A kinanthropometric profile of elite u/18 Sevens Rugby players in Southern Africa
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The purpose of this study was to describe and compare the kinanthropometric variables of elite u/18 Southern Africa Sevens Rugby players. A comparison between the players was made to determine if differences in playing positions exists. A comparison was also made between successful and less successful players to determine if differences with regards to the player‘s kinanthropometrical characteristics will emerge. As no literature on adolescent Sevens Rugby players regarding kinanthropometry exists, this study also compiled a profile of the kinanthropometric characteristics of elite u/18 Sevens Rugby players. A total number of 164 Sevens Rugby players with a mean age of 17.4 (±0.7) years participated in the South African Schools‘ Rugby Association u/18 Sevens Tournament in October 2014. In compiling the kinanthropometric profile of the adolescent Sevens Rugby players, kinantropometric measurements were taken on each subject which consisted out of direct (stature, body mass, skinfolds, girths and breadths) and indirect (body mass index, body fat percentage, sum of 6 skinfolds, skeletal mass, muscle mass and somatotyping) measurements. The comparisons between the players in the different playing positions as well as between the playing successes were made by means of a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA), independent t-test, and descriptive statistics were used for the calculation of the means and standard deviation for all the dependant variables. The level of significance was set at p≤0.05. Effect sizes (ES) were calculated for differences between the positional groups as well as between the successful and less successful players to determine practical significance for all the values. While comparing the playing positions, practical significant differences occurred, with the forward players having greater kinanthropometric values compared to the backline players, with few to no differences emerging while compared to the all-rounder players. The backline players compared to the all-rounder players revealed a great deal of meaningful differences, but not to the same extent as when compared to the forward players. Differences between successful and less successful players regarding kinanthropometric measurements also emerged, although these differences were not very much, they were of statistical significant difference with the successful players being superior in these measurements compared to the less successful players. With regards to somatotype, all three playing positions as well as the successful players and less successful players indicated to have an endomorphic mesomorph somatotype which is consistent to Rugby Union where it was discovered that an endomorphic mesomorph somatotype is most beneficial. The results, therefore, indicate that differences in playing positions and playing success exist in adolescent Sevens Rugby players with regards to their kinanthropometric variables. However, more research need to be done to determine if further differences between successful and less successful players regarding their kinanthropometrical characteristics might occur as Sevens Rugby begins to enjoy more attention amongst researchers especially regarding adolescent players.
- Health Sciences