Anthropometric characteristics of young Italian tennis players

Ausilia Elce, Giuseppe Cardillo, Mauro Ventriglia, Caterina Giordano, Francesca Amirante, Giuliana Mazza, Armando Sangiorgio, Lucia Martiniello


Purpose. Aim of our study is to observe specific body differences induced by training in young agonist tennis players at pre-pubertal and pubertal age, using anthropometry. Method. We analyzed 101 tennis players (27 females and 74 males) coming from South Italy, aged 8-14, which played tennis from at least 1 year. Anthropometric measurements like wrist, mid-thigh, mid-arm circumferences and arms length were compared between dominant and not dominant side of the body. Results. The mean Z-score for females was 0.9627, corresponding to the 83.22th centile of Italian growth chart, the mean Z-score for males was 1.0157, corresponding to 84.51th centile of Italian growth chart. For weight the mean Z-score for females was 0.2394 (59.46th centile) and the mean Z-score for males was 0.4032 (65.66th centile). The mean Z-score for females Body Mass Index was -0.1451 (44.23th centile), instead the mean Z-score for males was -0.0768 (46.94th centile). The Wilcoxon test reported a statistically significant difference between dominant and not dominant wrist circumferences regardless of sex (p-value=1.87e-10). Conclusions. Our study revealed that playing tennis starting from childhood may be useful for a regular growth. Analysis of wrist circumference and height may confirm the osteogenic potential of the sport.




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