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A new method to identify key match-play behaviours of young soccer players: Development of the Hull Soccer Behavioural Scoring Tool (Anonymised dataset)

McLaren-Towlson, Christopher; Toner, John


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Dr John Toner
Lecturer in Sports Coaching and Performance


The aim of this research was to develop a valid and reliable Hull Soccer Behavioural Scoring Tool suitable for youth soccer match play. The method used to design the Hull Soccer Behavioural Scoring Tool comprised of a five-stage process of (i) conducting an initial literature review to establish content validity (ii) gaining content validity through a cross sectional online survey (iii) establishing face validity via expert coach feedback (iv) conducting inter-rater reliability tests and (v) intra-rater reliability tests. The completion of an online survey with soccer practitioners provided additional insight into the perceived importance of specific desirable behaviours in the development and identification of talented youth soccer players. Twenty-two soccer academy practitioners completed the survey which revealed that player behaviours such as resilience, competitiveness, and decision making were all valued as the most important behavioural characteristics by practitioners (90.9%), whilst X-factor was valued as least important by a significant amount (27.2%). Participants during the testing procedure included academy soccer coaches. Players involved in the study took part in four versus four small-sided games (SSG) in a ‘round-robin’ tournament across three weeks which accumulated 14 SSG’s, 100 – 140 minutes of playing time and 70 – 98 individual player grades whilst academy coaches used the Hull Soccer Behavioural Scoring Tool to assess evidence of desirable player behaviours. Reliability results revealed an acceptable level of agreement with scores between 81.25% - 89.9% for inter-rater whilst intra-rater provided scores between 80.35% - 99.4%. Preliminary evidence here suggests that the Hull Soccer Behavioural Scoring Tool is both valid and reliable method to assess desirable player behaviours during talent identification processes. Thus, youth soccer practitioners and researchers should seek to test and further validate the tool in order to confirm its utility as a means of measuring behavioural characteristics of youth soccer players.


McLaren-Towlson, C., & Toner, J. (2024). A new method to identify key match-play behaviours of young soccer players: Development of the Hull Soccer Behavioural Scoring Tool (Anonymised dataset). [Dataset]

Online Publication Date Feb 20, 2024
Publication Date 2024
Deposit Date May 5, 2023
Publicly Available Date Feb 20, 2024
Publisher University of Hull
Public URL
Type of Data 1 Excel file - Anonymised, mixed method data sets including survey, performance analysis data
Collection Date Nov 2, 2022
Collection Method Using a previously published survey design (Salter et al., 2021; Towlson et al., 2019) and in collaboration with the academic research team conducting the literature review, experienced coaches were contacted (via advertisements posted on Twitter, LinkedIn and through email circulation) and requested that they independently completed an online survey (Jisc, 2022) to identify which behaviours practitioners considered as being important to evaluate during talent identification. This consisted of 67 questions (multiple choice : n= 8; 5-point Likert scale : n= 59) and took approximately 20 minutes to complete.


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