Differences in body fat, body mass index, and physical performance of specific field tests in 10- to 12-year-old school-aged team handball players

Souhail Hermassi*, Maha Sellami, Georg Fieseler, El Ghali Bouhafs, Lawrence Hayes, René Schwesig

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
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This study aimed to compare 10- to 12-year-old Qatari male athletes and assess body fat, body mass index, and physical fitness and difference of these measures between ages. Thirty-five youth handball players volunteered for the investigation and were divided into three groups: 12-year-old players (U12; n = 12), 11-year-old players (U11; n = 11), 10-year-old players (U10; n = 12).
Anthropometry was assessed by body mass, body fat percentage (%BF) and body mass index (BMI). Measurements included the Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test level 1 (Yo-Yo IR1), jumping ability (squat and countermovement jumps (SJ, CMJ)), and sprint tests (10 m, 15 m). Power of the upper extremity was measured by a 2-kg overhead medicine ball throw for distance. Except for %BF (p =0.387) and BMI (p = 0.070), all anthropometric and demographic parameters were different between age groups. The largest differences were found for body mass (p = 0.007) and body height (p = 0.008). Regarding fitness parameters, only the medicine ball throw (p = 0.022) was different between age groups (U10 vs. U12: p = 0.009; U11 vs. U12: p = 0.048). There was no difference between groups for
jumping (CMJ: p = 0.586; SJ: p = 0.377), sprinting (10 m: p = 0.211; 15 m: p = 0.194) and Yo-Yo IR1 (p = 0.228). Body fat was the anthropometric parameter with the strongest relationship with physical performance in that lower body fat was related to superior jumping performance and sprint performance. In conclusion, except for %BF and BMI, all anthropometric parameters were different
between U10, U11, and U12 handball players. For physical parameters, jumping, sprinting, and endurance performance were not different between age groups. From a practical perspective, coaches can use these findings as reference for the evaluation of their school-aged handball players, as well as for establishing performance goals.
Original languageEnglish
Article number9022
Number of pages12
JournalApplied Sciences
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 17 Dec 2020


  • fitness parameters
  • youth players
  • anthropometrics
  • body fat
  • body mass index


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