes of younger age groups with greater biological age have a physical advantage in explosive sports (i.e. soccer and short distance running) that probably does not predict their future development.
... The study of anthropometry-based indicators of morphology and maturity status might contribute to the talent identification, sports specialization and early categorization of young athletes (Cumming, Lloyd, Oliver, Eisenmann, & Malina, 2017;Malina, Coelho E Silva, Figueiredo, Carling, & Beunen, 2012). In fact, current research have reinforced the utility of the anthropometric assessment to distinguish morphological and performance characteristics of young combat athletes (Toselli et al., 2021) besides reporting significant associations (Giudicelli et al., 2021) that help nutrition and exercise professionals to monitor and design intervention programs. ...
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Introduction: The study of anthropometry-based indicators of morphology and maturity status might contribute to the talent identification, sports specialization and early categorization of young athletes. The Urabá subregion is considered one of the geographical locations with the highest sport potential in Colombia; however, no study has evaluated young combat athletes. Objective: The aim of this study was to characterize for the first time morphology, body composition, and biological maturation status of pre-adolescent Olympic wrestling athletes from Urabá subregion (Antioquia, Colombia). Materials and methods: A STROBE-based cross-sectional study was carried out in forty-nine young Olympic wrestlers (20F: 29M; 13.3 ± 1.2 years; 154.0 ± 11.7 cm; 45.8 ± 10.8 kg; 19.0 ± 2.9 kg·m-2) with previous experience in sports events and competing in the Urabá regional games. Anthropometry-based variables of morphology, body composition (five-and two-compartment models), and maturity status were analyzed. An unsupervised machine learning algorithm was used to identify similar data groups (clusters) and extract profile patterns. Results: Several morphological, body composition and maturity status differences were found between girls and boys (p < 0.05). We identified two significantly different phenotypes representing lighter, shorter, leaner, more biomechanically efficient, and in late maturing (Cluster 1) versus taller, heavier, more robust, less biomechanically efficient, and average matured (Cluster 2) young athletes. The matching analysis of the clusters revealed that maturity explained most of the variance in the data. Conclusions: Two clustering-based phenotypes were obtained to provide relevant information that might assist nutrition and exercise professionals when designing interventions. More research is needed to evaluate potential associations with physical performance and/or sport success.
... Sport in the world of education that is packaged in physical education teaches that a student should have an interest in subjects to increase interest in learning. Increased awareness and interest in the subject increases the potential for learning [15]. ...
... Research has shown that inclusion of subjective ratings from coaches improves predictive models within TID in comparison to objective data alone [55,74]. However, the basis of and validity of such ratings is yet to be established with research showing a lack of agreement between coaches [85], an inability for coaches to accurately rate performance within specific disciplines (e.g., physical, [86,87]) and suggestions that ratings are potentially biased [82] and could be based on a coaches' perceived ability to influence and develop a player rather than solely on athlete ability alone [88,89]. Evidence of such biases has shown subjective ratings may vary based on an individual's stage of maturation and rate of growth, with a trend for ratings to decline for players around the time of their growth spurt, before increasing again post growth spurt [84]. ...
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Talent identification (TID) and talent development (TD) continue to receive significant investment from team sports organisations, highlighting their importance in attempting to identify potential elite athletes. Accompanying this continual pursuit to unearth future talent is an ever-increasing body of research aiming to provide solutions and strategies to optimise TID and TD processes. Therefore, the aim of this review is to provide a summary and critical synthesis of the methodological approaches applied to TID in team sports and present considerations for future TID research. Specifically, this review highlights three key areas for consideration: (1) the timespan of the research design; (2) the use of monodisciplinary or multidisciplinary variables; and (3) the fidelity of the methodological approaches to the assessment of talent. The review highlights the benefits of longitudinal, multidisciplinary, and ecologically valid research designs for TID within team sports.
... In the system training, the training is carried out in stages. Different training stages complement each other to form a system [9,10]. If there are more and more serious sports injuries in training, it will not only affect the quality of training but also break the training system. ...
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... The progress towards adult state is referring to biological maturity (Hill et al., 2019) and the state of biological maturity at the time it is observed known as maturity status (early, average and late maturing) while maturity timing is refer to the specific maturational event occur (ages at peak height velocity) (Myburgh, Cumming and Malina, 2019). In most sports, athletes are grouped according to their chronological age which however might consist of difference biological maturity (Cumming et al., 2017). ...
