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Bio-banding in Sport: Applications to Competition, Talent Identification, and Strength and Conditioning of Youth Athletes

Cumming, Sean P. PhD; Lloyd, Rhodri S. PhD; Oliver, Jon L. PhD; Eisenmann, Joey C. PhD; Malina, Robert M. PhD

Strength and Conditioning Journal: April 2017 - Volume 39 - Issue 2 - p 34–47
doi: 10.1519/SSC.0000000000000281
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ABSTRACT BIO-BANDING IS THE PROCESS OF GROUPING ATHLETES ON THE BASIS OF ATTRIBUTES ASSOCIATED WITH GROWTH AND MATURATION RATHER THAN CHRONOLOGICAL AGE. CHILDREN OF THE SAME AGE VARY CONSIDERABLY IN BIOLOGICAL MATURATION WITH SOME INDIVIDUALS MATURING IN ADVANCE OR DELAY OF THEIR PEERS. THE TIMING OF MATURATION HAS IMPORTANT IMPLICATIONS FOR COMPETITION, TALENT IDENTIFICATION, AND TRAINING. INCREASED AWARENESS AND INTEREST IN THE SUBJECT OF MATURATION HAS SPARKED A RENEWED INTEREST IN THE STUDY AND APPLICATION OF BIO-BANDING. THIS OVERVIEW DESCRIBES THE PURPOSE AND PROCESS OF BIO-BANDING, POTENTIAL BENEFITS AND LIMITATIONS, AND DESCRIBES SOME RECENT ADVANCES IN ITS APPLICATION IN YOUTH SPORTS.

1Department for Health, University of Bath, Bath, United Kingdom;

2Youth Physical Development Centre, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Cardiff, United Kingdom;

3Sports Performance Research Institute New Zealand, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand;

4College of Osteopathic Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan;

5Department of Kinesiology and Health Education, University of Texas, Austin, Texas; and

6Tarleton State University, Stephenville, Texas

Conflicts of Interest and Source of Funding: The authors report no conflicts of interest and no source of funding.

Address correspondence to Sean P. Cumming, s.cumming@bath.ac.uk.

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Sean P. Cummingis a senior lecturer in Sport and Exercise Sciences at the University of Bath.

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Rhodri S. Lloydis a senior lecturer in strength and conditioning and Chair of the Youth Physical Development Centre at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

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Jon L. Oliveris a reader in Applied Paediatric Exercise Science and co-founder of the Youth Physical Development Centre at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

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Joey C. Eisenmannis the director of Spartan Performance in the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Michigan State University.

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Robert M. Malinais professor emeritus in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Education at the University of Texas at Austin.

© 2017 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association