The impact of relative age on sampling and performance in Swedish age-group swimming system

Authors: Torsten Buhre and Oscar Tschernij

Corresponding Author:
Torsten Buhre, PhD
Department of Sport Sciences
Malmö University
20506 Malmö
Sweden
+46-40-665845
torsten.buhre@mah.se

Torsten Buhre is the senior physiologist at the Department of Sport Sciences at Malmö University

The impact of relative age on sampling and performance in Swedish age-group swimming system

ABSTRACT
The phenomena of relative age effect (RAE) has been investigated thoroughly in the sport and school settings. However, different measures and research designs have been applied in the various settings. At the same time different constructs, such as sampling, participation, and performance have been investigated in separate studies. Most interpretations have been done in a de-contextualized manner. That is, results have not been interpreted based on the functioning of the age-grouping system over time, but rather on a general level of grouping individuals based on chronological age. The purpose of this study was to investigate the occurrence of RAE in sampling, competitive participation, and selection for national competition in the Swedish age-group swimming system based on a thorough understanding of the specific impacts of age and gender of this system over time.

Results show that there is inconclusive evidence suggesting that RAE occurs due to the age-grouping system in Swedish swimming. The system does not create a bias based on either relative age difference or gender. Based on this study and future suggestions the continued research on RAE should be expanded to include longitudinal studies following specific age by gender groups over time. In addition, measures of performance and criteria of selection should be investigated in order to draw conclusions if systematic discrimination is embedded within a specific country and sport age-grouping system in favor of athletes that could be attributed to a relative age.
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2018-10-22T15:24:56+00:00September 30th, 2018|Research, Sports Studies and Sports Psychology|Comments Off on The impact of relative age on sampling and performance in Swedish age-group swimming system

Sample Distribution and Research Design Are Methodological Dilemmas When Identifying Selection and Using Relative Age as an Explanation of Results

Authors: Torsten Buhre and Oscar Tschernij

Corresponding Author:
Torsten Buhre, PhD
Department of Sport Sciences
Malmö University
20506 Malmö
Sweden
+46-40-665845
torsten.buhre@mah.se

Torsten Buhre is the senior physiologist at the Department of Sport Sciences at Malmö University

Sample distribution and research design are methodological dilemmas when identifying selection and using relative age as an explanation of results

ABSTRACT
The use of a statistical test, such as the chi-squared test, to determine if selection has occurred within a sport has been used frequently in research. The assumed distribution of a sample could influence the occurrence of significant outcomes. The occurrence of significance is generally interpreted as RAE and explained as a result of selection within the sport. Most studies in this field have been done using a cross-sectional design. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the influence of using different types of distribution when testing for significance, in swimming as an example, over a nine-year period of six cohorts in age by gender groups.

Results show that using either an assumed uniformed distribution or a proportional distribution of the national population distribution will lead to an increased number of significant results, in comparison to using either a distribution of the actual sample of the specific age by gender group or the distribution of the previous year within the age by gender group. In addition, when using a longitudinal design over a nine-year period, the occurrence of significance decreased over time. In order to interpret significant results as a consequence of selection within a sport the use of a sport specific and age by gender distribution and a longitudinal design is proposed.
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2018-03-23T10:55:57+00:00March 29th, 2018|Sports Studies and Sports Psychology|Comments Off on Sample Distribution and Research Design Are Methodological Dilemmas When Identifying Selection and Using Relative Age as an Explanation of Results