Ages at peak height velocity in male soccer players 11-16 years: Relationships with skeletal age and comparisons among longitudinal studies

Robert M. Malina, Miroslav` Kralik, Slawomir Koziel, Sean Cumming, Jan Konarksi, Paulo Sousa-e-Silva, Diogo V. Martinho, António J. Figueiredo, Manuel João Coelho e Silva

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Abstract

Objectives: The study compared two estimates of ages at take-off (TO) and at peak height velocity (PHV) n a longitudinal sample of male soccer players, and evaluated maturity status based upon ages at PHV and skeletal age (SA). It also compared estimated ages at PHV in 13 longitudinal samples of soccer players. Material and methods: Heights of 58 soccer players of European ancestry followed longitudinally across five seasons (11-16 years) were modeled with Superimposition by Translation and Rotation (SITAR) and Functional Principal Component Analysis (FPCA) to estimate ages at TO and PHV. SAs at observations 1, 3 and 5 were assessed with the Fels method. Ages at PHV in 13 longitudinal samples of soccer players (Europe 7, Japan 6) were evaluated with meta-analysis. Results: The SITAR and FPCA estimates for ages at TO were, respectively, 11.2±0.8 and 11.0±0.8 years, while corresponding estimates for age at PHV were, respectively, 13.62±0.90 and 13.66±0.88 years. An earlier age at PHV was associated with advanced skeletal maturity status. The systematic analysis indicated a north (later) - south (earlier) gradient in ages at PHV among players in Europe, which were later than ages at PHV among players in Japan. Conclusions: In summary, ages at TO and PHV were similar with SITAR and FPCA, and ages at PHV were most strongly correlated with SA at ~14 years. Ages at PHV showed a north-south geographic gradient in European studies, and were later compared to Japanese studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-144
JournalBiology of Sport
Volume41
Issue number1
Early online date19 Jul 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2024

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