The relative age effect in Australian Football League players

Barnett, Adrian G. (2010) The relative age effect in Australian Football League players. [Working Paper] (Unpublished)


Youth sports teams are usually grouped into yearly age groups based on fixed cut-off date (September 1st in the UK and January 1st in Australia). Children born just after this cut-off will be the oldest and most mature in their age group. This gives them an advantage in competitive sport, an advantage which has persisted into adulthood as shown by seasonal patterns in the dates of birth of professional ice hockey, football and basketball players. We were interested in whether a similar seasonal pattern exists in professional Australian Football League (AFL) players. We examined all AFL players in the 2009 season excluding foreign-born players. We compared the observed number of players’ born in each month with the expected number based on national statistics. There was a marked and statistically significant seasonality in players’ dates of birth. There were 33% more players than expected with dates of birth in January, and 25% fewer in December. Players who are relatively older in youth AFL teams have a better chance of turning professional.

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ID Code: 29661
Item Type: Working Paper
Refereed: No
Keywords: relative age effect, season, football, Australian Football League
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > HUMAN MOVEMENT AND SPORTS SCIENCE (110600) > Human Movement and Sports Science not elsewhere classified (110699)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2010 Adrian G. Barnett
Deposited On: 02 Feb 2010 01:34
Last Modified: 19 Jun 2011 14:56

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