Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Practitioners Perceived Effectiveness and Application of Maturity Status Bio-Banding for Talent Identification and Development

Watson, Demi-Jo


Demi-Jo Watson



Bio-banding is an approach used to group athletes based on their characteristics in relation to growth and maturity, rather than their chronological age. Although recent research has explored the effect of bio-banding on various markers (e.g., technical, tactical) of talent identification in young athletes, research has yet to explore to what extent practitioners use this approach, how they use it, or their perspectives about its perceived effectiveness. This mixed-methods study sought to address this gap by using an on-line survey with twenty-seven practitioners from Elite Player Performance Program (EPPP) affiliated clubs followed by a semi-structured individual interview with seven practitioners (age: 32.1 ± 8.44 years). Survey results revealed maturity- related differences impact practitioners’ ability to accurately assess competence (e.g., physical “aggregated agree” = 68%, psycho-social “aggregated agree” = 56%), bio-banding enhances assessment when matching (e.g., Early vs Early or pre-PHV vs pre-PHV) (e.g., physical “aggregated agree” = 95%, technical “aggregated agree” = 85%) or pairing (e.g., Late vs Early or pre-PHV vs post-PHV) athletes for maturity status (e.g., physical “aggregated agree” = 55%, technical “aggregated agree” = 65%). Interview findings revealed the benefits of bio-banding include injury prevention, introducing challenge, and the design of individual development programmes. Interviews revealed barriers to the implementation of bio-banding include planning and organisation (time, resources and communication), failure to establish the buy-in, lack of understanding amongst coaches, and the prioritisation of short-term success over long-term development. Overall, the findings of this study contribute to the current knowledge and understanding of bio-banding efforts, and also emphasise the potential application of maturity status 'bio-banding' for identifying and developing professional youth soccer athletes. Increasing coaches understanding of bio-banding via the delivery of coach education courses and workshops may be one way of increasing its uptake in the future. The study concludes by recommending sports practitioners use the findings as a basis for implementing bio-banding in their own settings.


Watson, D. (2023). Practitioners Perceived Effectiveness and Application of Maturity Status Bio-Banding for Talent Identification and Development. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Nov 28, 2023
Publicly Available Date Jan 18, 2024
Keywords Sports science
Public URL
Additional Information Department of Sport, Health and Exercise Science
University of Hull
Award Date Aug 9, 2023


Thesis (1.5 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2023 Demi-Jo Watson. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

You might also like

Downloadable Citations