Revisiting youth player development in Australian Rules Football: Is there a place for bio-banding?

Fraser G. Thurlow, Rich J. Kite, Sean P. Cumming

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Science and Coaching
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Sep 2021


  • Adolescence
  • biological maturation
  • relative age effect
  • talent identification
  • team sport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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