The Functional Movement Screen (FMS) has been used as a screening tool to assess inefficiencies and asymmetries associated with movement patterns that could potentially lead to injury risks in athletic populations (Kiesel, Plisky, & Voight, 2007; Parenteau-G et al., 2014; Mokha et al., 2016). The primary purpose of the study was to compare FMS scores across four hockey-specific chronological age groups and five stages of maturity in adolescent male ice-hockey players. The secondary purpose of the study was to determine if years of experience in a specific sport, correlated with movement pattern asymmetries. One hundred and eleven male (9-17 years) AAA players completed a battery of physical measurements including; height (cm), weight (kg), grip strength (kg), sit and reach (cm) and the FMS. FMS scores were analyzed by total score (TS), FMS subgroups (FMS movement, FMS flexibility and FMS stability), frequencies of individual movement pattern scores and left/right asymmetries. Significant differences in FMS TS were revealed across both chronological age, categorized by hockey age groups (F (3,107) = 7.002), p<.001 and stage of maturity (F (4,106) = 4.790), p<.001, suggesting that FMS TS improved with both age and physical maturity. However, ANCOVA results revealed no significant differences across hockey age groups (F (3,106) =1.917), p=.131, when maturity was entered as a covariate, suggesting that maturity did not influence FMS TS beyond the effect age. FMS sub-groups revealed significant differences in FMS move and FMS stab across both hockey age group and stage of maturity. No significant differences were found in the frequencies of individual screen scores or left/right asymmetries across hockey age groups or stages of maturity. Therefore, the results did not support the assumption of hockey being a significant unilateral training stimulus.
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