Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Br J Sports Med. 2012 Dec;46(15):1038-43. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2012-091535. Epub 2012 Sep 12.

The role of a relative age effect in the first winter Youth Olympic Games in 2012.

Author information

1
Department of Sport Science, University of Innsbruck, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria. Christian.Raschner@uibk.ac.at

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Owing to the separation into age groups at the first winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG), athletes differed in age by up to two years, leading to a potential relative age effect (RAE).

OBJECTIVE:

The purpose of this study was to define the role of the RAE in the first winter YOG with regard to sex, type of sport and performance.

METHODS:

The birth dates and anthropometric data of all 1021 athletes (557 male, 464 female, 14-19 years old) participating in 15 sports were analysed. A χ(2) test was used to assess the difference between the observed and expected birth distributions. ANOVA (analysis of variance) and Kruskal-Wallis analyses were used to investigate differences in anthropometrics.

RESULTS:

The birth date distribution of the overall sample was significantly different from an equal distribution, with an over-representation of athletes born shortly after the cut-off date (χ(2)=284.7, p<0.001). A significant RAE was found in both male (χ(2)=245.1, p<0.001) and female competitors (χ(2)=74.6, p<0.001). An analysis based on the type of sport showed an RAE in all categories (strength-χ(2)=229.9, p<0.001, endurance-χ(2)=60.4, p<0.001 and technique-related sports χ(2)=25.2, p=0.001). Relatively older competitors were also over-represented among medal winners (χ(2)=47.9, p<0.001). Relatively older male competitors were significantly taller (p=0.005) and heavier (p<0.001) than younger competitors. No differences were found in female competitors.

CONCLUSIONS:

The results suggest that relative age had a highly significant influence on participation in various sports regardless of sex. A possible strategy to reduce the RAE would be a fixed quota for each birth year within the two-year age group across events.

PMID:
22976907
DOI:
10.1136/bjsports-2012-091535
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Support Center