The effect of bio-banding on the anthropometric, physical fitness and functional movement characteristics of academy soccer players

Calum MacMaster, Matt Portas, Guy Parkin, Sean Cumming, Chris Wilcox, Christopher Towlson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0260136
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume16
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Nov 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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