There is strong relationship between birthmonth and the chance that a Canadian minor hockey player will play at an elite level. Players born in the early months of the year have an advantage. This is generally attributed to the slotting system: the way in which minor hockey groups players into age divisions. In this paper we first review the evidence. We then argue that there is more to the explanation of this relative age effect than just the slotting system; it also depends on early streaming (i.e., the partitioning of players into representative and house league teams). We suggest a more equitable slotting system, and finally, we discuss public policy implications.
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