The relative age effect on the selection of young athletes and the performance of Brazilian futsal teams


Palabras clave: Maturación, Identificación de talentos, Desarrollo de jóvenes, Competición


Aim: The aim of the present study is to assess the effect of relative age on the selection of young athletes and the performance of futsal teams. Methods: The date of birth of 2,676 young athletes (female: n=292; male=2,384) playing in the U-9 to U-20 categories of Brazilian futsal was collected. The athletes were categorized based on quartile and on the semester of birth. The final position of the teams in the tournament was categorized as finalist, semifinalist and non-semifinalist. The chi-square test, the Cramer’s V and multinomial logistic regression models were applied. Results: The data supported the hypothesis about the trend to select athletes who were born in the first months of the year in male teams, but it was not observed in female teams. Additionally, only athletes in the U-13 category who were born in the first semester of the year present 50% chance to be among the finalists in the tournament when they are compared to their peers. Practical application: The relative age had effect on the team of young male athletes, but such an effect was not associated with the positive performance of futsal teams, except for the U-13 category. Thus, coaches of young athletes are recommended to value other factors at the time to select and compose their teams within the herein assessed context.


Los datos de descargas todavía no están disponibles.

Biografía del autor/a

Thiago José Leonardi, Universidad Federal del Rio Grande do Sul

Profesor adjunto de la Universidad Federal del Rio Grande do Sul

Caito André Kunrath, Universidad Federal del Rio Grande do Sul

Estudiante de doctorado en Ciencias del Movimiento Humano la Universidad Federal del Rio Grande do Sul

Isabela Freitas da Silva, Universidad Federal del Rio Grande do Sul

Estudiante de Educaión Física de la Universidad Federal del Rio Grande do Sul

Gabriel da Silva Rucco, Universidad Federal del Rio Grande do Sul

Estudiante de Educaión Física de la Universidad Federal del Rio Grande do Sul

Hannah Aires, Universidad del Estado de Santa Catarina

Profesora de la Universidad del Estado de Santa Catarina

Artur Goulart Berger, Universidad Federal del Rio Grande do Sul

Estudiante de doctorado en Ciencias del Movimiento Humano, Universidad Federal de Rio Grande do Sul

Marcelo Francisco da Silva Cardoso, Universidad Federal del Rio Grande do Sul

Profesor adjunto de la Universidad Federal del Rio Grande do Sul


Andronikos, G., Elumaro, A. I., Westbury, T., & Martindale, R. J. J. (2016). Relative age effect: implications for effective practice. Journal of Sports Sciences, 34(12), 1124–1131.

Apollaro, G.; Rodríguez, Y.Q.; Herrera-Valenzuela, T.; Hernández-Mendo, A. & Falcó, C. (2022). Relative and Chronological Age in Successful Athletes at theWorld Taekwondo Champonships (1997–2019): A Focus on the Behaviour of Multiple Medallists. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, 19,1425.

Ashworth, J., & Heyndels, B. (2007). Selection Bias and Peer Effects in Team Sports: The Effect of Age Grouping on Earnings of German Soccer Players. Journal of Sports Economics, 8(4), 355–377.

Ato, M., López, J. J. & Benavente, A. (2013). A classification system for research designs in psychology. Anales de Psicología / Annals of Psychology, 29(3), 1038–1059.

Augste, C., & Lames, M. (2011). The relative age effect and success in German elite U-17 soccer teams. Journal of Sports Sciences, 29(9), 983–987.

Barnsley, R. H., Thompson, A. H., & Barnsley, P. E. (1985). Hockey success and birthdate: The relative age effect. Canadian Association for Health, Physical Education, and Recreation, 51(1), 23–28.

Barnsley, R., Thompson, A., & Legault, P. (1992). Family Planning: Football Style. The Relative Age Effect in Football. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 27(1), 77–87.

Beato, M., Coratella, G., & Schena, F. (2016). Brief review of the state of art in futsal. The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, 56(4), 428–432.

Carling, C., Le Gall, F., Reilly, T., & Williams, A. (2009). Do anthropometric and fitness characteristics vary according to birth date distribution in elite youth academy soccer players? Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, 19(1), 3–9.

Carraco, D. D. S., Galatti, L. R., Massa, M., Loturco, I., & Abad, C. C. C. (2020). Centesimal age and relative age effect in elite futsal players. International Journal of Exercise Science, 13(6), 329–341.

Cobley, S., Baker, J., Wattie, N., & McKenna, J. (2009). Annual age-grouping and athlete development: A meta-analytical review of relative age effects in sport. Sports Medicine, 39(3), 235–256.

Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioural sciences. (2nd ed.). New York: Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erbaum Pub.

Cramér, H. (1946). Mathematical methods of statistics. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

De la Rubia, A., Lorenzo-Calvo, J., & Lorenzo, A. (2020). Does the Relative Age Effect Influence Short-Term Performance and Sport Career in Team Sports? A Qualitative Systematic Review. Frontiers in Psychology, 11(September).

Ferragut, Carmen; Vila, Helena; Fernández-Romero, Juan J. & Saavedra García, Miguel (2021). Efecto de la edad relativa en la élite del balonmano femenino español y su relación con aspectos antropométricos, de rendimiento y velocidad de lanzamiento. Cuadernos de Psicología del Deporte, 21(2), 213-226.

Ferreira, S. A., Do Nascimento, M. A., Cavazzotto, T. G., Reis Weber, V. M., Tartaruga, M. P., & Queiroga, M. R. (2020). Relative age in female futsal athletes: Implications on anthropometric profile and starter status. Revista Brasileira de Medicina Do Esporte, 26(1), 34–38.

Figueiredo, A., Coelho e Silva, M., & Malina, R. (2011). Predictors of functional capacity and skill in youth soccer players. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, 21, 446–454.

Figueiredo, P., Seabra, A., Brito, M., Galvão, M. & Brito, J. (2021) Are Soccer and Futsal Affected by the Relative Age Effect? The Portuguese Football Association Case. Front. Psychol. 12:679476.

Ford, P. R., & Williams, M. A. (2011). No relative age effect in the birth dates of award-winning athletes in male professional team sports. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 82(3), 570–573.

Fritz, C. O., Morris, P. E., & Richler, J. J. (2012). Effect size estimates: current use, calculations, and interpretation. Journal of experimental psychology: General, 141(1), 2. DOI:

Garganta, J. (1994). Para uma teoria dos jogos desportivos colectivos. In A. Graça & J. Oliveira (Eds.), O ensino dos jogos desportivos (pp. 11–25).

González G, Madinabeitia I., Ureña N., & Alarcón F. (2021). Relative Age Effect and Biological Maturation on Inhibitory Control of Motor Response in Basketball. Revista De Psicología Del Deporte (Journal of Sport Psychology), 30(2), 273-279.

Gravetter, F. J., Wallnau, L. B., Forzano, L.-A. B., & Witnauer, J. E. (2020). Essentials of statistics for the behavioral sciences (10nd ed.). Boston: Cengage Learning.

Hancock, D. J., Adler, A. L., & Côté, J. (2013). A proposed theoretical model to explain relative age effects in sport. European Journal of Sport Science, 13(6), 630–637.

Helsen, W. F., Van Winckel, J., & Williams, A. M. (2005). The relative age effect in youth soccer across Europe. Journal of Sports Sciences, 23(6), 629–636.

Jones, B. D., Lawrence, G. P., & Hardy, L. (2018). New evidence of relative age effects in “super-elite” sportsmen: a case for the survival and evolution of the fittest. Journal of Sports Sciences, 36(6), 697–703.

Lago-Fuentes, C., Rey, E., Padrón-Cabo, A., Prieto-Troncoso, J., & Garcia-Núñez, J. (2020). The Relative Age Effect in Professional Futsal Players. Journal of Human Kinetics, 72(1), 173–183.

Leite, N. Borges, J., Santos, S., & Sampaio, J. The relative age effect in school and federative sport in basketball. (2013). Revista de Psicología del Deporte, 22(1), 219-222.

Machado, G. F., & Costa, I. T. (2016). Do tactical behavior efficiency and birthdate influence on tactical performance of under-11 soccer players? Revista Brasileira de Educação Física e Esporte, 30(2), 447–455.

Machado, G. F., Scaglia, A. J., & Teoldo, I. (2015). Influência do efeito da idade relativa e do comportamento tático sobre o desempenho tático de jogadores de futebol da categoria SUB-17. Revista Da Educacao Fisica, 26(2), 223–231.

Malina, R, Bouchard, C, and Bar-Or, O. (2004). Growth, Maturation and Physical Activity (2nd ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. pp. 215–233.

Massa, M., Costa, E. C., Moreira, A., Thiengo, C. R., Lima, M. R., Marquez, W. Q., & Aoki, M. S. (2014). The relative age effect in soccer : a case study of the São Paulo Football Club. Revista Brasileira de Cineantropometria & Desempenho Humano, 16(4), 399–405.

Morales Júnior, V. R., Alves, I. V. G., Galatti, L. R., & Marques, R. F. R. (2018). The relative age effect on Brazilian Elite Futsal: Men and Women Scenarios. Motriz: Revista de Educação Física, 23(3), 1–7.

