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Bone age delayed and sports


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#1 knottygirl

Posted 28 February 2019 - 11:57 PM

My ds is a tiny little thing. He’s so little that the paed we see wanted to get some tests done to make sure he doesn’t have any deficiencies.

Anyway one of the tests is bone age. Came back that despite that he’s 8, his bone as it that of a 5 year old. So he’s not short, for a 5 year old he is average, he just grows at a slower rate to normal.

He plays sport which is contact, and is grouped by age. It’s getting to the point last year and this year that he is so much smaller than the people he is competing against I have been hesitant to let him due to concern he will get hurt.  

Should I approach the sport, and show them his bone age results to get him moved to a younger division so he is competing against similar sized kids? Anyone have any experience with this?

#2 lizzzard

Posted 01 March 2019 - 01:20 AM

I am really interested in this. DS is also very small. We haven’t had his bone age tested but are thinking about it. He used to love soccer when he was younger but took a season off last year because he was getting so frustrated about constantly getting knocked off his feet by bigger kids (I was impressed with his recovery- he developed a real skill at rolling and jumping up again...but he found it really hard to take after a while). He has decided he will play baseball instead now which i think might be a better choice for him.

#3 Arabella_Stuart_4

Posted 01 March 2019 - 05:04 AM

An 8 year old is not going to want to play with 5 year olds. It would be better for him to try some other sports where his size will not matter so much.

#4 Veritas Vinum Arte

Posted 01 March 2019 - 05:37 AM

Just playing devils advocate here but I have one who is now advanced bone age.

For all his life he was under the 5% for height. His brother 22m younger was the same height for many years. Then puberty hit early and fast. He had his puberty growth spurts early. His bone age at 12.5 yrs was 2-3 years older. Physical development that of a 16yo..... but he has only just made average height (for a 13yo). All the others are still to have their spurts and he will end up at the bottom 0-5% once again. There is no way I would try and get him upgraded by 2-3 yrs for his bone age.

ETA: DS2 has now started puberty and is very quickly catching up to his brother 22m older. DS2 is now tracking 80% for height having previously been 55-60% his whole life. He will be bigger than his brother 2yrs old before the end of the year.

So my short 0-5% son has spent the majority of his life the same size as his slightly above average brother 2 years younger. They were most often mistaken for twins by 2.5/4.5 years of age which continued until 10/12 yrs of age.

I do agree with PP to try and keep with peers. My DD is similarly short and at swimming was not progressing. I suddenly realised it had been nearly 24m without progression and my grade 3 girls was swimming with Preppies. She hated it, wanted to quit. When I pointed out her actual age appropriate group etc, they said they had assumed she was younger. Has since gone up 2 levels in a short period of time and is now swimming with her friends.

Edited by Veritas Vinum Arte, 01 March 2019 - 08:45 AM.


#5 born.a.girl

Posted 01 March 2019 - 06:16 AM

My initial response was 'why not give it a go', but then wondered what the difference was between him, and a quite short 8 x yo who doesn't have 5yo bone growth.  None really.


Given there's a wide spectrum of heights for age groups, some of whom end up really tall (I know a kid like that) it would open a can of worms for the organisers.

You'd either have to segregate everyone by size, or everyone by age.

I agree with others, he probably needs to do something different where height isn't relevant.


The issue would be too, how clubs manage this ongoing.  My daughter was late to puberty, always almost the shortest in her class by year 7,8 etc.  By year 12 she was 10cm above average, and some of the year sevens who looked soooo tall in comparison with her, we shorter than her.

#6 knottygirl

Posted 01 March 2019 - 07:01 AM

He does martial arts, so the competitions aren’t constant/all the time just few times a year. There is a part of the competition that isn’t contact and height doesn’t matter. It’s the other part that he can’t compete in anymore just because of his size. As they get older they progress to weight divisions but for now they are (broad) age groups. He’s in the 8 to 10 year old group now. So competing against anyone up til the day before their 11th bday.   I was thinking about getting him moved back to the 5 to 7 year old group. He would be fine with it. He hates that he can’t compete just due to his size.

#7 knottygirl

Posted 01 March 2019 - 07:03 AM

Also during practice the teacher pairs them up according to size normally. It’s only the proper comp that they go into their age group.

#8 born.a.girl

Posted 01 March 2019 - 07:09 AM

That does sound a bit different from what I was imagining.


I think you'd have to argue your case purely on his size, not why, because the end result is there's no difference between him and an eight year old who's always going to be short and slight.

#9 Sentient Puddle

Posted 01 March 2019 - 07:12 AM

DS plays rep basketball.  He is the point guard on his team and is the shortest player by far.  They played in a tournament over Xmas where they played an international team where the boys on that team were easily at least a foot taller than him.  Most were taller than all his teammates.  The age groups covered 2 years and the boys in this international team would have had a good 30 - 40 kilos on him (and most of his team mates).  The international team won but didn't annihilate our boys.  The height and weight differential was huge but our boys had a good deal of skill and our shooting made up for some of the physical differences.  By comparing my son and the tallest boy on this team - you would have thought there was 4 years age difference at least - but I found out later that they were the same age (13).  Size does matter when playing - even at a higher level - but most smaller kids are able to compete against most bigger kids in most contact sports as skill plays a big part.  I don't know enough about collision sports to make a comparison though.  However, I would want my child playing with their age cohort for social reasons more than anything.

