chapter  94
The Distribution of Season of Birth among the Players of the 2002 FIFA World Cup
Pages 6

Season of birth has been shown to have an influence on many aspects of life including lifespan (Doblhammer and Vaupel, 2001), academie attainment (Sharp et al., 1994) as well as practical and written elements of physical education (Bell et al., 1997). Within sport, there is evidence that season of birth affects the chances of success in tennis (Dudink, 1994), ice hockey (Boucher and Mutimer, 1994), baseball (Thompson et al., 1991), swimming (Baxter-Jones, 1995) and some types of cricket play (Edwards, 1994). Musch and Hay (1999) have identified some of the theoretical explanations for season of birth effects on sporting performance. These include:

1. Biological and maturation factors associated with chronological age. These produce a relative age effect when combined with cut-off dates for junior age group competition in sport

2. Environmental factors during early life such as climate. 3. Socio-cultural influences such as different patterns of birth between different socio-

economic groups. 4. Psychological factors with some personality traits being associated with particular

seasons of birth.