Description of Relative Age of Elite Tennis Players

Document Type : Original Articles


1 PhD Candidate in Motor Behavior, Department of Physical Education and Sports Sciences, Isfahan (Khorasgan) Branch, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan, Iran

2 Associate Professor of Motor Behavior, Department of Physical Education and Sport Science, Isfahan (Khorasgan) Branch, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan, Iran



Introduction: Relative age affects the development of sports talents. Early puberty gives athletes an advantage, making coaches prefer mature athletes. This study analyzed the relative age distribution among elite clay tennis players in Iran.
Materials and Methods: This study analyzed the relative age of 430 tennis players between the ages of 10 and 19 (228 girls and 202 boys) who participated in 1400 national ranking tournaments in clay tennis. The study analyzed the participants' relative age based on their birth month. The first quarter of the Gregorian calendar (January 1st to March 31st) was referred to as Q1, the second quarter (April 1st to June 30th) was Q2, the third quarter (July 1st to September 30th) was Q3, and the fourth quarter (October 1st to December 31st) was Q4. The first quarter of the Persian calendar (Pc) (Farvardin 1st to Khordad 31st) was referred to as Q1Pc, the second quarter (Tir 1st to Shahrivar 31st) was Q2Pc, the third quarter (Mehr 1st to Azar 31st) was Q3Pc, and the last three months (Dey 1st to Esfand 29th or 30th) were Q4Pc. A frequency analysis based on birth month and quarter was conducted, and the relationship between relative age and attendance in national ranking tournaments was assessed using the chi-square fit test.
Results: Statistical analysis of 430 individuals showed no significant difference in the number of athletes born in the first to fourth trimesters of both Persian and Gregorian calendars. The P-values were 0.148 and 0.258 for Persian and Gregorian calendars, respectively, while the overall P-value was 0.35.
Conclusion: It seems that relative age did not influence the selection of clay tennis elite athletes in Iran. However, based on the findings from available studies, it is suggested that researchers, coaches, and training experts consider the interaction among background factors, including the potential effects of relative age, to facilitate raising sports talents.


Main Subjects

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