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The importance of talent identification (TID) in sports development could not be denied where it could be a change on career pathway for an athlete, and this is also might cause the talent loss when scouting the team and this are very crucial at grassroots to elite youth level. The relative age effect (RAE) has been studied widely in sports where there is an advantages and disadvantages occurred and lead to the talent loss. Many of the sports does not have a standardized TID process which most of them are based on try and error and expose to biases. Literature on this paper was obtained from computer based sources. This research paper will discuss and elaborate more on the mechanism that might be affecting the present of RAE which are maturity, playing position, gender and performance and its possible solution which is important for the future development to help researchers, sports & health professional, coaches and athletes understand the concept of RAE and the solution selected.
... • Bio-banded training and match play [112][113][114]. • Individualised and stage-appropriate training targets and standards [14,15,115]. ...
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... Alternatively, maturity status can be determined as a percentage of predicted adult height (%PAH) by entering anthropometric measures and parental heights (corrected for overestimation) into sex-specific regression equations to predict a child's adult height and, in turn, calculate their current %PAH (Khamis & Roche, 1994). Young players can then be grouped into respective maturity bands: <85% PAH, prepubertal; ≥85% to <90%, early pubertal; ≥90% to <95%, mid-pubertal; or ≥95%, late pubertal (Cumming et al., 2017). Of note, PHV will typically occur during 88%-96% of PAH, often peaking, on average, at ~92% (Baxter-Jones, 2013). ...
... These are the NSCA Pillars most associated with scientific principles of paediatric exercise and training science and thus may present the greatest challenge to implementation. Furthermore, research aligned to these Pillars is well established including growth and maturity (e.g., [42][43][44]), training load (e.g., [45][46][47]), fitness assessment (e.g., [48][49][50]) and appropriate implementation strategies (e.g., biobanding, [51]; strength & conditioning, [13]; movement competence, [52]). This suggests that despite the quantity and robustness of existing research, further work is required for the appropriate translation, dissemination and education across multiple practitioners to promote research-informed practice within long-term athletic development pathways [53,54] and to support adherence, accuracy and consistency of planning, profiling and programme development for all youth. ...
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Thesis
This doctoral thesis aims to: 1) analyse performance in youth basketball athletes, using state-of-the-art technology and exploring a multidimensional approach; and 2) to examine the effects of training programmes to foster the motor performance in youth basketball athletes. In this regard, this thesis includes observational and experimental studies, to overcome identified literature gaps regarding the effect of previous sport experiences, biological maturation, strength-training programmes considering team sports demands in performance and musculoskeletal risk-related parameters amongst youth athletes, but also to provide performance indicators that help practitioners to establish a more efficient and less time-consuming data-driven process. The present findings confirmed early sports specialisation in late-specialisation sports such as basketball, even though less specialised sport experiences in early ages, resulted beneficial for physical performance at a mid-term. Furthermore, the physical and somatic maturation parameters, but also the training experience were the most determining factors for athletes to continue in national team selection process. Moreover, the somatic maturation monitoring allowed the identification of different maturity status amongst national team players, which explained the differences in performance at physical and game-related statistics levels. In the same line, we observed a modification of the youth players behaviour and activity profile when the opponents’ level was matched according to the maturity status. Particularly, the less advanced maturity status players need a greater capacity for adaptation regarding the physicality of the game. Also, regarding to the repeated power ability protocol, the somatic maturation significantly predicted the acute response in back squat and bench press exercises. Moreover, this strength training method demonstrated some physiological correspondence with basketball match demands. The effects of this training method using random recovery times between sets included a significant improvement in physical parameters and high-intensity actions during basketball game. Also, it was observed an association between the improvement in physical parameters and game-related variables. Present findings highlight the need of design youth sport programmes considering a long-term perspective, finding a balanced cost-benefit of two critical aspects of long-term athlete development: performance and health. Government, national governing bodies, clubs, and higher education institutions need to work together to ensure appropriate environments for training and competition in youth ages, avoiding health issues still support long-term athlete development. In this regard, adjust sports competitive system, assess continuously growth and maturation, grouping athletes based on biological maturation or sport previous experiences, stimulate strength training, but also diversified motor experiences, and use technology to assist monitoring process can be suitable solutions to accomplish long-term objectives considering a data-based approach.
