RAE – The RB Køge Way

Relative Age Effect (RAE): RB Køge shows the way for future talent development

The football club of the future, RB Køge, presents today’s solution to the challenge of the Relative Age Effect (RAE).

It is a known fact that physical maturity all too often is confused with talent and thereby favors players who are currently bigger, stronger and faster.

Within clubs and on selected teams under the auspices of the federation, this leads to players born earlier in the year being selected for the best teams. This means that players receive more training sessions, from more qualified and experienced coaches at better facilities which provides better opportunities for development.

In RB Køge, we want to give all players, regardless of when they were born in the year, equal opportunities for improvement and development.

The members of RB Køge will therefore, as can be seen in the pictures, have a unique membership number printed under the RB Køge club logo on their training clothes.

Each unique membership number will be determined by the player’s year of birth, the quarter in which the player was born, as well as the player’s number in a given year.

In the picture we see Oliver – “11303”, who was born in 2011, in the 3rd quarter and he is member number 3 in his age group.

“With this innovative initiative, RB Køge shows the way for future talent development, not just in Denmark, but all over the world. RAE is a problem and a huge challenge that has been talked about for far too long in the football world. Many ideas have been discussed to manage these issues; however, no solutions have been discovered.”

“In RB Køge, our current solution ensures that coaches are visually made aware of the player’s year of birth, as well as which quarter the player was born in. We are convinced that this will have a positive impact for the future of the composition of teams, smaller groups and matching the players.”

“In the future, we hope that with this solution we can help make a difference for the players born in the last two quarters of the year, so they will have the same opportunities as the players born in the first two quarters of the year. As a club, we are of the opinion that we have shown the way here and presented a visual tool that we hope can inspire football clubs and other sports with the same RAE challenge, at home and abroad “.

Pronounces RB Køge chairman Kenneth Santa, to the club’s website.

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About Relative Age Effect (RAE)

  • RAE means that players born earlier in the year compared to those born later in the year have a better opportunity of being identified as talented football players.
  • RAE is present in children’s football, elite and wide football.
  • Among other things, RAE is also seen in the school system, where students born earlier in the year get the better grades compared to the students born at the end of the year.

How does RAE occur?

  • Performance vs. Potential: Coaches are not able to assess potential vs. performance.
  • Results and tournament structure: Clubs and coaches focus on results and this often leads to the coaches choosing the players who are able to win here and now.
  • Recognition: Coaching colleagues and club management recognize coaches based on the results created in the weekend’s matches.

RB Køge – “We must have done away with”

  • Lack of justice – We must create equal opportunities for all.
  • Overlooked talents – We need to pay attention to talented players who are born later in the year.
  • Performance vs. Potential – We need to match players based on an assessment of their potential.
  • Few players have good opportunities – More players must have the same opportunities, earlier and for a longer period.

Press release in English:

2020-10-20 – Press release – RB Køge shows the way for future talent development

Press release in Danish:

2020-10-20 – Pressemeddelse – RB Køge viser vejen for fremtidens talentudvikling