SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 2000

Tracking the Relative Age Effect Across Minor Amateur and Professional Ice Hockey Leagues


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.

Author Information

Montelpare, WJ
School of Kinesiology, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ont., Canada
Scott, D
School of Kinesiology, University of New Brunswick
Pelino, M
Brock University
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Developed by Committee: F08
Pages: 250–260
DOI: 10.1520/STP15243S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5414-8
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-2488-2