Background Among the challenges facing sports medicine professionals is how to best ensure equal competition among adolescents experiencing peak physical growth. Traditionally, youth sport leaders have relied on simple chronological age to organise competition. Outcomes of this approach have included frequent mismatches resulting in injuries and unequal competition. In an attempt to control for performance variability associated with adolescent growth and maturation, Mirwald and colleagues (2002) applied gender specific multiple regression equations to predict age from peak height velocity (PHV). Specifically, maturity offset was used as the dependent variable while independent variables included chronological age, height, sitting height, leg length, and weight. Investigators also calculated interactions to determine associations of anthropometric variables with age.
Aim The purpose of this project was to incorporate the Mirwald, et al . equations into an efficient, free mobile application (‘App’) for use by physicians, athletic trainers, and school nurses.
Method First, maturation-offset equations were applied to estimate variability associated with aerobic capacity and obesity of 809 adolescent boys and girls.
Results Among the key findings, maturation partially explained the negative impact of body mass index (BMI); that is, BMI was lower for early maturing youth compared to their same age but late maturing peers (t (806)= 4.646, p < 0.001).
Conclusions Maturation – as an independent variable – should be included in studies that address motor performance by adolescents during rapid growth acceleration. Furthermore, the free mobile ‘App’ proposed here provides a quick, effective means of determining a child’s distance in years from PHV.