Effects of sex, game format, and skill type on ball possession in Norwegian youth soccer
However, a full benefit naturally presupposes a modification in games to match players’ experience and skill level in order to create optimal learning environment with both meaningful successes as well as realistic challenges (Ronglan, 2008). Hill-Haas et al. (2011) reported that small-sided games may facilitate the development of technical and tactical awareness within the appropriate context of a game, but its realization depends on game design. Therefore, the knowledge obtained from the comparative analyses between match performances in different game formats is considered useful for enhancing more skill learning and development for youth players (Griffin and Butler, 2005). In addition, factors such as sex and skill type are thought to have influence on the performance also in youth soccer. Sex differences in game-related statistics have been reported earlier in basketball (Sampaio et al., 2004) and in volleyball (Joao et al., 2010). These differences in game performance were attributed to anthropometric and physiological differences between women and men.