Relative age effect on involvement [sic] progress and ranking of middle distance athletes from 14 years to 21 years
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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Pervious [sic] research has found relative age effect in many sports. The purpose of the current study was to look at relative age in athletics, as no other studies has have researched relative age in athletics to see if it exists. This study is an early attempt to look at the progress over time of athletes in their development, participation and performance in athletics. The event chosen to be analysed in athletics was a middle distance event of 800m. The study looked at male and females 800m runners whom were born in 1986, 87 and 88, who are registered on the website of www.athleticsdata.com. The data collected was their birth of month and personal best time of 800ms from the years of 2002 to 2007 of every athlete. There was significant difference for the male 800m runners (p = 0.001). However no significant relative age effect for female 800m runners (p = 0.216). Moreover 26% of H1 male athletes dropped out between 2002 and 2007 and only 21% of H2 male athletes. While for females 71% of H1 athletes dropped out and 72 % of H2 athletes dropped between 2002 and 2007. Also findings show that the H2 female athletes were faster than H1 athletes. Therefore relative age can influence overall participation in athletics and performance. There are psychological and physiological factors what effect relative age. Coaches need to take action to reduce attrition of athletes including potentially talented athletes born late in the competition year, to keep more athletes involved in athletics and not to drop out.
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