Relative Age Effects (RAEs) appear largely throughout youth soccer. However, little is known about how RAEs at youth levels can impact transition at senior levels. Accordingly, this study aimed to : (a) provide further test of RAEs by exploring the birth quarter (BQ) distribution of 2,030 Italian players born from 1975 to 2001 who have played in any of the Youth National Italian Soccer Teams ; and (b) investigate how RAEs influence future career outcomes, by exploring the BQ distribution of players who completed the transition from youth squads to the Senior National Team (n = 182)    Chi-square statistics revealed significantly skewed BQ distributions for all Youth squads (P values <0.0001), and for the cohort of players who completed the transition (P = 0.003). In contrast, results from the Odds Ratios highlighted how BQ4s were more likely to transition from youth-to-senior compared to BQ1s . Results showed BQ1s remained overrepresented at senior level due to a residual bias effect. Whereas BQ4s who were able to overcome selection processes at youth levels recorded the highest likelihood of competing at senior levels. Involving players' career trajectories in RAEs studies is needed to understand how RAEs impacts career outcomes of early selected players.

Relative age effects and the youth-to-senior transition in Italian soccer: the underdog hypothesis versus knock-on effects of relative age

Ruscello, Bruno
Supervision
2022-01-01

Abstract

Relative Age Effects (RAEs) appear largely throughout youth soccer. However, little is known about how RAEs at youth levels can impact transition at senior levels. Accordingly, this study aimed to : (a) provide further test of RAEs by exploring the birth quarter (BQ) distribution of 2,030 Italian players born from 1975 to 2001 who have played in any of the Youth National Italian Soccer Teams ; and (b) investigate how RAEs influence future career outcomes, by exploring the BQ distribution of players who completed the transition from youth squads to the Senior National Team (n = 182)    Chi-square statistics revealed significantly skewed BQ distributions for all Youth squads (P values <0.0001), and for the cohort of players who completed the transition (P = 0.003). In contrast, results from the Odds Ratios highlighted how BQ4s were more likely to transition from youth-to-senior compared to BQ1s . Results showed BQ1s remained overrepresented at senior level due to a residual bias effect. Whereas BQ4s who were able to overcome selection processes at youth levels recorded the highest likelihood of competing at senior levels. Involving players' career trajectories in RAEs studies is needed to understand how RAEs impacts career outcomes of early selected players.
2022
Talent identification
athlete development
expertise
relative age effect
talent selection
youth soccer
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12078/11235
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