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Chapter
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The development of executive functions (EF) has been widely investigated and is associated with various domains of expertise, such as academic achievement and sports performance. Multiple factors are assumed to influence the development of EF, among them biological maturation. Currently the effect of biological maturation on EF performance is largely unexplored, in contrast to other domains like physical development or sports performance. Therefore, this study aimed (a) to explore the effect of chronological age on EF performance and (b) to investigate to what extent age-related changes found in EF are affected by biological maturation on both sexes. To this end, EF performance and degree of maturity, indexed by percentage of predicted adult height (%PAH), of 90 adolescents (11–16 years old, 54% males) were measured on three occasions in a time frame of 12 months. A Generalized Estimating Equation (GEE) approach was used to examine the association between chronological age and %PAH and the weighted sum scores for each EF component (i.e., inhibition, planning, working memory, shifting). All models were run separately for both sexes. The males’ results indicated that EF performance improved with age and degree of maturity on all four components. Interaction effects between age and %PAH on inhibition showed that at a younger age, males with a higher %PAH had a lower chance of performing well on inhibition, whereas at later ages, males with a higher %PAH had a higher chance to have a good inhibition performance. For working memory, it seems that there is no maturity effect at a younger age, while at later ages, a disadvantage for later maturing peers compared to on-time and earlier maturing male adolescents emerged. Females showed slightly different results. Here, age positively influenced EF performance, whereas maturity only influenced inhibition. Interaction effects emerged for working memory only, with opposite results from the males. At younger ages, females with lower %PAH values seem to be scoring higher, whereas at later ages, no maturity effect is observed. This study is one of the first to investigate the effect of biological maturation on EF performance, and shows that distinct components of EF are influenced by maturational status, although the effects are different in both sexes. Further research is warranted to unravel the implications for maturation-driven effects on EF that might significantly affect domains of human functioning like academic achievement and social development.
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Este libro recoge las ponencias del VI Seminario Internacional de Táctica y Técnica Deportiva organizadas por la Cátedra de Deporte y Educación Física - Centro de Estudios Olímpicos de la Universidad de Girona (antiguas Jornadas de la CEEF-CEO) dedicadas a las nuevas tendencias en el desarrollo del talento deportivo. En este libro el lector encontrará ideas y reflexiones alrededor del talento deportivo y, muy especialmente, acerca de las cuestiones relativas a su desarrollo. Dichas ideas y aportaciones han sido elaboradas por investigadores y técnicos de reconocido prestigio estatal e internacional. Es nuestro deseo que el lector pueda encontrar en estas páginas elementos de reflexión teórica y contenidos de estudios científicos que le permitan profundizar en la comprensión del desarrollo del talento deportivo, así como que le ayuden en la tarea del entrenamiento diario y cotidiano. Deseamos que los caminos, no siempre coincidentes y a veces demasiado distantes, del entrenamiento y de la investigación vayan encontrando puntos de conexión que permitan a ambos dominios retroalimentarse y mejorar en sus respectivas tareas.
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ABSTRACT Within a group of adolescent Australian Rules Football (ARF) players, individuals of the same chronological age can differ greatly in biological maturation, with some players maturing vastly earlier or later than their peers. Such large differences in maturity can cause a disparity between physical performance, influence the perceptions of talent, and affect training practice. In attempts to address such issues, this overview proposes the concept of bio-banding in ARF, which may be used periodically within the national talent pathway to optimise player development. Bio-banding is the process of grouping adolescent athletes into specific categories or ‘bands’ based on biological maturation, rather than chronological age. This review describes how bio-banding may be used to enhance player development in ARF, giving context to its background and implementation in other sports. DOI: 10.1177/17479541211042682
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Chronological age is used as a basis for determining and comparing the motor skill levels of football players. However, it is known that there are early maturing and late maturing players in the same age group. The aim of this study is to compare the motor skill levels of football players in the same age group by bio-banding and to investigate the importance of bio-banding on motor skill levels.81 male football players between the ages of 12-15 participated in the study voluntarily. Gross motor skills of the football players participating in the study were determined with Deutscher Motoric Test (DMT 6-18), which consists of 8 tests, namely, (DMT20m sprint, DMTside jump, DMTflexibility, DMT standing long jump, DMT sit-up, DMTbalance, DMT push-up, DMT6 min running). Bio-banding was used to determine the maturity level of football players.As a result of the study, it was determined that there are football players with different maturity levels inthe same chronological age grouping. There was no difference in the comparison of sprint, side jump, flexibility, push-up variables between groups according to bio-banding.
