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The effect of maturity status ‘bio-banding’ on the technical and tactical responses of talented adolescent soccer players during small-sided games

Stringer, Amy


Amy Stringer


Christopher Towlson

Steve (Sport scientist) Barrett


The aims of this thesis were to examine the effects of bio-banding on academy soccer player technical and tactical characteristics during small-sided game match-play and investigate if different methods of estimating maturation effected player performance. Male (n = 92), academy soccer players, aged 11 to 16 years old were selected from three UK soccer academies. Player maturation was estimated using percentage of adult stature attainment (EASA) and maturity offset somatic equations. Using thresholds (>92.0% post-PHV, 87.0 - 92.0% circa-PHV and <87.0% pre- PHV for the Khamis and Roche (1994) equation and thresholds (<-1.0 post-PHV, -1.0-0.0 circa- PHV and >0.0 pre-PHV) for the Fransen et al. (2017) equation, players were organised into bio- bands (pre-PHV, circa-PHV and post-PHV) then competed in a series of maturity (miss)matched bio-banded small-sided games during which players were assessed using the game technical scor- ing chart (GTSC). Results showed large differences (P = 0.001) in anthropometrical measurements when bio-bands were mis-matched. Apart from pitch possession, no differences (P > 0.05) were found in match performance when bio-bands were matched or mis-matched. There were no dif- ferences (P = 1.000) found in GTSC total points awarded but there were in GTSC points scored (P = 0.001). Finally, there were very few differences in match performance between the different methods of identifying biological age and organising bio-bands. The findings of this research sug- gest that bio-banding is unable to provide useful insight into match performance, therefore, is lim- ited in enabling the monitoring player development and talent identification. However, a number of limitations were present within this thesis therefore preventing accurate conclusions from being made.


Stringer, A. (2021). The effect of maturity status ‘bio-banding’ on the technical and tactical responses of talented adolescent soccer players during small-sided games. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Sep 10, 2021
Publicly Available Date Feb 23, 2023
Keywords Sports science
Public URL
Additional Information Department of Sport, Health & Exercise Science, The University of Hull
Award Date Mar 1, 2021


Thesis (3.8 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2021 Stringer, Amy. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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