The relative age effect

We are probably all aware of the relative age effect in competitive soccer, but you might not be aware of how strong this effect is.

Below is some interesting data for the U15B National Team courtesy @24x7soccerus. Note that this is typical of all age groups here in the US and also in Europe.


However, it’s interesting to note that the relative age effect is weak for elite female players (ECNL) as the below presentation from US Youth Soccer shows.

CLICK HERE for US Youth Soccer presentation on the relative age effect. Data for both U.S. and Europe, male and female players.

CLICK HERE for Help, My Child is a Late Bloomer: 5 Tips for Overcoming the “Relative Age Effect” in Youth Sports

Author: James

Lifelong player and student of the beautiful game in Germany, England, and USA. Volunteer futsal coach and USSF referee.

3 thoughts on “The relative age effect”

  1. Very interesting James. So Sammy is born October 5th- soon moving to be one of the younger players- when is Kayleens birthdate?

    Sent from my iPhone



    1. But the good news is that the relative age effect has less impact for top girls according to the US Soccer presentation that I link to in the post.


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