A Serial Examination of Academic Timing and Relative Age Effects Among U Sports Basketball Players
The relative age effect (RAE) describes relative (dis)advantages experienced by athletes born earlier in the year compared to their younger counterparts due to organizational cut-off dates. Interuniversity sport offers a unique environment where student-athletes of varying absolute ages compete for positions on a single team. This context can influence the academic timing of student-athletes, which describes the difference in student-athletes’ current and projected athletic eligibilities, and the impact this has on their participation in interuniversity sport. The purpose of this serial investigation was to examine the influence of academic timing on RAEs in U Sports basketball. The results revealed that the RAE was stronger among ‘on-time’ student-athletes, with more student-athletes born in the first half of the year than the second throughout the time period considered in this study. U Sports administrators may want to consider the influence of academic timing on RAEs to inform future policy decisions.
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