WHAT TO DO AND WHEN TO DO IT? THE TRICKY QUESTION OF SPECIALISATION IN YOUTH FOOTBALL
Feature / Laura Finnegan
What is specialisation?
Consensus at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM) was that early sports specialisation, or early single-sport specialisation, be defined by the following 3 criteria: (1) Participation in intensive training and/or competition in organised sports greater than 8 months per year (essentially year round) (2) Participation in one sport to the exclusion of participation in other sports (limited free play overall) (3) Involving prepubertal (seventh grade, US, Year 8-England, S1- Scotland or roughly age 12 years) children (LaPrade et al., 2016).