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The purpose of this study was to examine the relative age effect across age divisions in various minor amateur and professional ice hockey leagues. The term relative age effect refers to the difference in biological and chronological age between children in the same age grouping that results from different birth dates within the same birth year. Differences in the rate of change in maturation across an age cohort are expected to accentuate any relative age effects. The present study tested the null hypothesis that the distribution of month of birth for ice hockey players in elite or representative leagues was similar to players in recreational leagues. The results are based on the month of births collected for minor amateur, university, junior, and professional leagues. The results showed that a relative age effect exists within the elite or representative levels of each league, but not within the recreational or “house” leagues.
relative age effect, house leagues, elite or representative leagues, physical and chronological age
Associate Professor & Director, School of Kinesiology, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ont.
Assistant Professor, School of Kinesiology, University of New Brunswick,
Men's Ice Hockey Coach, Brock University,