Female soccer has recently experienced an impressive increase in the number of players, and an impressive improvement in the quality of elite matches. Still, studies show sex differences in match statistics on passing accuracy and the ability to control the ball in international matches, which is explained by a lower skill of level in female soccer players as compared to male players. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate if female youth soccer players had bridged the gap in technical skills to reach the level that boys have traditionally attained. Sixteen male and 17 female youth soccer players of the same age and experience level took part in technical skill tests of reception of the ball on the ground and long passes. The results show a significant difference between the sexes in reception performance in favour of the male players (p < 0.05, ES = 1.09), but no significant difference in the long pass test (p = 0.11, ES = 0.43). This leads to the conclusion that the lower score on ball reception is probably the result of experience in small-sided self-organised soccer games during childhood among the male players, which influences reception skills but not the ability to make accurate long passes.
Keywords: long passes; reception; soccer; technical skills; technical test.