Biological Maturation

As part of Northern NSW Football’s competitions policy, players that are potentially disadvantaged from a physical perspective due to later biological maturity may be eligible to play in a lower age-group.

Although players may be similar in terms of chronological age, their biological age can vary substantially due to the timing of their adolescent growth spurt. Late developers can be significantly disadvantaged from a physical standpoint (height, weight, speed, strength).

To identify those who may be late-developing players, Northern NSW Football has worked with Football NSW and Dr Ric Lovell (PhD) to develop a two-step process.


Only players aged 13 to 16-years-old are eligible for an assessment.

The below age groups will have the Biological Maturation principle apply for the 2022 season:

Junior Development Leagues (JDL) (12s)
NPL NNSW (13s, 14s, 15s)

NPLW (13s, 15s)
HIT 106.9 Northern League One (13s, 14s, 15s)

Using the below video tutorials, all players are required to do a self-assessment and record their results when registering for a formal assessment.

Video Tutorials

The three short video tutorials shown below will assist you on how to conduct these measurements correctly, which are necessary to estimate the player’s biological maturation category. Accurate measurements of the player’s height, weight and their sitting height are required, in addition to the player’s date of birth, gender and the date in which the measurements are collected.

Thank you to Football NSW and Ric Lovell (PhD) Associate Professor (Sport and Exercise) Western Sydney University for allowing NNSWF to utilise these demonstrative videos.

How to Measure: Standing Height 

How to Measure: Seated Height

How to Measure: Body Mass

Are you eligible?

The assessment conducted by NNSWF will provide two results: the estimated age at peak height velocity (APHV) and the maturation category which will be classed as either early, on-time or late developer.

The age at APHV is an estimate of when the player did or is predicted to go through the most intensive phase of the adolescent growth spurt. Some players will have already been through the growth spurt, whereas some others are yet to do so.

To categorise their maturation status, the APHV is cross-referenced with normative data for boys and girls. The age criteria used to categorise biological maturation is as follows:

APHV <13.5 = early
APHV 13.5-14.5 = on-time
APHV >14.5 = late

APHV <11.5 = early
APHV 11.5-12.5 = on-time
APHV >12.5 = late

If the player is officially confirmed as a late-developer during the assessment with NNSWF, the player has the option to register in a lower-age group. However, we recommend that before a decision is made that the technical directors, coaches, players and parents consider carefully the implications of competing at a lower age category.

Biological Maturation Testing for 2022

All players must register via the link below in order to be verified.

Please carefully follow the procedures shown in the videos to double check that the data entered into the calculator is accurate, as subtle errors can have a significant effect on the results.

Formal assessments are only being conducted at the Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility, Speers Point on the evenings of Monday 6 and Monday 13 December 2021.

For players to officially be able to play down an age group, they must attend one of the advertised NNSWF assessment dates.


For any enquiries please contact:

Rebecca Nee
NNSWF Talented Player Programs Administrator
Phone: 02 4941 7200 | Email: