EQOL Journal (2017) 9(1): 31-35
Gender-related differences in motor abilities of children in the fencing
Miroslav Smajic1Nebojsa Cokorilo1Vladimir Petrovic2Valdemar Stajer1
Rasko Micic3Maja Ilic4
‹ The Author(s) 2017. This article is published with open access.
early maturing girls have better results of motor
performance than those with a slower process of
Fencing is very dynamic and combative sport, with
(11-13 years), whereas individual
the following requirements of competitors: instant
differences in terms of motor performance depend
resourcefulness, precision, courage and fast
on growth and development, especially in boys.
reaction in different situations. It is just for this
Matching of results is related to the observed
reason that the training of young fencers involves
statistically significant differences in explosive
improvement of all motor abilities focusing on
strength in favor of boys and suppleness in favor of
agility, speed, and explosive strength. The aim of
this research is to determine gender-related
differences of motor abilities in children engaged in
Keywords motoricsfencingboysgirls
fencing. The sample consists of 50 children (26
boys and 24 girls) whose average age is 10.46 years
and, who train fencing in the
“Omladinac” in
Zrenjanin and “Vojvodina” in Novi Sad. Motor
abilities are tested by means of four motor tests.
Differences are determined using multivariate
The physical activity of girls and boys is largely
analysis of variance and univariate analysis of
determined by: their gender, the structure of the
variance. The findings indicate that there is
movement and the morphological characteristics.
statistically significant difference related to Deep
On the other hand, we can't ignore the influence of:
forward bend on the bench and T-test, which is in
family, school, and environment as well. Social
favor of girls, Long jump test from the standing start
standards, the cultural level of the environment, the
in favor of boys, whereas Tapping test does not
place and the role of physical education in it are just
show any significant difference between boys and
some of the factors of the social environment that
girls. Numerous research works show that early
can, by their indirect action, affect the development
of the motor abilities of its members (Matic, Kuljic,
& Maksimovic, 2010).
Fencing is also very dynamic sport, full of
combat and its competitors must possess:
University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Sport and
cleverness, precision, courage and must quickly
Physical Education, Serbia
respond in different situations. It is precisely for
Fencing Club “Omladinac”, Zrenjanin, Serbia
this reason that a very important part of young
fencers' training is improving all motor abilities
Fencing Club “Vojvodina”, Novi Sad, Serbia
with the focus on agility, speed and explosive
Secondary Technical School “Branko Radicevic”,
Different intensity of physical activity of boys
Ruma, Serbia
EQOL Journal (2017) 9(1): 31-35
and girls during physical education classes and
running 20 m sprint, backward polygon, sit and reach,
outside of them affects both their physical
long jump from the standing start, flexed arm hang
development and the transformation of motor
test and speed slalom with three medicine balls test,
abilities. Around the age of five, boys already
while in the tapping with hands test they did not find
dominate when tested: coordination, running speed
any differences. In all of the tests, apart from the sit
and explosive strength of lower extremities. In many
and reach test, boys achieved better results than girls
research studies, the authors came to the conclusion
(Krsmanovic & Radosav, 2008).
that the level of manifestation of motor abilities in the
Optimal age for children to start fencing is
younger school children varies considerably in
between 10 and 12 years of age, because it is a stage
relation to the gender (Cvetkovic, Popovic, & Jaksic,
of development when children start to slowly mature
2007; Obradovic, Cvetkovic, & Krneta,
in terms of motor abilities to the point they can
Bigovic, 2006; Bigovic & Krsmanovic, 2007 Matic,
perform not only to basic motor tasks, but also the
2007; Batez, Krsmanovic, Dimitric, & Pantovic,
simplest specific ones regarding the fencing itself
2011; Krsmanovic & Radosav, 2008). Boys manifest
(Evangelista, 1999).
higher levels of explosive strength and coordination
while girls have a higher level of flexibility. The
School children engaged in fencing must first
greatest similarities occur in the case of the
master basic motor abilities with an emphasis on the
manifestation of the speed of alternative movements,
explosive strength of the lower limbs, agility and
where there is no statistically significant difference in
speed because these represent the most important
relation to the gender. The results obtained are largely
factors that will later make the difference between an
similar to the results obtained by observing the
average and a successful fencer (James, 2007).
