Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Members of three baseball teams for 13-to-14-year-olds and four teams for 10-to-12-year olds participated in a season-long study of their skills, knowledge base, and game performance. Subjects were weighed, height measured, skill tested at base running speed and throwing for distance and accuracy, game performance coded (position, control of ball, correctness of decision as to play to make, and proper execution of that play), and took a multiple-choice baseball test. Coaches supplied batting averages, and ranked their players into three levels (best, medium, and poorest players). As the lowest ranked players generally got little playing time (the league had no minimum-play rule), meaningful comparisons of top and bottom rank players were not feasible. Therefore, the one or two best players with complete data from each team were compared as a group to the one or two poorest who had adequate data, including performance scores from at least three games. This resulted in four groups: high and low within each age group. The rank groups were compared within age and the low rank older players to the high rank younger players, in the expectation that high and low players of an age would be different, but those in the cross-age comparison might be similar. For the older subjects, rank differences were found for batting averages, controlling the ball in games, and knowledge test scores (high players were superior on all three measures). Analysis showed only one difference for younger players: the better players got to play more. The cross-age comparison results were as expected; the only significant differences were that older players were older, taller, and had more years of experience.