Event Title

The relative age effect in youth and elite sport: Did 20 years of research make any difference?

Location

Room 320, Bethune College, York University (Toronto, ON)

Start Date

17-10-2018 3:45 PM

End Date

17-10-2018 4:15 PM

Description

In recent decades, our research team (among others) has identified obvious participation and attainment inequalities resulting from annual age grouping procedures across varying forms and levels of sport participation, and the relative age effects (RAEs) associated with it. Generally, youth born early in the selection year have selection and attainment advantages over their relatively younger peers. Twenty years ago, Helsen et al. (1998) observed that 37.9% of soccer players who were transferred from lower league teams to first division teams were born in the first three months of the selection year, while only 12.3% were born in the final three months. Almost a decade ago, Baker et al. (2010) observed that over 35% of players in two amateur developmental ice hockey leagues were born in the first three months of the selection year, while less than 10% were born in the final three months. Over-representation of relatively older players have been consistently observed in a variety of sports (Cobley et al., 2009; Musch & Grondin, 2001). I will discuss the (dis)advantages in selection and attainment that are considered RAEs (Wattie et al., 2008) and how they have changed (or not) over the past 20 years.

Comments

Werner F. Helsen completed his PhD at KU Leuven in 1989. Since 2005, he is full professor at the Faculty of Movement and Rehabilitation Sciences at KU Leuven. His research and teaching involvements are in the motor control and learning field as well as in the area of training and coaching in team sports in general and football, in particular. He is promoter of 11 PhD dissertations and published over 120 publications in internationally reviewed scientific journals, including high-impact scientific journals in the fields of behavioral sciences and neurosciences, such as Psychological Bulletin (IF=6.88), NeuroImage (IF=6.13), Sports Medicine (IF=5.58). On September 2017, Google Scholar shows 6358 citations, H-index = 39, and i10 index=82. As from 1999 on, he has been appointed by FIFA and UEFA as a sports scientist and training expert for the performance training and analysis of the match officials. In this respect, he was actively involved in 5 UEFA European Championships (2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016) and 3 FIFA World Cups (2002, 2006, 2010).

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Oct 17th, 3:45 PM Oct 17th, 4:15 PM

The relative age effect in youth and elite sport: Did 20 years of research make any difference?

Room 320, Bethune College, York University (Toronto, ON)

In recent decades, our research team (among others) has identified obvious participation and attainment inequalities resulting from annual age grouping procedures across varying forms and levels of sport participation, and the relative age effects (RAEs) associated with it. Generally, youth born early in the selection year have selection and attainment advantages over their relatively younger peers. Twenty years ago, Helsen et al. (1998) observed that 37.9% of soccer players who were transferred from lower league teams to first division teams were born in the first three months of the selection year, while only 12.3% were born in the final three months. Almost a decade ago, Baker et al. (2010) observed that over 35% of players in two amateur developmental ice hockey leagues were born in the first three months of the selection year, while less than 10% were born in the final three months. Over-representation of relatively older players have been consistently observed in a variety of sports (Cobley et al., 2009; Musch & Grondin, 2001). I will discuss the (dis)advantages in selection and attainment that are considered RAEs (Wattie et al., 2008) and how they have changed (or not) over the past 20 years.