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Medicina dello Sport 2012 March;65(1):63-74


language: English, Italian

Body composition and somatotype profile of male Zimbabwean junior soccer players

Makaza D. 1, Amusa L. O. 2, Goon D. T. 2, Tapera E. M. 1, Gundani M. P. 1

1 Department of Sports Science and Coaching, National University of Science and Technology, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe; 2 Centre for Biokinetics, Recreation and Sport Science, University of Venda, Thohoyandou, South Africa; 3 Department of Biokinetics and Sports Science, University of Zululand, Zululand, South Africa


Aim. The aim of this study was to assess the body composition and somatotype profile of junior Zimbabwean Premier League club junior league football players based in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.
Methods. Thirty-one junior soccer players aged 15-19 years participated in the study. Anthropometric variables of stretch stature, body mass, eight skinfolds (triceps, subscapular, biceps, iliac crest, supraspinale, abdominal and medial calf), five girths (arm relaxed, arm flexed and tensed, waist, gluteal, medial calf circumferences), and two bone breadths (humerus and femur) were measured using the standard procedures of the International Society for the Advancement of Kinanthropometry (ISAK). Derived body composition variables included body mass index (BMI), waist hip ratio (WHR), percentage body fat (%BF), fat mass (FM), fat -free mass (FFM), fat mass index (FMI), and Fat Free Mass Index (FFMI). Somatotype components were estimated using the Heath-Carter method. Players were categorised by playing positions of forwards, midfielders, defenders and goalkeepers.
Results. The results (mean±SD) are as follows: mass 61.57±6.90 kg, height 171.1±6.2cm, BMI 20.7±1.6 kg m-2, WHR 0.80±0.02, %BF 7.6 ±1.4%, FM 4.6±1.2 kg, FFM 56.3±6.3 kg, FMI 1.59±0.38 and FFMI 19.20±1.39. There was no significant difference in body composition among players by playing positions. The players were shorter, lighter and leaner when compared to players elsewhere. The mean somatotype rating was 1.4-4.4-3.2, indicating ectomorphic-mesomorph. There was no significant difference in somatotype among the players for the different playing positions. The general somatotypes were 62%, ectomorphic-mesomorph, 17%, mesomorph-ectomorph and 10% mesomorphic-ectomorph.
Conclusion. The mean somatotype is generally similar to players elsewhere though the endomorph (fatness) component was comparatively lower. The Zimbabwean junior soccer players are generally of a smaller body size for all playing positions which can affect their performance.

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