Relative Age Effect and Birthplace Effect in Division 1 Female Ballgame Players—the Relevance of Sport-Specific Factors
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An attempt was made in this study to determine the existence of two factors associated with achieving a high level of proficiency in sport—the relative age effect (RAE) and the birthplace effect. Information on these effects was collected from 389 female players playing for various Division 1 (the highest division) ball clubs in Israel: 46 basketball players, 107 handball players, 156 soccer players, and 80 volleyball players. Three main findings emerged from our data analyses: (a) RAE did not exist in the four ball games, (b) the birthplace effect was observed in basketball, handball, and volleyball, but not in soccer, and (c) the birthplace effect was not found to be associated with cities of a similar size. These findings provide support for the sport- and culture-specific explanation that different sports within a country should be carefully considered when analyzing the RAE and the birthplace effect. In addition, the unique developmental systems of sport of a given country should also be taken into consideration.