Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine ( 2019 ) 18 , 505 - 512

Research article
Constituent Year Effect in Masters Sports: An Empirical View on the Historical Development in US Masters Swimming
Nikola Medic1, , Manuel Müssener1,2, Babett H. Lobinger2, Bradley W. Young3
Author Information
1 Centre for Exercise and Sports Science Research, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, Australia
2 Institute of Psychology, German Sport University, Cologne, Germany
3 School of Human Kinetics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada

Nikola Medic
✉ Centre for Exercise and Sports Science Research, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, Australia
Email: nikolamedic@hotmail.com
Publish Date
Received: 12-03-2019
Accepted: 07-06-2019
Published (online): 01-08-2019
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ABSTRACT

A participation-related constituent year effect, has been found to exist in masters sports in that relatively younger masters athletes (i.e., those in the first or second year of a 5-year age category) participate in competitions significantly more often than relatively older masters athletes (i.e., those in the fourth or fifth year of a 5-year age category). The main purpose of this study was to examine if the participation-related constituent year effect in US masters swimming always existed or if it has developed over time at different historical time periods. Using archived data, participation in the US Masters national short course swimming championships at each of the historical time periods in years 1972, 1982, 1992, 2002, 2012 and 2016 were examined as a function of an individual’s constituent year within any 5-year age category and across gender and age. The results indicated the existence of a participation-related constituent year effect for each of the six time periods. In particular, a participation-related constituent year effect seemed to have existed from the inception of organized masters swimming competitions in the US but has developed more strongly over the years especially for males and older-aged masters swimmers. Generally, the tendency to participate at National swimming competitions during the first year of an age category was significantly more pronounced, whereas the tendency of participating during the fifth year of an age category was lower. Findings suggest that the 5-year age categories may not provide an equal competitive opportunity especially for relatively older athletes as for those who are relatively younger, but may encourage more strategic periodized training and participation.

Key words: Constituent year effect, masters athletes, aging, relative age, sport motivation


           Key Points
  • The aim of this study was to examine the participation-related constituent year effect in US masters swimming over a 40 years period.
  • Since the establishment of US masters swimming National competitions, masters athletes have been significantly more likely to participate in competitions when they were relatively youngest and less likely when they were relatively oldest within their 5-year age category.
  • Over time, participation-related constituent effect became stronger in males than females and was strongest in older-aged masters athletes.
  • Factors such as increased competition and acceptance of sport amongst middle- and older-aged athletes, population growth and increased media coverage of sport may have contributed to the magnitude of the participation-related constituent year effect in masters swimming.
 
 
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