Influence of chronological age in the selection of players into the national basketball teams

Alejandro García, Sergio Jiménez, Alberto Lorenzo, Ignacio Díez-Vega


The Relative Age Effect (RAE) is "the difference in age and maturity, among people who have been grouped under the same age, for a specific purpose or function" (Lorenzo and Calleja, 2010). The aim of this study is to analyse the presence of the effect in the Spanish National Basketball Teams from U-16 category to the senior teams (n = 110), who competed over summer 2013. The study will address the possible relationship to gender and playing position. This analysis will show the variations in the percentage of births throughout the year calendar. A descriptive study set whose variables include month of birth, gender (male or female), category (U16, U18, U19, U20, Senior) and playing position (inside or outside player). Significant differences in the distribution of births grouped by periods (p = .46 χ2 (4) = 9.6) were found. In men’s youth teams there is a significant difference in the number of players who are selected from the first and second semester depending on whether they are inside or outside players (χ2 (1) = 5.42; p = .20, V = .34). Likewise, in women’s youth teams there is also a significant difference (χ2 (1) = 9.24; p = .002, V = .49). In conclusion, the effect is present through the Spanish basketball teams, especially at non-senior levels. It begins at the first competitive age and disappears into the senior teams. Furthermore, youth categories are specifically affected according to the position of play. It seems necessary to revise the models of organizing competitions trying to achieve other more balanced and less exclusive. Also rethinking selection and detection of talent methods of male and female players in the Spanish basketball.


Basketball; Chronological age; Relative Age Effect

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