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Öz: Voleybolcuların performanslarını etkileyen en önemli etkenlerin başında dikey sıçrama, çeviklik ve sürat performansları gelmektedir. Çalışmanın amacı bu motorik özelliklerin Biyo-gruplamaya göre karşılaştırılmasıdır. Çalışmaya 13-16 yaş arası 30 kadın voleybolcu gönüllü olarak katılmıştır. Voleybolcuların dikey sıçrama, çeviklik ve sürat performansları ölçülmüştür. Voleybolcuların biyolojik olgunluk düzeyi (tahmini yetişkin boyu yüzdesi) belirlenmesi için Biyo-gruplama yöntemi kullanılmıştır. Biyo-gruplamaya göre antropometik özellikler (boy, vücut ağırlığı, beden kitle indeksi (BKİ), vücut yağ yüzdesi (VYY) ve dikey sıçrama, çeviklik ve sürat performanslarının karşılaştırılmasında One Way Anova testi kullanılmıştır. Voleybolcuların Biyo-gruplamaya göre sınıflandırmasında, ergenlik dönemi ve geç ergenlik seviyelerinde yoğunlaştığı belirlenmiştir. Boy değişkeninde erken ergenliğin boy ortalaması 145,00 cm, ergenlik döneminin 160,54 cm, geç ergenliğin ise 161,00 cm olduğu, gruplar arası karşılaştırmada anlamlı fark olduğu tespit edilmiştir (p<0,05). Vücut ağırlığı değişkeninde erken ergenliğin 42,25 kg, ergenlik döneminin 48,08 kg, geç ergenliğin ise 56,06 kg olduğu, gruplar arası karşılaştırmada anlamlı fark olduğu tespit edilmiştir (p<0,05). Çeviklik değişkeninde erken ergenliğin 23,02 sn, ergenlik döneminin 21,98 sn, geç ergenliğin 19,96 sn olduğu, gruplar arası karşılaştırmada anlamlı fark olduğu tespit edilmiştir (p<0,05). BKİ, vücut yağ yüzdesi, dikey sıçrama ve 20 m sürat değişkenlerinde fark saptanmamıştır. Sonuç olarak, aynı yaş grubu içerisinde farklı olgunlaşma düzeyine sahip sporcuların olduğu, olgunlaşma düzeylerinin antropometrik özellikler ve motor performans üzerine etkisi olduğu belirlenmiştir. Voleybol başta olmak üzere takım sporlarında antrenman grupları oluşturulurken biyo-gruplamanın kronolojik yaşa ek olarak kullanılması önerilmektedir.
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The primary aims of this study were to examine the effects of bio-banding players on passing networks created during 4v4 small-sided games (SSGs), while also examining the interaction of pitch size using passing network analysis compared to a coach-based scoring system of player performance. Using a repeated measures design, 32 players from two English Championship soccer clubs contested mixed maturity and bio-banded SSGs. Each week, a different pitch size was used: Week 1) small (36.1 m2 per player); week 2) medium (72.0 m2 per player); week 3) large (108.8 m2 per player); and week 4) expansive (144.50 m2 per player). All players contested 12 maturity (mis)matched and 12 mixed maturity SSGs. Technical-tactical outcome measures were collected automatically using a foot-mounted device containing an inertial measurement unit (IMU) and the Game Technical Scoring Chart (GTSC) was used to subjectively quantify the technical performance of players. Passing data collected from the IMUs were used to construct passing networks. Mixed effect models were used with statistical inferences made using generalized likelihood ratio tests, accompanied by Cohen's local f2 to quantify the effect magnitude of each independent variable (game type, pitch size and maturation). Consistent trends were identified with mean values for all passing network and coach-based scoring metrics indicating better performance and more effective collective behaviours for early compared with late maturation players. Network metrics established differences (f2 = 0.00 to 0.05) primarily for early maturation players indicating that they became more integral to passing and team dynamics when playing in a mixed-maturation team. However, coach-based scoring was unable to identify differences across bio-banding game types (f2 = 0.00 to 0.02). Pitch size had the largest effect on metrics captured at the team level (f2 = 0.24 to 0.27) with smaller pitch areas leading to increased technical actions. The results of this study suggest that the use of passing networks may provide additional insight into the effects of interventions such as bio-banding and that the number of early-maturing players should be considered when using mixed-maturity playing formats to help to minimize late-maturing players over-relying on their early-maturing counterparts during match-play.
