Does the Month You’re Born In Determine Your Chance of Success in the OHL?

Today, we’re going to take a moment to look at some interesting stats regarding the current members of the Ontario Hockey League. In his book, Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell does large amounts of statistical research and shows that there may be more to being successful in life than trying really hard. Gladwell devotes quite a bit of time studying the birthdates of professional athletes and the findings are quite interesting.

We at OHL Alumni Central thought we’d do a little investigating ourselves. Studying 484 Ontario Hockey League players on the rosters of the twenty teams for the 2010-11 season, we found a significant imbalance when it came to when during the year a player in the OHL was born.

Gladwell has a much better sounding explanation to this phenomenon. However, it’s kinda like this… The hockey season always starts in the fall. The age groups run from January 1 to December 31. In September when the hockey season is getting under way, Those born in January through June are already several months past their birthdays. Those born in January through June are often more physically and intellectually advanced that those born later in the year.

Read the book for an explanation that makes more sense!

Here’s the raw data for 2010-11 (Month, # of players born in that month, percentage of total):

January – 68 – 14.0%

February – 71 – 14.7%

March – 71 – 14.7%

April – 53 – 11.0%

May – 53 – 11.0%

June – 45 – 9.3%

July – 24 – 5.0%

August – 23 – 4.8%

September – 18 – 3.7%

October – 24 – 5.0%

November – 18 – 3.7%

December – 16 – 3.3%

Pretty unbalanced, huh? This number is even more significant – 74.6% of all current Ontario Hockey League players have birthdays in the first six months of the year!

The Guelph Storm have eight players with February birthdays and the Belleville Bulls have players that were born in March. That’s roughly a third of each team born in one single month. There are five other occurances where seven players from one team have a birthday in the same month. For a little more detail, check out this article.

Outliers OutliersIn this stunning new audiobook, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of outliers–the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful…


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