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Predicting the timing of the peak of the pubertal growth spurt in elite youth soccer players: evaluation of methods.

Parr, James and Winwood, Keith and Hodson-Tole, Emma and Deconinck, Frederik JA and Parry, Les and Hill, James P and Malina, Robert M and Cumming, Sean P (2020) Predicting the timing of the peak of the pubertal growth spurt in elite youth soccer players: evaluation of methods. Annals of Human Biology. pp. 1-23. ISSN 0301-4460

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Abstract

Background: Three commonly used non-invasive protocols are implemented to estimate the timing at which PHV most likely occurs. Accurate estimation of circumpubertal years can aid in managing training load of adolescent athletes.Aim: Three protocols were compared against observed age at PHV: an estimate of 13.8 ± 1.0 years - generic age at PHV (from longitudinal measures); an estimate based on the maturity offset equation, predicted age at PHV ±1.0 year; a window of PHV based on 85 - 96% of predicted adult height at time of observation.Subjects and methods: A final sample of 23 (from 28) adolescent participants who were selected from the academy of an English Premier League club. Anthropometric measures were collected across five playing seasons; age at PHV was estimated with Super-Imposition by Translation and Rotation (SITAR). The three protocols were compared based on measures at 13.0 years.Results and Conclusions: An age window based on predicted maturity offset did not improve estimation of PHV compared to generic age method; however, the percentage of predicted adult height window showed improvement in performance shown by the following results. Predicted age at PHV correctly assigned 15 participants (65%) as experiencing PHV, while the percentage height correctly assigned 17 participants (74%). Generic age and predicted age at PHV correctly predicted observed age at PHV for 14 participants (61%), percentage of adult height window correctly predicted 22 participants (96%).

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