“Born to Play Ball” The Relative Age Effect and Major League Baseball

  title={“Born to Play Ball” The Relative Age Effect and Major League Baseball},
  author={Angus H. Thompson and Roger H. Barnsley and George Stebelsky},
  journal={Sociology of Sport Journal},
The records of 837 major league baseball players were examined in order to determine whether the Little League age eligibility criterion, based on the month of birth, affected participation rate at the professional level. The results indicated that major league players were more likely to have been born in the first months of the year, if that year corresponded to the one used for eligibility for Little League baseball (i.e., beginning in August and ending in July). A reanalysis of data… 

Hurdle Models and Age Effects in the Major League Baseball Draft

Major League Baseball franchises expend an abundance of resources on scouting in preparation for the June Amateur Draft. In addition to the classic “tools” assessed, another factor considered is age:

Evidence of the relative age effect in football in Australia

The birth date distributions of elite male and female footballers in Australia, from junior youth (age 14 and upwards) to senior (professional) players, were examined. A statistically significant

Relative age effects in American professional football

Abstract We test for the existence of relative age effects in professional American football. In a sample of 18,898 football players born on or after 1940, there is an excess of January and February

Effect of a change in selection year on success in male soccer players

Investigation of changes in birth‐date distributions throughout youth categories for 1996–1997 compared to the 1997–1998 competitive years indicated that from 1996 to 1997, youth players born from January to March were more likely to be identified as “talented” and to be exposed to higher levels of coaching.

Relative Age Effects in Japanese Baseball: An Historical Analysis

The present study investigated the existence of the relative age effect, a biased distribution of birth dates, in Japanese professional baseball players born from 1911 to 1980, and found that there were statistically biased distributions of birth date among players born in the 1940s and subsequent decades.

The relative age effect in young French basketball players: a study on the whole population

The aim of this study is to test the presence of the relative age effect (RAE) and to examine height in an overall population of the young French basketball players from 7 to 18 years old, male

The relative age and birth order effect in Japanese professional football

This study examines how the probability of becoming a professional football player depends on the birth month (relative age effect) and birth order. These two factors are random and cannot be

Place but not Date of Birth Influences the Development and Emergence of Athletic Talent in American Football

The purpose of this study was to examine the birthplace and relative age effects in National Football League (NFL) players. The place and date of birth of NFL players in the United States were

The influence of relative age on the composition of professional soccer squads

Abstract Children born shortly after the cut-off date applying for age grouping in minor sports profit from being able to remain for almost an additional year in their respective age group compared

Hockey success and birth date: The relative age effect revisited

In a replication of studies by Barnsley et al. (1985), and Grondin et al. (1984) the authors gathered birthdates of players in the National Hockey League (NHL), Western Hockey League (WHL), Ontario



Birthdate and success in minor hockey: The key to the NHL

Previous research (Barnsley, Thompson, & Barnsley, 198S) demonstrated an extremely strong linear relationship between the month of birth (from January to December) and the likelihood of playing in

First-Grade Entry Age in a Sample of Children Labeled Learning Disabled

First-grade entry ages were determined for all LD children in grades one through twelve in a large special education cooperative. The children were classified as early, medium, or late entering. U.S.

Does Age of Entrance Affect School Achievement?

Baer's research (2) seemed to support this conclusion. Using matched pairs of subjects who were at the same grade level, Baer matched two groups of students on the variables of sex and mental age. He

The Birthdate Effect

There are high positive correlations between the percentages of learning disabled children and their months of birth in Hawaii and it is suggested that simple immaturity at school entrance is an insufficient explanation for the relationships observed.

More on the relative age effect

  • Gznadian Association for Health, Physical Education, and Recreation Journal,
  • 1987

Month of birth and academic achievement.

Gifted or learning disabled? The age

  • 1985

Gifted or learning disabled ? The age of entering school may make the difference

  • Early Childhood Education Journal
  • 1985