Relationship between month of birth and height of athletes in the under 17 World Cup

Eduardo Macedo Penna, Renato Melo Ferreira, Varley Teoldo da Costa, Bruna Silva Santos, Luiz Carlos Couto de Albuquerque Moraes


The Relative Age Effect, which consists in the advantage obtained by an athlete born closer to the beginning of the year selection, is shown as an important variable for the development of talent, particularly due to maturational aspects. The objective of this study was to analyze the distribution of the birth dates of the soccer players participating in the Under 17 World Championship, and verify the differences in their height. In order to do so, data referring to 1479 athletes registered in the last three competitions (2007, 2009 and 2011) was collected from the official FIFA site. Subsequently, the corresponding data was divided into birth date quartiles and also zone position of the field. For the comparison of proportional representativeness of each birth date quartile, it was used the chi-squared test with Bonferroni correction. The ANOVA factorial 2x2 was applied to compare the heights by birth date quartile and by zone position of the field. A Spearman correlation analysis was also used to verify the association between the variables. Differences were found in the distribution of birth date quartiles, with a predominance of athletes born in the first and second quartiles; and in the height of the athletes, having athletes who were born in the first and second quartiles a higher average height. It was concluded that the relative age effect is a factor that may influence the selection of soccer players and that influences the height (a maturational variable).



Age Groups; Athletes; Soccer; Talent.


The abbreviated title of the journal is Rev. Bras. Cineantropom. Desempenho Hum, which should be used in bibliographies, footnotes and bibliographical references. E-ISSN 1980-0037, impressa ISSN 1415-8426, Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.