Bio-banding in soccer: Past, present, and future

Chris Towlson, Sean Cumming

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

Abstract

Maturity-related selection biases are engrained within professional academy soccer programmes. The process of grouping of children by biological maturity (“bio-banding”), rather than age is not new. However, practice of bio-banding is becoming increasingly popular with youth soccer development programmes where maturity-related differences in size and athleticism have been cited as key mechanisms behind the over-selection of early over late maturing players. However, the objectives of bio-banding require further clarity to avoid a disconnect between contemporary academic evidence and present and future practitioner practice. Therefore, the purpose of this commentary is to 1) provide a concise overview of the literature (to date), 2) identify possible applications of bio-banding to permit more informed decisions relating to the evaluation and management of young soccer players and (3) propose future directions for both research and applied practice.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAnnals of Human Biology
Early online date14 Oct 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Oct 2022

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