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The Relative Age Effect in Spanish Female Soccer Players. Influence of the Competitive Level and a Playing Position.

Sedano S, Vaeyens R, Redondo JC - J Hum Kinet (2015)

Bottom Line: Only in the lowest level was age distribution not significantly different from that of the general population.It was also observed that at some playing positions the birth-date distributions were significantly biased.It could be concluded that in the current structure of Spanish female soccer there is a relative age effect, probably due to the early processes of talent identification.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Laboratory of Physiology. European University Miguel de Cervantes, Valladolid, Spain.

ABSTRACT
The purposes of the study were to examine relative age effects (RAEs) in Spanish female soccer and to identify the influence of a playing position. The sample comprised all female players (n=4035) of five different competitive levels in the 2010-2013 seasons: First, Second and Third divisions (n=936, n=1711 and n=870, respectively), and National and Regional (n=232 and n=286, respectively) teams were included. Differences between the observed and expected birth-date distributions were tested based on data from the general Spanish population, using the chi-square statistic followed up by calculating odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals. Results revealed that the birth-date distributions of almost all groups of football players showed an overrepresentation of players born in the first quartile. Only in the lowest level was age distribution not significantly different from that of the general population. Moreover, the RAE risk progressively increased with a higher level of involvement. It was also observed that at some playing positions the birth-date distributions were significantly biased. That was the case for goalkeepers and defenders. It could be concluded that in the current structure of Spanish female soccer there is a relative age effect, probably due to the early processes of talent identification.

No MeSH data available.


Spanish female soccer structure
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f1-jhk-46-129: Spanish female soccer structure

Mentions: Certain sport structures, for instance those in which talented athletes are identified, selected, and developed from a young age, could benefit from inequalities if the number of people wishing to participate grossly exceeds the infrastructure available (Cobley et al., 2008). This could be the case of female soccer in Spain since it currently has a relatively unstructured environment for youth participation in which female and male players can play together until fourteen years of age, when female exclusive competition starts (first, second, and regional division) (Figure 1). At this time, available positions in Spanish elite clubs are limited, whereas low level teams might support universal enrolment. This specific situation could cause a different impact of RAE depending on the competitive level (Delorme et al., 2010b; Diaz del Campo et al., 2010)


The Relative Age Effect in Spanish Female Soccer Players. Influence of the Competitive Level and a Playing Position.

Sedano S, Vaeyens R, Redondo JC - J Hum Kinet (2015)

Spanish female soccer structure
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4519203&req=5

f1-jhk-46-129: Spanish female soccer structure
Mentions: Certain sport structures, for instance those in which talented athletes are identified, selected, and developed from a young age, could benefit from inequalities if the number of people wishing to participate grossly exceeds the infrastructure available (Cobley et al., 2008). This could be the case of female soccer in Spain since it currently has a relatively unstructured environment for youth participation in which female and male players can play together until fourteen years of age, when female exclusive competition starts (first, second, and regional division) (Figure 1). At this time, available positions in Spanish elite clubs are limited, whereas low level teams might support universal enrolment. This specific situation could cause a different impact of RAE depending on the competitive level (Delorme et al., 2010b; Diaz del Campo et al., 2010)

Bottom Line: Only in the lowest level was age distribution not significantly different from that of the general population.It was also observed that at some playing positions the birth-date distributions were significantly biased.It could be concluded that in the current structure of Spanish female soccer there is a relative age effect, probably due to the early processes of talent identification.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Laboratory of Physiology. European University Miguel de Cervantes, Valladolid, Spain.

ABSTRACT
The purposes of the study were to examine relative age effects (RAEs) in Spanish female soccer and to identify the influence of a playing position. The sample comprised all female players (n=4035) of five different competitive levels in the 2010-2013 seasons: First, Second and Third divisions (n=936, n=1711 and n=870, respectively), and National and Regional (n=232 and n=286, respectively) teams were included. Differences between the observed and expected birth-date distributions were tested based on data from the general Spanish population, using the chi-square statistic followed up by calculating odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals. Results revealed that the birth-date distributions of almost all groups of football players showed an overrepresentation of players born in the first quartile. Only in the lowest level was age distribution not significantly different from that of the general population. Moreover, the RAE risk progressively increased with a higher level of involvement. It was also observed that at some playing positions the birth-date distributions were significantly biased. That was the case for goalkeepers and defenders. It could be concluded that in the current structure of Spanish female soccer there is a relative age effect, probably due to the early processes of talent identification.

No MeSH data available.