Selection into youth cricket academies: The influence of relative age and maturity status

Radnor, John M. and Oliver, Jon L. and Dobbs, Ian and Wong, Megan and Brown, Thomas W. and Lloyd, Rhodri S. and Kelly, Adam L. (2023) Selection into youth cricket academies: The influence of relative age and maturity status. Journal of Sports Sciences, 41 (3). pp. 272-279. ISSN 0264-0414

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The aim of the study was to examine the birth quartile and maturity status distributions of male academy cricketers. Participants included 213 junior cricket players, aged between 9 and 18 years. Players were separated into birth quartiles and also grouped as early, average or late maturers. For the whole cohort, there was a medium effect bias towards players born in BQ1, but the number of early, average and late maturers was as expected. However, there were significantly more early maturers in the U10 and U11 groups than expected, and maturity distributions of the BQ groups showed that there was a small effect size bias towards early maturers in BQ4. Selection biases towards cricketers who are born earlier in the competitive year are consistent from U9 to U16, but more prevalent in the U12 and U14 age groups. There is a bias towards early maturers at U10 and U11, but this reduces as age increases. Practitioners working in academy pathways should be encouraged to assess the maturity status of players to assist in the retention and progression of players. Relative age effects should also be considered, and strategies may be required to identify players born later in the year.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number:
21 April 2023Accepted
10 May 2023Published Online
Uncontrolled Keywords: Boys, peak-height-velocity, maturation, birth-quartile
Subjects: CAH03 - biological and sport sciences > CAH03-02 - sport and exercise sciences > CAH03-02-01 - sport and exercise sciences
Divisions: Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences > Centre for Life and Sport Sciences (C-LASS)
Depositing User: Gemma Tonks
Date Deposited: 21 Jun 2023 13:59
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2023 13:59

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