Discriminant analysis of the physiques of schoolboy rugby players, hurlers and non-team members

J Sports Sci. 1988 Summer;6(2):131-40. doi: 10.1080/02640418808729803.


The subjects were 31 successful schoolboy rugby players and 25 successful schoolboy hurlers; 34 non-team members acted as controls. Thirty-one anthropometric measurements were taken on each subject: height, weight, sitting height, five skeletal lengths, six skeletal diameters, 13 muscle circumferences and four skinfolds. The non-players were significantly smaller than both the rugby players and the hurlers in weight, biacromial diameter, bideltoid, neck, chest, flexed arm, upper and lower thigh and calf circumferences. The non-players were significantly smaller than the rugby players in arm length, femur diameter and waist, hip and relaxed arm circumferences. The non-players were significantly smaller than the hurlers in femur length, biiliac and ankle diameters. There were no statistically significant differences between the rugby players and hurlers. Discriminant analysis produced a function containing terms for height, weight, fat free weight, humerus diameter and neck, bideltoid, forearm and calf circumferences which correctly assigned 83 (92%) of the subjects to 'player' and 'non-player' categories. When the function was applied to the 15 members of the rugby team of a different school, 14 were placed in the 'player' category and one subject was given a borderline classification. It is concluded that there were differences in physique between the team members and non-members and that the techniques used in the study were effective in quantifying them.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anthropometry
  • Body Constitution*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Regression Analysis
  • Sports*