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Tackling is the most common cause of general injuries in rugby union, with player speed and mass identified as risk factors. This study aimed to use multibody modeling simulations to examine how tackler and ball carrier mass and contact speed affect inertial head kinematics and neck dynamics. Simulations were run by independently varying the ball carrier and tackler mass (from 60 to 110kg) and speed (from 0 to 10 m/s). Peak resultant inertial neck dynamics (force and moment) and head kinematics (linear acceleration, angular acceleration, and angular velocity) were extracted from each simulation. The greatest inertial head kinematics and neck dynamics sustained by a player was when there was the greatest mass disparity in the tackle, with the lighter player experiencing greatest inertial neck dynamics and head kinematics by up to 24% in comparison with the scenario when both players were the lightest mass (60 kg). As a player's mass increased, the magnitude of their head kinematics and neck dynamics diminished, but increased for their direct opponent, irrespective of whether they were the tackler or ball carrier. For speed, the greatest inertial head kinematics and neck dynamics sustained by the ball carrier and tackler were when they were both traveling at the highest speed. In theory, large discrepancies in mass of players, and high speeds into a tackle should be avoided.
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Objective To validate regression equations that predict the state of maturity (MS) to evaluate the physical growth and body fatness of Chilean children and adolescents. Material and methods A transversal study was carried out in 8094 school children between 6.0 and 18.9 years old. Weight, standing height, sitting height, and waist circumference (WC) were evaluated. Peak growth rate (PVC) was estimated by the mathematical model 1 of Preece-Baines (MPB). Mirwald’s equations (based on age, weight, standing height, sitting height, and leg length) and Moore’s equations (based on age, weight, and standing height) were used to estimate MS. The body mass index (BMI) was calculated. Results The BMP showed that the PVC in men was 10.33 ± 0.29 years and in women was 12.81 ± 0.27 years. Using Mirwald’s equation, men reached MS at 14.09 ± 0.8 APVC and women at 11.6 ± 0.9 APVC, while using Moore’s equation, men reached 13.7 ± 0.6 APVC and women at 12.1 ± 0.6 APVC. There were significant differences between MPB with Mirwald, MPB with Morre, and between Mirwald and Moore (p < 0.001). Explanation values by MS category were Mirwald’s equation [men (early R² = 0.81, mean R² = 0.69 and late R² = 0.09) and women (early R² = 0.83, mean R² = 0.83 and late R² = 0.77)], Moore’s equation [men (early R² = 0.93, mean R² = 0.70 and late R² = 0.79) and women (early R² = 0.89, mean R² = 0.89 and late R² = 0.83)]. Percentiles were created for weight, height, CC and BMI. Conclusion It was verified that Moore’s and Mirwald’s equations differ with the mathematical model MPB in both sexes. However, Moore’s equation could be useful for the evaluation of MS in Chilean children and adolescents.
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The aim of this study was to examine the effect of bio-banding on technical and tactical markers of talent identification in 11- to 14-year-old academy soccer players. Using a repeated measures design, 92 players were bio-banded using percentage of estimated adult stature attainment (week 1), maturity-offset (week 2) and a mixed-maturity method (week 3). All players contested five maturity (mis)matched small-sided games with technical and tactical variables measured. Data were analysed using a series of Bayesian hierarchical models, fitted with different response distributions and different random and fixed effect structures. Despite differences during maturity-matched bio-banding for post-peak height velocity players, very few tactical differences were evident during the remaining maturity-matched and mis-matched fixtures for both banding methods. In fact, the results showed no consistent differences across both banding methods for practitioner and video analysis-derived technical performance characteristics during maturity matched and mis-matched fixtures. Both bio-banding methods explained similar levels of variance across the measured variables. Maturity-matched bio-banding had some effect on both technical and tactical characteristics of players during maturity-matched bio-banded formats. That said, this trend remained during maturity mis-matched bio-banded formats which restricts the conclusions that can be made regarding the effectiveness of bio-banding to manipulate technical and tactical measures in academy soccer players.
