Moderating factors influence the relative age effect in Australian cricket

Connor, Jonathan D., Renshaw, Ian, and Doma, Kenji (2019) Moderating factors influence the relative age effect in Australian cricket. PeerJ, 7. e6867.

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Background: The relative age effect is a commonly occurring phenomenon whereby there is a tendency for relatively older players to be over-represented during high level competitions. This effect is often seen to diminish as player’s age, however, there has been far less investigation on other potential moderating factors.

Method: This study investigated the impact of the relative age effect, and potential moderating factors, within the talent selection process of Australian cricket. Relative age distribution of 2,415 male and female junior and senior state level cricket players, who played in the Junior National Championships or State competition (senior level) between 2011 and 2015, were analysed.

Results: Players born in the first quartile of the cricket season were significantly over-represented in both male Under-15, Under-17, Under-19 and female Under-15 and Under-18 levels. However, there was no significant difference at the senior state level for either male or female cricketers. Further investigation of the relative age effect in the junior talent pathway revealed that male all-rounders, batters and pace bowlers, and female all-rounders and batters, born in first quartile were over-represented. Right-handed batters and bowlers were also influenced by the relative age effect at all Junior National levels, while left-handed batters and bowlers were only influenced at the Under-15 and Under-17 levels. These results highlight the impact relative age has on junior cricket talent pathways, including sex, age, handedness and primary skills. Only state level, and left-handedness at the Under-19 level, were unaffected by relative age.

Discussion: The findings of this study highlight the influence of relative age effects for both male and female junior cricket players. Interestingly, there may be an advantage to being left-handed that is more prevalent at the older (male Under-19; female Under-18) age levels.

Item ID: 58325
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2167-8359
Copyright Information: Copyright 2019 Connor et al. Distributed under Creative Commons CC-BY 4.0
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2019 02:10
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