The effect of bio-banding on technical and tactical indicators of talent identification in academy soccer players

Chris Towlson, Calum MacMaster, Bruno Goncalves, Jamie Sampaio, John Toner, Niall MacFarlane, Steve Barrett, Ally Hamilton, Rory Jack, Frances Hunter, Amy Stringer, Tony Myers, Grant Abt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: The aim of this study was to examine the effect of bio-banding on technical and tactical markers of talent identification in 11- to 14-year-old academy soccer players. Methods: Using a repeated measures design, 92 players were bio-banded using percentage of estimated adult stature attainment (week 1), maturity-offset (week 2) and a mixed-maturity method (week 3). All players contested five maturity (mis)matched small-sided games with technical and tactical variables measured. Data were analysed using a series of Bayesian hierarchical models, fitted with different response distributions and different random and fixed effect structures. Results: Despite differences during maturity-matched bio-banding for post-peak height velocity players, very few tactical differences were evident during the remaining maturity-matched and mis-matched fixtures for both banding methods. In fact, the results showed no consistent differences across both banding methods for practitioner and video analysis-derived technical performance characteristics during maturity matched and mis-matched fixtures. Both bio-banding methods explained similar levels of variance across the measured variables. Conclusion: Maturity-matched bio-banding had some effect on both technical and tactical characteristics of players during maturity-matched bio-banded formats. That said, this trend remained during maturity mis-matched bio-banded formats which restricts the conclusions that can be made regarding the effectiveness of bio-banding to manipulate technical and tactical measures in academy soccer players.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-308
Number of pages14
JournalScience and Medicine in Football
Issue number3
Early online date19 Dec 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Maturation
  • bio-banding
  • positioning
  • soccer
  • tactical
  • talent identification
  • technical

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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