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To provide percentile curves for short-course swimming events, including 5 swimming strokes, 6 race distances, and both sexes, as well as to compare differences in race times between cross-sectional analysis and longitudinal tracking, a total of 31,645,621 race times of male and female swimmers were analyzed. Two percentile datasets were established from individual swimmers’ annual best times and a two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to determine differences between cross-sectional analysis and longitudinal tracking. A software-based percentile calculator was provided to extract the exact percentile for a given race time. Longitudinal tracking reduced the number of annual best times that were included in the percentiles by 98.35% to 262,071 and showed faster mean race times (P < 0.05) compared to the cross-sectional analysis. This difference was found in the lower percentiles (1st to 20th) across all age categories (P < 0.05); however, in the upper percentiles (80th to 99th), longitudinal tracking showed faster race times during early and late junior age only (P < 0.05), after which race times approximated cross-sectional tracking. The percentile calculator provides quick and easy data access to facilitate practical application of percentiles in training or competition. Longitudinal tracking that accounts for drop-out may predict performance progression towards elite age, particularly for high-performance swimmers.
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It has recently been proposed that the tackle, an integral part of Rugby Union, be banned in school rugby, as a means to reduce the risk of injury. This proposal held that harmful contact should be removed in response to what was termed an unacceptably high-injury risk. Such a ban would represent a significant intervention that could change the nature of Rugby Union. As such, the basis and rationale for such a ban is worthy of critical evaluation. This review aims to describe the research on which such a ban is proposed. It does so through an assessment (identification), estimation (understanding of the magnitude and occurrence) and evaluation (determining acceptability) of the risk before decisions can be made about implementing any risk mitigation strategies. The body of literature describing injury risk, particularly among youths, is indeed thin and fraught with methodological differences that makes definitive conclusions impossible. We describe these, and their implications, arguing that the complete ban on the tackle may be unnecessary in young children, in whom injury risk may not be as high as is often argued, but also that it may have detrimental consequences. Finally, we propose alternative strategies and research questions which must be pursued to effectively reduce risk without creating unintended consequences or changing the nature of the sport.
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When placed into age groups for junior sporting competition, the relative differences in age between children leads to a bias in who is evaluated as being talented. While the impact of this relative age effect (RAE) is clear, until now there has been no evidence to show how to reduce it. The aim of this study was to determine whether the selection bias associated with the RAE could be reduced. Talent scouts from an elite football club watched junior games and ranked players on the basis of their potential. Scouts were allocated to one of three groups provided with contrasting information about the age of the players: (1) no age information, (2) players' birthdates or (3) knowledge that the numbers on the playing shirts corresponded to the relative age of the players. Results revealed a significant selection bias for the scouts in the no-age information group, and that bias remained when scouts knew the players' dates-of-birth. Strikingly though, the selection bias was eliminated when scouts watched the games knowing the shirt numbers corresponded to the relative ages of the players. The selection bias associated with the RAE can be reduced if information about age is presented appropriately.
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The relative age effect (RAE) has been thoroughly examined and shown in many sporting contexts, and the grouping of athletes into weight categories may provide a partial solution to this problem. Thus, the aim of this meta-analysis was to verify if weight categories used in combat sports prevent athletes from the RAE, including an analysis separating the athletes by sex. After initially identifying 141 studies, 135 were excluded. The birth dates of combat sports participants in six studies were used to perform a meta-analysis. Odds ratios and 95 % confidence intervals were calculated. The main result of this investigation was the presence of RAE male and female groups and the male-only group of senior (professional/Olympic) athletes, but not the female-only group of senior and cadet or junior athletes. Thus, the RAE in combat sports is more prominent at the senior level and in male compared to female combat sports athletes.
