A new approach to study the relative age effect with the use of additive logistic regression models: A case of study of FIFA football tournaments (1908-2012)
© 2019 Saavedra-García et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. The relative age effect plays an important role in the pursuit of excellence, providing advantage to athletes born at the beginning of the year or near the cut-off date. This phenomenon has been observed in areas such as sports, education or business. Traditionally, the chi-square test has been used to analyze whether there are statistically significant differences in the distribution of births in each of the four quarters of the year. However, this approach is limited, focusing only on the analysis of the response variable, without taking into account the effect of a set of predictive variables. In this paper a new approach is proposed to study the relative age effect with the use of a logistic regression additive model. The new method has been evaluated with a sample of 21,639 players involved in football tournaments organized by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) between 1908 and 2012. New conclusions have been established that the relative age effect exists regarding player age and the year of the competition in male FIFA competitions and its effect is dynamic and complex.