Understanding mismatches in body size, speed and power among adolescent rugby union players

Krause, Lyndon M. and Naughton, Geraldine A. and Denny, Greg and Patton, Declan and Hartwig, Tim and Gabbett, Tim J. (2015) Understanding mismatches in body size, speed and power among adolescent rugby union players. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 18 (3). pp. 358-363. ISSN 1440-2440


Objectives: With adolescent sport increasingly challenged by mismatches in size, new strategies are important to maximize participation. The objectives were to (1) improve the understanding of mismatches in physical size, speed and power in adolescent rugby union players, (2) explore associations between size and performance with demographic, playing-history, and injury profiles, and (3) explore the applicability of existing criteria for age/body mass-based dispensation (playing-down) strategies. Design: Cross-sectional study. Methods: Four hundred and eighty-five male community rugby union players were recruited from three Australian states selected to represent community-based U12, U13, U14 and U15 players. Body mass, stature, speed (10, 30, and 40. m sprints) and lower-leg power (relative peak power and relative peak force) were measured. Independent student t-tests, linear regressions and Chi square analyses were undertaken. Results: Mean values in age groups for size, speed and power masked considerable overlap in the ranges within specific age groups of adolescent rugby players. Only a small proportion of players (approximately 5%) shared the highest and lowest tertiles for speed, relative peak power and body mass. Physical size was not related to injury. The mean body mass of current community rugby union players was above the 75th percentile on normative growth-charts. Conclusion: The notion that bigger, faster, and more powerful characteristics occur simultaneously in adolescent rugby players was not supported in the present study. Current practices in body mass-based criteria for playing down an age group lack a sufficient evidence for decision-making. Dispensation solely based on body mass may not address mismatch in junior rugby union.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published version cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 19 May 2017 05:40
Last Modified: 19 May 2017 05:40
Uncontrolled Keywords: ethnic groups; football; performance; physiology; sport; youth; adolescent; athletic performance; body height; body weight; child; cross-sectional studies; football; humans; male; muscle strength; running; physiology
Fields of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science > 110699 Human Movement and Sports Science not elsewhere classified
Fields of Research (2020): 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4207 Sports science and exercise > 420799 Sports science and exercise not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 92 Health > 9299 Other Health > 929999 Health not elsewhere classified
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsams.2014.05.012
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/32276

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