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Background Basic understanding of motor control and its processes is a topic of well-known high relevance. During adolescence walking is theoretically a well-achieved fundamental skill, having reached a mature manifestation; on the other hand, adolescence is marked by a period of accelerated increases in both height and weight, referred as growth spurt. Thus, this period was chosen as a controlled and natural environment for partially isolating one of the factors influencing motor development (segment growth). The aim of the study was to compare gait performance of growing and not growing male adolescents during walking in single task (ST) and dual task (DT), in order to study which are the modifications that motor control handles when encountering a sudden change in segment length. Methods 19 adolescents were selected as growing adolescents (they showed a height increase greater than 3 cm in 3 months). A group of BMI-matched peers were selected as not growing adolescents (they showed a height increase lower than 1 cm in 3 months). Measures of acceleration of the trunk (L5 level) were collected using one tri-axial wireless inertial sensor. The participants were asked to walk at self-selected speed back and forth four times in a 10 m long corridor in ST and DT conditions. The following characteristics of gait performance were evaluated using different indices: variability, smoothness, regularity, complexity and local dynamic stability. An unpaired t-test was performed on the two groups for each method. Results Different indices followed the hypothesized trend in the two groups, even if differences were not always statistically significant: not growing adolescents showed a lower variability and complexity of gait and a higher smoothness/rhythm. Stability results showed a similarly stable gait pattern (or even higher in DT) in the growing adolescents when compared to their not growing peers. Conclusions The findings of the present work suggest that growth spurt affects gait variability, smoothness and regularity but not gait stability. It could be argued that sudden peripheral changes of the body affect the manifestation and the performance of gait, but, on the other hand, gait control is able to handle these modifications, maintaining the stability of the system.
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Abstract This study attempted to validate an anthropometric equation for predicting age at peak height velocity (APHV) in 193 Polish boys followed longitudinally 8-18 years (1961-1972). Actual APHV was derived with Preece-Baines Model 1. Predicted APHV was estimated at each observation using chronological age (CA), stature, mass, sitting height and estimated leg length. Mean predicted APHV increased from 8 to 18 years. Actual APHV was underestimated at younger ages and overestimated at older ages. Mean differences between predicted and actual APHV were reasonably stable between 13 and 15 years. Predicted APHV underestimated actual APHV 3 years before, was almost identical with actual age 2 years before, and then overestimated actual age through 3 years after PHV. Predicted APHV did not differ among boys of contrasting maturity status 8-11 years, but diverged among groups 12-15 years. In conclusion, predicted APHV is influenced by CA and by early and late timing of actual PHV. Predicted APHV has applicability among average maturing boys 12-16 years in contrast to late and early maturing boys. Dependence upon age and individual differences in actual APHV limits utility of predicted APHV in research with male youth athletes and in talent programmes.
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A model for adolescent involvement in physical activity (PA) that incorporates individual differences in biological maturation is presented. The biocultural model of maturity-associated variance in physical activity recognizes PA as a complex and multifaceted behaviour that exists in multiple contexts (e.g., transport, vocation, sport, exercise) and can be viewed from multiple perspectives (e.g., energy expenditure, movement counts, performance outcomes, fitness). The model holds that biological maturation can exert both direct and indirect effects on PA during adolescence. Direct effects imply a direct and unmediated effect of individual differences in maturation on PA. Indirect effects imply influences of individual differences in maturation on PA that are mediated by psychological constructs (e.g., self-perceptions, beliefs) and/or are moderated by exogenous factors (e.g., social interaction, culture) associated with pubertal maturation.
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This study tested a mediated effects model of psychological and behavioral adaptation to puberty within the context of physical activity (PA). Biological maturity status, physical self-concept, PA, and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) were assessed in 222 female British year 7 to 9 pupils (mean age = 12.7 years, SD = .8). Structural equation modeling using maximum likelihood estimation and bootstrapping procedures supported the hypothesized model. Maturation status was inversely related to perceptions of sport competence, body attractiveness, and physical condition; and indirectly and inversely related to physical self-worth, PA, and HRQoL. Examination of the bootstrap-generated bias-corrected confidence intervals representing the direct and indirect paths between suggested that physical self-concept partially mediated the relations between maturity status and PA, and maturity status and HRQoL. Evidence supports the contention that perceptions of the physical self partially mediate relations maturity, PA, and HRQoL in adolescent females.