Relative age effects on speed trials in Brazilian athletics

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Barboza-Neto, Rui
Nobari, Hadi
Aidar, Felipe J.
Almeida-Neto, Paulo F.
Silva, Ana F.
Medeiros, Radamés M. V.
Clemente, Filipe M.
de Queiros, Victor S.
de Matos, Dihogo G.
da Silva, Luiz F.
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Background Relative age effect (RAE) is a concept related to the possible advantage that older athletes would have over younger ones within the same category. Although many studies have approached this subject in individual sports, there are few clippings by events within the sport. More detailed analyses are necessary for a better understanding of how RAE behaves in sports, especially in athletics, the subject of this study. The objective of this study was to analyze the RAE on speed in track and field events as a whole, separating the flat races from the hurdles races. Methods The Brazilian Ranking of Brazilian Athletics Confederation was used for data analysis, and the sample was composed of the 50 best-placed marks in the ranking of speed events in athletics in the categories Under(U)-16 and U-18 (female and male). Statistical analysis was calculated by chi-square, and the effect size was checked by Cramer’s V. Likelihood-ratio test (L-Ratio) assessed the probability of the RAE occurring in the total sample and by age groups. Results In the total sample the results pointed to the emergence of RAE in males in both categories (U-16: p < 0.001; V: 0.13; L-Ratio: 3.64, U-18: p < 0.001; V: 0.13; L-Ratio: 3.80), whereas in females no such effect was found in any category (U-16: p = 0.6; V: 0.09; L-Ratio: 0.09, U-18: p = 0.6; V: 0.07; L-Ratio: 0.12). When the results were separated by type of event, there was only a RAE in the shallow event in the U-18 female category (p = 0.3; V: 0.11; L-Ratio: 8.72). Conclusion The results allow us to conclude that there is a RAE in the speed trials of Brazilian athletics in the U16 and U18 categories for men, while this effect appears only in the shallow trials of the U18 category for women, indicating that the RAE has incidence when there is more participation and competition in the sport.
Birthday distribution, Track and field, Youth sport, Gender, Sports training, Talent selection
BMC Sports Science, Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2023 Feb 11;15(1):19
BMC Sports Science, Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2023 Feb 11;15(1):19