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Does it matter at what time of year you are born?

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Old
11-14-2007, 02:54 PM
  #1
krax
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Does it matter at what time of year you are born?

I am a youth coach in Switzerland.
There are rumors (statistics?), that kids born in the first 3 months of the year have a better chance to make it to the top leagues.
It is said that junior national teams of all ages are composed of something like:
40% born Jan-Mar
30% born Apr-Jun
20% born Jul-Sep
10% born Oct-Dec

Probable reason: youth coaches make the bigger kids play in order to win. Kids born late in the year are naturally smaller and tend to be left on the bench.

I thought it might be interesting to have a look at the NHL. Here are the stats:

JAN 101
FEB 104
MAR 93 29%
-----------------------
APR 97
MAY 96
JUN 89 28%
-----------------------
JUL 82
AUG 82
SEP 80 24%
-----------------------
OCT 69
NOV 62
DEC 68 19%
-----------------------

It is not as dramatic as the numbers I gave above, but it still seems your chances are better to make it to the NHL if you're born early in the year.

How many kids have been spoiled by coaches wanting to win the U8 tournaments?

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11-14-2007, 03:04 PM
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saskganesh
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yes, I have heard of this before. its because kids get grouped together in age cohorts. at the extreme end its means some kids have 11 months of growth than others.

for the heck of it, I try to fool people, and say its due to astrology. many people believe it.

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11-14-2007, 03:43 PM
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So thats why im always so good lol for being born in march. but that stat reall amazes me to be honest. but it does make sence.

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11-14-2007, 06:55 PM
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MikeD
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In any system that is by Birth year, the oldest will have a competitive edge. I dont think it is as much to do with play time as it is about success. It is not quite as much fun for a younger smaller child who will not be a "stand out". These tend to not stick with the game.

Rather than it being about who gets play time, its problably more a result of the actual try-out process and who makes the team to begin with. It is rare to come across a coach who keeps a player of msall stature benched. They wont waste roster spots nor sideline a player for such petty concerns.

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11-15-2007, 02:39 AM
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krax
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Good points MikeD.
Maybe we should start categorizing players by weight

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11-15-2007, 04:01 AM
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saskganesh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeD View Post
In any system that is by Birth year, the oldest will have a competitive edge. I dont think it is as much to do with play time as it is about success. It is not quite as much fun for a younger smaller child who will not be a "stand out". These tend to not stick with the game.

Rather than it being about who gets play time, its problably more a result of the actual try-out process and who makes the team to begin with. It is rare to come across a coach who keeps a player of msall stature benched. They wont waste roster spots nor sideline a player for such petty concerns.
kids really start growing around puberty, starting at ages 12 and up. of course, puberty is unequal so you have some huge differences in size between players at this age. the smaller players who are born later in the year, get hammered more on the ice (assuming contact rules) and yeah, because its not as fun, they often drop the game, or drop to a less competitive tier.

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11-15-2007, 07:01 AM
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Nbr-17
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In the long run there it probably doesn't make much difference. It also depends on if the age groups are by calendar years or by school year and at what age body contact is allowed. But here is a article on the subject:
Size matters at hockeycamps

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11-15-2007, 07:14 AM
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Crosbyfan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krax View Post

Probable reason: youth coaches make the bigger kids play in order to win. Kids born late in the year are naturally smaller and tend to be left on the bench.



How many kids have been spoiled by coaches wanting to win the U8 tournaments?
Another factor is that the older (on average bigger and better) kids would be more likely picked for the higher level teams. I don't think most coaches are allowed to pick an inferior player just to be "fair", even if he/she didn't care about winning. It's not the coaches fault so much as inherent in the system.

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11-15-2007, 09:27 AM
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Ti-girl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crosbyfan View Post
Another factor is that the older (on average bigger and better) kids would be more likely picked for the higher level teams.
That's true.

I coach a girl who is a Jan 1st baby. She's head and shoulders above ANYONE in her own age category...skill and size wise.

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11-15-2007, 09:51 AM
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Crosbyfan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ti-girl View Post
That's true.

I coach a girl who is a Jan 1st baby. She's head and shoulders above ANYONE in her own age category...skill and size wise.
Same girl (hypothetical twin sister born minutes earlier) born a day earlier could at times be playing in a category where the girls are on average 2 years older, every second year.

A kid born in December prematurely is at an even greater disadvantage when trying to make an elite team.

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Old
11-19-2007, 03:42 PM
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Granlund2Pulkkinen*
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We lied abou my brothers age when he was 8 to let him play on a middle school league.

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11-19-2007, 04:51 PM
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Carlos Ranger
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Gretzky and Messier were born 8 days apart... in January. There is indeed something to this.

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