Anthropometry and Football

There are many components of fitness that are important for success in football (soccer). Body size and composition (anthropometry) is one factor that should be considered. Important measures include body fat (skinfolds), body weight, and height.

Body fat can be measured using the skinfold method. If this is not available, monitoring body weight changes would give an indication of body fat changes, assuming no change in muscle mass. Excess body fat would affect the football player's ability to move freely around the field, and the extra weight will increase fatigue. 

Height and arm span reach is particularly important for goal keepers.

Anthropometry and Olympic Athletes

London 2012 Olympic Games

Here is some information from the analysis of the anthropometric data (height, weight and age) from the football participants at the London 2012 Olympic Games. You will notice that the players were a couple of cm shorter than the average of all Olympians, and lighter too.

Sport Age Height (cm) Weight (kg) BMI
OVERALL AVERAGE (all sports) 26.1 176.9 72.8 23.3
Football (all) 23.3 174.1 68.8 22.6
Football (females) 24.7 166.9 61.3 22.0
Football (males) 22.2 179.7 74.6 23.1

Rio 2016 Olympic Games

Here is average data from the analysis of the anthropometric data of the football competitors at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

  Age (years) height (m) weight (kg) BMI
AVERAGE (all sports) 26.8 1.77 72.0 22.9
football (all) 24.0 1.75 68.4 22.4
football (females) 25.9 1.68 61.1 21.5
football (males) 22.6 1.79 74.5 23.0

Russia 2018 World Cup

Here is average data from the analysis of the anthropometric data of the players at the Russia 2018 World Cup.

  Age (years) height (m) weight (kg) BMI
all players (males, n=736) 27.9 1.82 77.2 23.2

Related Pages

send us a comment Any comments, suggestions, or corrections? Please let us know.

Sport Extra

Check out the 800+ sports in the Encyclopedia of Every Sport. Well not every sport, as there is a list of unusual sports, extinct sports and newly created sports. How to get on these lists? See What is a sport? We also have sports winners lists, and about major sports events and a summary of every year.

 → How to Cite