Introduction: The principle elements of motor development are fundamental movement skills
(FMSs). The children with high levels of FMS are most likely to participate in health-related
physical activities. This study aimed to determine motor development status of 3-10 year-old
children in Ahvaz, Iran.
Methods: The research strategy and design were descriptive-normative and cross-sectional,
respectively. A total of 1600 children aged 3-10 years were chosen from 8 regions of Ahvaz using
cluster-sampling. The instrument used for data-collection was Test of Gross Motor Development
– third edition (TGMD-3). In order to analyze the data, multivariate and Tukey post-hoc analyses
were used along with Mann-Whitney U and chi-square tests.
Results: Results showed that boys, compared to girls, had better levels of performance in
locomotor skills of running, horizontal jump and sliding, while girls performed galloping and
skipping better than boys. In all ball skills, boys had significant higher levels of performance
compared to girls., Results also revealed that in both subtests, performance enhanced with age
increase. Prevalence of low motor proficiency was observed in skipping, forehand strike and
overhand throw, while there was prevalence of mastery in hoping, sliding, dribble and catching.
Low motor proficiency was observed for several FMSs in girls.
Conclusion: Girls, compared to the boys of the same age, had lower levels of performance in
all ball skills and some of locomotor skills. This result shows they are at the risk of unhealthy
motor development; therefore, it is suggested that special programs and equal opportunities be
prepared for them in order to enhance their motor competence in FMS.