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

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


Calum MacMaster

Matt Portas

Guy Parkin

Sean Cumming

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Dr Chris Wilcox
Associate Dean Student Experience, Faculty of Health Sciences


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.


MacMaster, C., Portas, M., Parkin, G., Cumming, S., Wilcox, C., & Towlson, C. (2021). The effect of bio-banding on the anthropometric, physical fitness and functional movement characteristics of academy soccer players. PLoS ONE, 16(11), Article e0260136.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 4, 2021
Publication Date Nov 29, 2021
Deposit Date Sep 23, 2022
Publicly Available Date Sep 26, 2022
Journal PLoS ONE
Print ISSN 1932-6203
Electronic ISSN 1932-6203
Publisher Public Library of Science
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 16
Issue 11
Article Number e0260136
Keywords Maturation; soccer; physical; bio-banding; Functional Movement Screen™
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Additional Information Data Availability Statement: All raw files are available from Repository@Hull (


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Copyright Statement
© 2021 MacMaster et al. This is an open
access article distributed under the terms of the
Creative Commons Attribution License, which
permits unrestricted use, distribution, and
reproduction in any medium, provided the original
author and source are credited.

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