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The effect of bio-banding and pitch sizes on differential ratings of perceived exertion (DRPE)

Short, Kieran


Kieran Short


Christopher Towlson

Steve (Sport scientist) Barrett


Little research exists on the use of differential ratings of perceived exertion (dRPE) in youth soccer, with no research during bio-banded small-sided games (SSGs). Biobanding categorises players based upon maturity status rather than chronological age. Differential ratings of perceived exertion allows for the discrimination of acute sensory inputs by separating various facets of effort. The aim of the study was to explore the influence of relative pitch-size during bio-banded SSGs on academy soccer players dRPE. Forty-three youth (U12 to U14) soccer players from a category 1 and 2 academy participated in maturity matched/mis-matched bio-banded SSGs. The SSGs were played on increasing relative pitch sizes; small (17 m x 17 m (36 m2)), medium (24 m x 24 m (72 m2)) large (29.5 m x 29.5 m (109 m2)) and expansive (34 m x 34 m (144.5 m2)). Each player was equipped with a foot-mounted inertial measurement unit (IMU), a heart rate (HR) monitor and a micro-electromechanical sensor (MEMS) device to quantify technical output and external load respectively. Players were banded according to the Khamis and Roche maturity estimation method using modified thresholds to determine post-peak height velocity (PHV) (90-95.9% estimated adult stature attained (EASA)) and pre-PHV (84-89.9% EASA). Players gave their dRPE using the CR-100 category-ratio scale, accompanied by an adapted pictorial walking/running OMNI Scale. It was found that pre-PHV players consistently rated a significantly greater (p = 0.000 –0.0.029, moderate – large) mean RPE-Technical/Tactical/Cognitive (RPE-T) than their post-PHV counterparts. This research is the first to explore the use of dRPE during bio-banded SSGs. The findings suggest there is little usefulness in the collection of dRPE within the youth population in soccer SSGs. It does offer support for maturity matched bio-banding, as an effective training method in youth soccer. Further research is recommended into the usefulness of collecting dRPE as a means of measuring internal load in youth soccer players.


Short, K. (2021). The effect of bio-banding and pitch sizes on differential ratings of perceived exertion (DRPE). (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Dec 1, 2021
Publicly Available Date Feb 24, 2023
Keywords Sports science
Public URL
Additional Information Department of Sport, Health & Exercise Science, The University of Hull
Award Date May 1, 2021


Thesis (2 Mb)

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

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