Published Date2019-06-01
JournalCurrent Developments in Nutrition, 2019-06-01, Volume 3 Find other publications in this journal
Author Info
  • Marywood University


Abstract Objectives Youth in weight-classified combat sports may attempt to change body weight to gain performance advantage. Differences between weight-for-age percentiles (WAP) and performance in youth wrestlers remains unknown. The purpose of this retrospective study was to examine the differences in performance between wrestlers above and below the 50th WAP over a wrestling season. Methods Participants included 22 male wrestlers from a team in the Pennsylvania Elementary Wrestling League (8.8 ± 2.1 years of age, 2.3 ± 2.3 years of experience). Retrospective data included age, weight, years of experience, family history, and frequency of wins, losses and forfeits over a 3-month wrestling season. Average WAP were calculated using CDC growth charts and wrestlers were assigned to one of two groups <50 th WAP (n = 10) and >50 th WAP (n = 12). Wrestlers were also categorized into two groups in terms of experience (≤2 years, >2 years). Differences between the two groups in performance variables were examined using ANOVA. Results We observed a significant difference between <50th and >50th WAP groups in total forfeits (0.6 ± 1.0; 2.0 ± 1.5, respectively, P < 0.02). There was an interaction observed between WAP group and years of experience in number of total forfeits (P < 0.132) such that wrestlers with <2 years of experience and <50th WAP experienced fewer total forfeits (0.3 ± 0.8) than those >50th percentile (2.0 ± 1.4). Those with more experience in <50th WAP also had fewer forfeits compared to >50th WAP. A similar interaction was observed between WAP group and years of experience in number of total losses (P < 0.187). Wrestlers with <2 years of experience, and <50th WAP experienced more total losses (4.8 ± 1.5) than wrestlers >50th WAP (2.0 ± 1.4). Those with more experience and <50th WAP experienced fewer losses than those >50th WAP. Conclusions We observed a significant difference in forfeits between average WAP groups and an interaction between experience and WAP groups in losses and forfeits in this small sample. Further research is needed to provide insight into how WAP mayaffect performance in this population. Future research may include a larger population, and variables such as BMI-for-age, hydration status, nutrition, body composition and additional factors that affect both weight and performance. Funding Sources n/a.