Anthropometric assessment of Premiership soccer players in relation to playing position

Clare Hencken, Colin White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A squad of Premiership soccer players (n=24) provided informed consent to participate in this study. Using ISAK (International Society of Advancement of Kinanthropometry) accredited methods, a total of 39 measurements (sectioned as: skinfolds, girths, lengths, and breadths) were made for each player. The procedure involved three measures at each site to calculate a mean value and an acceptable technical error margin. All data collection was performed by an ISAK level 3 accredited anthropometrist. The data analysis consisted of demographic and anthropometric data, including fractionation of body mass and estimated body fat from sum of skinfolds. Scaling of the raw data was done by using the phantom strategem to obtain calculated data for inter-player comparison. Mean calculated scores for playing position were obtained. A multivariate analysis of variance revealed no differences between positions (F 15,41.810=0.783, P=0.688). Previous studies have reported heterogeneity between playing positions. However, in this study, stature and body mass were not different between strikers, midfielders, defenders, and goalkeepers. Research has suggested that a soccer player's anthropometric dimensions can be a major determinant for success within a playing position. In this study, within-position variation was quite large in some cases, which could indicate that a team that does not have the opportunity to hand-pick players, based on anthropometric characteristics, may be at a disadvantage.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-211
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Sport Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2006


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