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Anthropometric and performance characteristics of elite youth and adult Gaelic footballers

Updated: Jun 28, 2020

THOMAS DEKKERS & KIERAN COLLINS (2019)BASES Conference 2019 – Programme and Abstracts,Journal of Sports Sciences,37:sup1,1-93,DOI:10.1080/02640414.2019.1671688

An appreciation of the anthropometric and performance characteristics of Gaelic football players across the age grades is useful in developing talent and performance mon- itoring. The aim of the present study was to examine the anthropometric and performance characteristics of an elite youth (under-15 and −17 years) and adult (under-21 and senior) Gaelic football players. Three hundred and fifty-two elitemale(U15n=124;U17n=89,U20n=76,senior n = 63) Gaelic footballers underwent anthropometric and performance assessment during the competitive season. The anthropometric variables of height and body mass were determined. Performance characteristics of countermove- ment jump (CMJ), linear sprint speed over 5-,10- and 20 m, and intermittent exercise ability (Yo-Yo IRTL1) were deter- mined. An analysis of variance with a Tukey post hoc test was used. A significant variation (p < .001) was observed for height and body mass. The post hoc test identified a non- significant exception with U20 (181.8 ± 5.4 cm) and senior players (182.1 ± 5.6 cm) possessing similar stature. Significant variations (p < .001) were evident across all per- formance variables. A hierarchy is evident with senior adult players possessing the highest jump heights (43 ± 6 cm), fastest speed (1.09 ± .08 s; 1.83 ± .06 s; 3.11 ± .14 s) and greatest Yo-Yo IRTL1 distance (2335 ± 453 m) and U15 players possessing the lowest jump height (34 ± 5 cm), slow- est speeds (1.2 ± 1 s; 2.01 ± .14 s; 3.45 ± .19 s) and lowest Yo- YoIRTL1 distance (1621 ± 509 m). The u17 players possessed jump heights (36 ± 6 vs 37.5 ± 5.2 cm), sprint speed (1.18 ± .05 vs 1.12 ± .06 s; 1.93 ± .3 vs 1.92 ± .28 s; 3.21 ± .18 vs 3.2 ± .21 s) and Yo-Yo IRTL1 distance (1826 ± 541 vs 1962 ± 541 m) which was inferior to U20 players. The current study is the first to describe the anthro- pometric and performance characteristics of elite Gaelic football players across the age grades. Differences in the anthropometric and performance characteristics across the grades demonstrates the expected variance. The current data should be considered as reference points for the physical preparation of players and not necessarily as a talent identification tool.

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