With the 2010-2011 seasons to start within the next days and weeks in Europe, I did some research on the 2009-2010 season to compare the age of the players in the main European leagues. Most of the teams publish average ages of the roster but the goal of this analysis was to find out the age of the players on the court.
For the calculation, I added the minutes of all players of a specific birth year of one league. Out of this, I could find a percentage of the minutes of a specific age group compared to all the minutes played that season. This gave me the possibility to calculate the average age group of all the minutes played in the specific league during the season 2009-2010.
I did this calculation for the following leagues: ACB, Adriatic League, Italian Lega, French ProA, Baltic League, Bundesliga and ESAKE. The Turkish League website did not gave me the possibility to copy/paste the stats to Excel for the calculations.
Average Age of Minute played
- Baltic League 84.6153
- Adriatic League 83.7551
- Bundesliga 82.5639
- France ProA 82.2321
- ACB 81.8592
- ESAKE 81.6075
- Italy Lega 81.4895
The result is not a major surprise as both the Baltic and the Adriatic League are dominating this first ranking. On average, a minute in the Baltic League has been played by a player born in the second half of 1984. The Adriatic League comes second with the minute being played on average by a player born in the second half of 1983. More surprising may be the 3rd place of the German Bundesliga as the league is not known for giving a lot of minutes to young players. The oldest league in this Ranking is the Italian Lega with the average minute being played by a player born in 1981.
Average Age of Minute played by locals
- Baltic League 84.8557
- Adriatic League 83.9255
- Bundesliga 83.8473
- France ProA 83.3592
- ACB 82.2580
- ESAKE 81.9134
- Italy Lega 81.4377
No difference for the minutes played by locals (Lithuanians, Latvians or Estonians in the Baltic League and Slovenians, Serbians, Croats, Bosnians, Macedonians, Montenegrins in the Adriatic League) where the Baltic League is still at the top followed by the Adriatic League. The Bundesliga comes third and can be considered therefore as third most youth-friendly league in Europe. However, this does not display the minutes played by young players compared to all the minutes played in the League.
Local U22 Minutes versus total Minutes
- Baltic League 23.45%
- Adriatic League 18.93%
- France ProA 9.83%
- Bundesliga 5.06%
- ACB 4.31%
- ESAKE 3.53%
- Italy Lega 3.05%
This Ranking shows the minutes played by prospects born in 1988 and younger compared to the total minutes (locals+foreigners) of the league. Here, the dominance of the Baltic and the Adriatic League is even bigger compared to the rest of Europe. France comes as third with nearly 10% of the minutes given to local U22 players in 2009-2010. Bundesliga comes at the top of the rest with 5% while Italy is the worst league in giving minutes to U22 players.
Local U22 Minutes versus local Minutes
- Baltic League 29.96%
- Bundesliga 27.30%
- France ProA 26.45%
- Adriatic League 22.51%
- ACB 12.89%
- Italy Lega 10.58%
- ESAKE 7.93%
When comparing the minutes of local prospects to the minutes given to local players in total, the results are a bit surprising. Even if the Baltic League is still at the first place, the second spot of the Bundesliga may be a surprise. This is explained by the limited minutes given to locals in total (the lowest of all the leagues with 18.52% of all minutes) but the large presence of talented players in the age group of Under 22 (Tim Ohlbrecht, Robin Benzing, Tibor Pleiss,…). France comes as a third with 26.45% of local minutes given to U22 players while the Adriatic League comes only as fourth.
Youngest Teams per minute played
- FMP Belgrade (Adriatic League) 87.6024
- Ventspils (Baltic League) 86.8143
- Nevezis (Baltic League) 86.1094
- VEF Riga (Baltic League) 85.3713
- ratiopharm Ulm (Bundesliga) 85.2331
- Cibona Zagreb (Adriatic League) 85.1313
- Radnicki (Adriatic League) 85.0537
- Buducnost Podgorica (Adriatic League) 84.9837
- Crvena Zvezda (Adriatic League) 84.80464
- Lietuvos Rytas (Baltic League) 84.7264