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A person's size, weight and shape can be a contributing factor as to which sports they participate in.

In the1950s an American, W.H.Sheldon classified people into three different types. This form of classification is known as somatotyping.

The three types are:

  1. Endomorph

  2. Mesomorph

  3. Ectomorph.

Endomorph: Narrow shoulders, wide hips, large head, fat on arms and legs, lots of body fat.

Mesomorph: Broad shoulders, narrow hips, square head, muscular arms and legs, small amounts of body fat.

Ectomorph: Narrow shoulders and hips thin face, high forehead, thin arms and legs little muscle, small amounts of body fat.

Rarely are people classified in one particular group but are usually a mixture of the three.

Measurements can be taken which classify people on a score from 1 - 7 in how much they are endomorphic, mesomorphic and ectomorphic.

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Most sportspeople are between the mesomorphic and the ectomorphic extremes, with a greater tendency towards the mesomorphic.

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Being tall is important for volleyball players and high-jumpers but a disadvantage in high diving.

There are numerous examples of where height and weight are distinct advantages when participating in certain sports or playing a positional role in certain team games.

Body composition is concerned with the ratios of body fat to body muscle to bone to connective tissue.

People in sport tend to have a higher muscle to fat ratio and this can be measured using skin fold callipers that measure different amounts of fat in different parts of the body.

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