International Journal of Exercise Science 10(8): 1157-1164, 2017. The year of birth is used as a criterion for grouping the competitive categories in various sports. Young players that were born in the early months of the calendar can have a benefit during their formative process, since they have higher chronological age and, consequently, are more likely to be in more advanced stages of biological maturation. The aim of this study was to evaluate the Relative Age Effect (RAE) in the U-20 Libertadores Cup. The sample consisted of 228 young players belonging to 12 clubs (ten different countries) who vied for the championship in the year 2016. The players were distributed according to their playing position: n=24 goalkeepers, n=65 defenders, n=83 midfielders, and n=56 forwards. Data regarding the date of birth were collected and split into quartiles: Q1 (January to March), Q2 (April to June), Q3 (July to September), and Q4 (October to December), and semesters: S1 (January to June), and S2 (July to December). The results showed significant differences corresponding to intra-birth quartiles and playing positions, except for the goalkeeper position. Thus, it is possible to conclude based on the young soccer players participating in an important South American competition that there is a tendency towards the selection of players born in the early months of the relevant year.
Campos, Fabio A D; Campos, Leandra C B; Pellegrinotti, Idico L.; and GÓMEZ, MIGUEL A.
"The Relative Age Effect in Soccer: an Analysis of the U20 Libertadores Cup,"
International Journal of Exercise Science: Vol. 10
8, Pages 1157 - 1164.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijes/vol10/iss8/6