Mujika, I., Vaeyens, R., Stijn P J, M., Santisteban, J., Goiriena, J., & Philippaerts, R. (2009). The relative age effect in a professional football club setting. Journal of Sports Sciences, 27(11), 1153–1158.

Musch, J., & Grondin, S. (2001). Unequal competition as an impediment to personal development: a review of the relative age effect in sport. Developmental Review, 21, 147–167.

Ortigosa-Márquez, J.M.; Reigal, R.E.; Serpa, S. & Hernández-Mendo, A. (2018). Efectos de la edad relativa en el proceso de selección nacional de triatletas / Relative Age Effect on National Selection Process in Triathlon. Revista Internacional de Medicina y Ciencias de la Actividad Física y el Deporte. 18(70) 199-211.

Peña-González, I., Fernández-Fernández, J., Moya-Ramón, M., & Cervelló, E. (2018). Relative Age Effect, Biological Maturation, and Coaches’ Efficacy Expectations in Young Male Soccer Players. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 89(3), 373–379.

Práxedes, A., Moreno, A., García-González, L., Pizarro, D., & Del Villar, F. (2017). The Relative Age Effect on Soccer Players in Formative Stages with Different Sport Expertise Levels. Journal of Human Kinetics, 60(1), 167–173.

Redondo, J.C.; Fernández-Martínez, E.; Izquierdo, J.M. (2019). Efecto de la edad relativa en las disciplinas de lanzamientos de los participantes españoles en el plan nacional de tecnificación de atletismo. Cuadernos de Psicología del Deporte, 19(3), 156-167. doi: 10.6018/cpd.3783911

Saavedra García, M., Gutiérrez Aguilar, Ó., Galatti, L., & Fernández Romero, J. J. (2015). Efecto de la edad relativa en los mundiales de baloncesto FIBA en categorías inferiores (1979-2011). Cuadernos de Psicología del Deporte, 15(3), 237-242.

Saavedra-García, M., Gutiérrez-Aguilar, O., Sa-Marques, P., & Fernández-Romero, J. (2016). Efecto de la edad relativa en el atletismo español. Cuadernos de Psicología del Deporte, 16(1), 275–286.

Silva, D. A. S., Pelegrini, A., Petroski, E. L., & Gaya, A. C. A. (2010). Comparison between the growth of Brazilian children and adolescents and the reference growth charts: data from a Brazilian project. Jornal de Pediatria, 86(2), 115–120.

Smith, K. L., Weir, P. L., Till, K., Romann, M., & Cobley, S. (2018). Relative Age Effects Across and Within Female Sport Contexts: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Sports Medicine, 48(6), 1451–1478.

Spyrou, K., Freitas, T.T., Marín-Cascales, E. & Alcaraz, P.E. (2020) Physical and Physiological Match-Play Demands and Player Characteristics in Futsal: A Systematic Review. Front. Psychol. 11:569897.

Steingröver, C., Wattie, N., Baker, J., & Schorer, J. (2016). Does Relative Age Affect Career Length in North American Professional Sports? Sports Medicine - Open, 2(1).

Tanner, J., Whitehouse, R., & Takaishi, M. (1966). Standards from birth to maturity for height, weight, height velocity, and weight velocity: British children. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 41(220), 613–635.

Teoldo, I., Garganta, J., Greco, P. J., Mesquita, I., & Seabra, A. (2010). Influence of Relative Age Effects and Quality of Tactical Behaviour in the Performance of Youth Soccer Players. International Journal of Performance Analysis of Sport, 10, 82–97.

Vaeyens, R., Lenoir, M., Williams, A. M., & Philippaerts, R. M. (2008). Talent identification and development programmes in sport: Current models and future directions. Sports Medicine, 38(9), 703–714.

Wattie, N., Cobley, S., & Baker, J. (2008). Towards a unified understanding of relative age effects. Journal of Sports Sciences, 26(13), 1403–1409.

Wattie, N., Schorer, J., & Baker, J. (2015). The Relative Age Effect in Sport: A Developmental Systems Model. Sports Medicine, 45, 83–94.

Williams, A. M., & Reilly, T. (2000). Talent identification and development in soccer. Journal of Sports Sciences, 18(9), 657–667.

Cómo citar
Leonardi, T. J., Kunrath, C. A., Silva, I. F. da, Rucco, G. da S., Aires, H., Berger, A. G., & Cardoso, M. F. da S. (2022). The relative age effect on the selection of young athletes and the performance of Brazilian futsal teams. Cuadernos de Psicología del Deporte, 22(3), 212–226.
Ciencias del Deporte