differences in the motor abilities of pre-school
We always have to keep in mind that all children
children (Cvetkovic et al., 2007; Bala, 1981).
do not mature at the same time, since this process
Boys, thanks to the richer motor life achieved by
depends on many of factors. When it comes to
chasing a ball, climbing trees, running, as well as to
fencing, girls may show a higher degree of motor
their greater desire and motivation to win at that stage
training than the boys at the very beginning, but in
of development (Bujas, 1980, according to Maslov,
time, this difference goes over to the boy's side
1982), get better results in strength, coordination and
(Czajkowski, 2005).
running speed test when compared to girls. Girls are
In this paper, the emphasis is placed only on
interested in different things and they lead a more
certain motor abilities, i.e. abilities that were tested in
peaceful life in terms of games. Girls are better in
the sample of children in the fencing school.
fine, more precise movements (Burton & Miller,
1998). The better developed motor abilities in the
The explosive strength of the lower extremities,
boys are due to intense movement in pre-school and
which play a critical role in the movement and
at the younger school age.
performance of specific movements during an attack
or defense is of great importance in fencing.
Boys develop speed, strength and coordination
during a variety of jumping, creeping, climbing,
Fencing does not require maximum flexibility, as
running, etc., as opposed to girls who mostly practice
is the case in rhythmic and sport gymnastics, but
games in smaller spaces with less number of
“normal”, i.e. optimal flexibility, which
movements but more precise and more fines ones that
makes it easier to perform specific movements related
contribute to the development of flexibility (Matic,
to fencing. Also, speed is very important because very
2007). The trend of boys' dominance in terms of
often thanks to it, points are won.
motor abilities from the preschool period continues
The aim of this research is to determine gender-
during the early school period (Milne, Seefeldt, &
related differences in motor abilities of children
Reuschlein, 1976).
engaged in fencing school.
Results obtained after conducting tapping with
hands, stepping aside and long jump from the
standing start tests show that there are significant
differences between boys and girls in the space of
motor abilities (Mladineo, 2006). Also, some authors
An interdisciplinary approach is necessary since
came to the conclusion that there are statistically
previous findings have indicated that any motor
significant differences in the following motor tests:
characteristic of a person, and especially of athletes,
EQOL Journal (2017) 9(1): 31-35
cannot be influenced in isolation-without a proper
For the assessment of flexibility:
change in some of his other motor dimensions. All
2. Deep forward bend on the bench;
characteristics, their similarities and differences, both
For the assessment of alternative hand movements:
within a sample of the subjects and among the various
3. Tapping with hands;
samples of the subjects, must be measured and
evaluated in various ways, by various techniques and
For the assessment of agility:
measuring instruments. The data obtained in the
4.T test;
research of gender-related differences in the motor
abilities of children engaged in fencing are controlled
For each applied test and for both boys and girls,
and prepared for processing in accordance with the
the mean
(M), standard deviation
(SD), were
aim. The databases are sorted by traceable features
calculated from the basic central and dispersion
and prepared for the planned statistical processing.
statistics. Multivariate variance analysis (MANOVA)
The results obtained by statistical processing are
revealed statistically significant differences in the
shown in the tables and analyzed by the
overall system of motor abilities tests between boys
corresponding logical units. The presentation of the
and girls. Subsequently, differences were found in
research results, together with the whole procedure
each applied test by using the univariate analysis of
and explaining individual connections allow the
variance (ANOVA).
examination of the overall gender-related differences
in the motor abilities of children who are engaged in
fencing in accordance with the aim of the research,
that is, contributing to a clear determination
according to the expected application of the obtained
Based on the insight into the obtained results (Table
results in practice (Bala, 2007).
1), it can be said that the results are homogeneous.
