We analyze the height of the medalist athletes in the last four Olympic Games (2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016) in most sports
The average height of an elite Basketball player is 200,6 cm. The centers have 210,3 cm and about 68%* of the players are between 192,5 - 208,7 cm. In women the average is 184,9 cm, the centers have 194,6 cm and about 68%* of the players are between 175,4 - 194,4 cm.
The average height in men Volleyball is 198,6 cm (without libero), the libero position as 184,0 cm average. In women the average is 184,5 cm.
An Olympic 100m freestyle swimmer medalist as 195,0 cm average and since 2004 the tendency is to increase. In 2016 the medalist registered 197,3 cm average. In women the average is 177,8 cm.
In athletics, a discus thrower as 199,2 cm average. In women the average is 181,2 cm.
In gymnastic artistic (all-around) the average in men is 162,8 cm and in women is 156,3.
We have analyzed the height of medalist soccer players in the last four world championships (2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014)
The average height of an elite goalkeeper is 188,5 cm and about 68%* are between 184.3-192.8 cm. If we consider only the first choice by team the average is 190.3cm.
If we consider only the first choice of the world champions teams the average climbs to 191.3cm.
In the field positions, a central back medalist in a world championship has an average height of 187.5 cm.
According to Abbott & Collins (2002), Mitchell (2014) and Vaeyens, et al. (2008), talent identification involves an attempt to predict the future capacity of performance of an individual and the emphasis should be on identifying children with long-term potential.
Typically the Talent ID procedures focus on physical parameters that fail to acknowledge that maturity and previous experience can influence performance.
Although anthropometric have been correlated positively with performance in some sports, due to the influenced of maturity in child grow is not recommended as selection criteria, unless maturity is assessed.
The most commonly used method for assessing the maturity of a child is through bone age. However there are disadvantages to this approach, the exposure to radiation, it is expensive and it´s useless if you want a large scale assessment. Another way to maturity measurement is through relative height, which is calculated through predicted adult height. Several studies suggest that the RWT method is one of the most accurate predictors of adult height. Lifshitz F. (2007)
However, Temperli & Joss (1988) and Oest, et al. (1993), demonstrated that the RWT method underestimates tall children (boys and girls). Reason why, this method is considered useful to predict the final height in children with average height and normal growth rates.
Thus, in order to obtain more valid and useful data, we performed an adapted RWT method allowing the measurement of maturity and adult height prediction also in tall children. This test is not the final version, continues study.
By including the measurement of maturity and adult height prediction, in our opinion, this test can be used as a selection criterion in some sport.
In addition, in order to detect in large-scale children who will have a tall stature in adult, we performed a computer application that generates an adult height with a probability of 98%, adapted from the study of Roche et al. (1983). This method only needs the current height, the measurement is performed through relative height and standard deviations. Outliers, children who mature very early or late bloomers, this test is probably not valid.
*Assuming that follows a normal distribution