#10 LucyGoose

Posted 01 March 2019 - 07:13 AM

My DD also has delayed bone growth also.  She is 9 years old and wears a size 5 in clothing.
She is just far too small to compete in some sports.
But she is a good swimmer and took home ribbons at the swimming carnival,  she likes dancing, gymnastics and bike riding.
I just don’t think it is possible to mix age groups,  if someone is tall,  are they going to be forced to play up a year?  Also,   My daughter would most definitely be better at a lot of sports than a 5 year old,   Because she is 9.  


#11 born.a.girl

Posted 01 March 2019 - 07:15 AM

View PostLucyGoose, on 01 March 2019 - 07:13 AM, said:

My DD also has delayed bone growth also.  She is 9 years old and wears a size 5 in clothing.
She is just far too small to compete in some sports.
But she is a good swimmer and took home ribbons at the swimming carnival,  she likes dancing, gymnastics and bike riding.
I just don’t think it is possible to mix age groups, if someone is tall,  are they going to be forced to play up a year?  Also,   My daughter would most definitely be better at a lot of sports than a 5 year old,   Because she is 9.  


That's a fair point.


At my daughter's first primary, the shortest and tallest by far were extremely good friends, so ended up doing a lot of things together, including sport.

The shorter one almost always won simply because she was sporty. She's now doing a sports scholarship degree in the US given how good she is.

#12 Oriental lily

Posted 01 March 2019 - 07:59 AM

Sport is not just about physical strength . Mental maturity and tactics come in to it as well .  Not really fair on the  opposing team to have that advantage .

#13 Smoo

Posted 01 March 2019 - 08:23 AM

DS is very similar he's just turned 8 but 3 percentile height and weight, his bone age is also young.

We moved his martial arts school to Taekwondo 6 months ago because his old one only grouped by age. Taekwondo competition is grouped by weight, belt and age (2 year age range) so they have a lot of divisions. After being thumped by kids a foot taller than him he managed to win a regional tournament last year which made a huge difference to his self confidence. If you live around Parramatta I can highly recommend his school for this sort of issue, but I suspect most Taekwondo schools would be similar.

#14 knottygirl

Posted 01 March 2019 - 08:45 AM

Sorry should be more clear - I’m talking about 1 on 1 contact sparring in an official competition. And in the last competition his instructor would not let him compete as he said the size difference was too great and it would be unsafe for him. So it’s not a case of just stick with peers (Official competition  is against people he doesn’t know anyway) it’s actually unsafe for him to do it.

On a club level the instructor pairs up kids based on size and ability not on age.

#15 knottygirl

Posted 01 March 2019 - 08:48 AM

View PostSmoo, on 01 March 2019 - 08:23 AM, said:

DS is very similar he's just turned 8 but 3 percentile height and weight, his bone age is also young.

We moved his martial arts school to Taekwondo 6 months ago because his old one only grouped by age. Taekwondo competition is grouped by weight, belt and age (2 year age range) so they have a lot of divisions. After being thumped by kids a foot taller than him he managed to win a regional tournament last year which made a huge difference to his self confidence. If you live around Parramatta I can highly recommend his school for this sort of issue, but I suspect most Taekwondo schools would be similar.

We are in qld unfortunately.

Ours doesn’t differentiate by belt. They start weight classes at 10 but they are broad.

#16 knottygirl

Posted 01 March 2019 - 08:48 AM

View PostSmoo, on 01 March 2019 - 08:23 AM, said:

DS is very similar he's just turned 8 but 3 percentile height and weight, his bone age is also young.

We moved his martial arts school to Taekwondo 6 months ago because his old one only grouped by age. Taekwondo competition is grouped by weight, belt and age (2 year age range) so they have a lot of divisions. After being thumped by kids a foot taller than him he managed to win a regional tournament last year which made a huge difference to his self confidence. If you live around Parramatta I can highly recommend his school for this sort of issue, but I suspect most Taekwondo schools would be similar.

We are in qld unfortunately.

Ours doesn’t differentiate by belt. They start weight classes at 10 but they are broad.

#17 Soontobegran

Posted 01 March 2019 - 09:10 AM

I have a nephew who is 21 and 200 cms, he plays football at the highest level you can, I have another nephew 20 who also played at elite level but he is 174 cms.
They played together for years, they play different positions and the position they played is chosen for their size and skill.

Most smaller children do not get bone size tested and I am certain that every single sporting team in junior sport have children who play at less or more than their bone age so I am not sure it is indicative of anything much unless as well as being small they are also deficient in other growth areas.

It would be interesting if there was a study as to whether in childhood these children have a higher level of fractures.......from my experience with kid's sports I don't think I saw it but it would be good to know if there was some correlation.


ETA...both these boys were shoulder to shoulder in height until age 11/12.

Edited by Soontobegran, 01 March 2019 - 09:24 AM.





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