The sample of subject consisted of 50 children (26
Using the multivariate variance analysis
boys and 24 girls), whose average age is 10.46 years
(MANOVA), it was found that there was a
and who are engaged in fencing in the fencing clubs
statistically significant difference in the overall
“Omladinac” Zrenjanin, and “Vojvodina” Novi Sad.
system of analyzed motor abilities tests, depending on
the gender of children included in the sample (Table
Four tests were used for the assessment of motor
For the assessment of explosive strength:
1. Long jump from the standing start;
Table 1. Differences between boys and girls in fencing school
Deep forward bend on the bench
Long jump from the standing start
T test
Tapping with hands
Based on a univariate variance analysis
the tapping with hand test there was no statistically
(ANOVA), it has been determined that there is a
significant difference between boys and girls.
statistically significant difference in the following
tests: Deep forward bend on the bench and T test in
favour of the girls. Results of the long jump from the
standing start test were in favour of the boys, while in
EQOL Journal (2017) 9(1): 31-35
exercises that were done were mainly aimed at
learning basic technical elements, as well as the
improvement of motor abilities. All these exercises
affect the improvement of motor abilities and the
It is likely that the higher level of motor abilities in
growing gender gap in favor of boys, because the
boys is conditioned by the faster flow of the impulse
differences between the boys and girls are more
from the cerebral cortex to the muscle effectors. Each
evident in this period, while the correct training
newly learned activity enriches the child's motor life
sessions are the foundation of the consistent
during the early school age, which especially reflects
development of the anthropological characteristics of
on his/her basic motor abilities (Halasi, 2012).
the pupils.
The motor abilities of younger school boys and
Regarding the influence of morphological
girls differ significantly in terms of: flexibility, agility
characteristics on the difference between boys and
and explosive strength, while differences in the speed
girls at the age of 9-12, it has been shown that there is
of alternative movements do not exist. These results
an influence of the body's volume on the
are proved by many research studies conducted by
manifestation of all motor abilities of younger school
many authors
(Obradovic, Cvetkovic, & Krneta,
children, both boys and girls (B. Krsmanovic, Batez,
2008; Cvetkovic et al., 2007). The causes of these
T. Krsmanovic, 2009; Kalentic & Obradovic, 2007,
phenomena are most likely found in the determined
according to Obradovic, 2008; Matic, 2007). The
genotype (the genetic structure of the inheritance of
explosive strength of legs, agility and the speed of
the parents, the full gender predestination or the
alternating movements in male and female fencers at
structure of their movements
(the girls opt for
the age of 9 to 12 years are adversely affected by an
activities dominated by the large amplitude of the
excessive amount of fatty tissue that diminishes
movements and the boys for the activities dominated
functional and motor abilities which further adversely
by force).
affects the ability of an athlete's organism.
In the lifetime (from 7 to 17 years of age), training
After all, it can be concluded that the differences
with targeted development of motor abilities has the
in the motor abilities between boys and girls in the
best effects, while the biological maturity
early school age, engaged in fencing, are influenced
significantly influences motor performance (Malina
by a really long series of factors, starting from
et al., 1999; according to: Mladineo, 2006).
previous engagement in physical activities, factors of
Development status affects motor performance
differently in boys and girls. Various studies show
characteristics, morphological characteristics, and by
that girls who become mature faster have better
training, environment and parents as well.
results in terms of motor abilities than those who enter
Comparing the differences in the motor abilities of
the maturation phase more slowly (11-13 years of
boys and girls involved in fencing can provide
age) and the differences between individuals in the
trainers with meaningful information about the
population when it comes to motor abilities depend
different manifestations of the same motor abilities
on growth and development, especially in boys
and enable them to pay more attention when it comes
(Buenen et al., 1988, according to: Mladineo, 2006).
to developing those certain motor abilities.
The coincidence of the results relates to the
statistically significant differences in coordination
This research is even more important given the
and explosive strength in favour of boys and
fact that there is a very small number of similar
flexibility in favour of girls (Matic, 2007).
studies or they are non-existent in our country.
Fencing is a sport in expansion and is increasingly
It has been found out that girls throughout the
popular among younger school children, so trainers
developmental period have a significant advantage in
need to be ready, well-prepared to work with children
the field of manifestation of flexibility compared to
and have all the data and information they could use
boys (Branta, Haubenstricker, & Seefeldt, 1984).
in their further work.
In the fencing club “Omladinac” and the fencing
club “Vojvodina”, the differences between boys and
girls in the explosive strength of legs, agility and
flexibility are observed, which is a consequence of
regular training. The training plan and program are
adjusted to the age of children and gender. The
EQOL Journal (2017) 9(1): 31-35
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