n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - Anatomical fat patterning in male Nigerian soccer players : anthropometry

Volume 15, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


Soccer is the most popular sport in the world. Due to its global acclaim, a lot of scientific studies have been undertaken on different aspects of the sport, particularly in Europe. Few studies have investigated patterns of body fat distribution in African soccer players, in general and patterns of fat distribution of soccer players by playing positions, in particular. The purpose of this study was to determine the patterns of body fat distribution among Nigerian university soccer players and the possible effect of fat pattern on playing positions. Skinfold measurements were taken on 20 soccer players, using ISAK procedures. Results showed that the midfielders had the least (13.5 ± 3.7 %), while the goalkeepers had the highest percentage body fat (16.8 ± 2.3 %). Skinfold values were found to vary by playing positions. Goalkeepers had the highest biceps skinfold thickness (7.2 ± 2.8 mm). Supra-iliac skinfold thickness was least in the defenders (5.2 ± 0.4 mm) but highest in the midfielders (13.1 ± 6.5mm). Chest and waist girths were least in the midfielders (86.5 ± 5.3 cm; 82.3 ± 3.6cm). It was concluded that the differences in anthropometric variables among soccer players could be due to the demands of the playing positions. This view is, however, contestable in view of the present playing style requiring all players (except the goal keepers) to assume different playing positions in actual competition.

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