Age Question

Guest

Age Question

Postby Guest » Tue Dec 13, 2016 4:16 pm



Just thinking aloud but right now a players plays a specific division such as Minor Atom or Peewee and this is calculated basically by the calendar birth year. What I have found is that players that are born in January are more developed (bigger, stronger) then those born in later months such as November or even December. A kid born in January would almost have a year on the December kid - which is probably why they say January babies make the best hockey players.

What if they tied the age to the season of hockey - for example September to March type thing. Would it make any difference?
I'm not sure how that would work considering that I missed a few months in there - and most likely the kids with the birth days in September would have the advantages? What if each division was only 6 months category instead of 12?

Any thoughts on the ages and division or are there other leagues where it's a little different or makes it more of a level playing field?
1 x

Guest

Re: Age Question

Postby Guest » Tue Dec 13, 2016 5:06 pm

Couple thoughts.

First, this was the central thesis of one of the chapters of Malcolm Gladwell's book "Outliers". Under normal circumstances I'd recommend reading it however that book also contains the nauseating "10,000 hours" idea that wacko parents have followed blindly without any thought put into it.

Second, if you changed to an age model that was September- August instead of January-December, the major change I would predict is that you'd no longer have a disproportionate share of January-February-March birthdays. instead you would just have a disproportionate share of September-October-November birthdays as those are now the kids with the advantage of a longer period of physical development compared to kids born 10-11 months later.

Third, the only way to minimize that advantage is to start competitive hockey later. When you're 6 or 7 years old, and you have a 9-10 month advantage over another child in physical development, physical co-ordination and mental development, that's a significant period of time relative to their age that the average late birthday has to overcome. As a result, coaches at those young ages tend towards picking kids who are bigger, who have better co-ordination, and who are typically older.

Once you get into that competitive the effects of better coaching in competitive streams vs. recreational streams start to compound those advantages. Now instead of just having advantages based on the timing of their birthday, the gains get accelerated. it becomes more difficult to make up the gap as more resources get put into the players at the top.

Put it this way - imagine if after Grade 1, all the kids in school took a test, and then were placed into various groups for further education. The top scoring group gets the best teachers and the best curriculum. The bottom scoring group gets the teachers that are left and whatever curriculum they can slap together with limited resources. Which group does better going forward?
1 x

Guest

Re: Age Question

Postby Guest » Wed Dec 14, 2016 12:40 am

There is already a discussion on that here: http://minorhockeytalk.ca/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=3551

My own son was born near the end of December, and he was also born prematurely, so we live with this disadvantage. I could care less about the physical disadvantage, but the social disadvantage of playing with kids up to two years older really takes away from the hockey experience. (e.g. Difficulty in relating to, and making friends with, the older kids.) My personal opinion is that in lower divisions, kids born in the last 2 or first 2 months of the year should be given some flexibility in choosing which age group they play with, so long as they are committed to that team for the year, and not playing as an affiliate player.

There are upsides to being born in December, though. You are essentially always playing "up" which means you are always pushing yourself, and must work heavily on skill development in order to stay competitive. I see some January kids playing hockey at a high level who are just average skaters, shooters, and stickhandlers, but they are big for their age, can skate fast in a straight line and can muscle everyone off the puck. But by age 17 or 18 those kids will no longer be competitive.
0 x

Guest

Re: Age Question

Postby Guest » Wed Dec 14, 2016 12:48 am

As for Gladwell, gradually he is being proven wrong on the age thing, too. It is only a temporary advantage. Sure, in AAA Midget, only a small % of players are December born, but if you look at the NHL numbers, the % of NHL players born in December is not much lower than the general population, so it evens out in the end.

Gladwell also advocated holding kids back a year before starting them in school, but recent studies show that kids who start school at a slightly earlier age end up doing better over the long term, contrary to what he claimed.
0 x

Guest

Re: Age Question

Postby Guest » Wed Dec 14, 2016 12:50 am

If both you idiots would stop writing novels back and forth and concentrate on your kids grades. I for one would be more impressed with your self worth..
0 x

Guest

Re: Age Question

Postby Guest » Wed Dec 14, 2016 12:45 pm

Guest wrote:If both you idiots would stop writing novels back and forth and concentrate on your kids grades. I for one would be more impressed with your self worth..


lol...... betcha have one of those "proud parent of a honor roll student" bumper stickers on yer subaru.... AMIRITE?!!! nobody wants to here about yer kids grades!!!
0 x


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