A rugby union hand notation archive

I am using Google Sites to curate an archive of two decades (1980-2000) of my real-time hand notation of rugby union football.

I am hoping that in sharing these notations with a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence (CC BY 4.0) they may be of use in secondary data analysis. The Google Sites provide links to my Google Sheets for the data collected.

I aim to add to the site whenever I have an opportunity. At present there are two pages that share data:

  • 1980 (my first attempt at real-time notation)
  • 1992

My hand notation journey started in order to inform and transform my coaching. I tried to see what coaches might see and thought my notations might help me have conversations with other coaches.

I was mindful that coaches observed games in real-time. At the time I started my notation, video recording was still quite novel. I chose not to use video in the early days of developing my systems.

I spent a lot of time practising the notations whilst watching live broadcasts of games. Gradually, I think my intra-observer reliability improved substantially. In the 1980s, I did not conduct any inter-observer reliability studies.

I do think that any errors in my data might be minor and within the accepted limits of reliability. I see these early notations rather like a dance notation. They are records of performance that make the performances more permanent and amenable to conversation.

This was particularly the case in 1982 when I started to indicate ball in play time as distinct from total game time. And in 1985 when I started to look at activity cycles.

In the 1990s, I was fortunate to work with the Welsh Rugby Union. My data in that decade combined real-time hand notation to support coaches within games and lapsed-time forensic analysis of the world game.

Riding a wave

I was introduced to Pauline, a NSW bus driver this morning thanks to an alert from my wife, Sue.

The introduction was through a delightful article by Jock Serong about Pauline Menczer’s induction into Surfing Australia’s Hall of Fame.

There are some sentences in Jock’s story that made a strong impression on me:

Pauline Menczer, the woman who had the world at her feet back in 1993, loves her job. Living in nearby Brunswick Heads with her fiancee Samantha, she has achieved a rare measure of peace for a retired athlete.

… a career that was built on perseverance, as much as talent.

One of four children raised by a single mum at Bronte, she was bitten hard by the surfing bug at 13; collecting aluminium cans, baking cakes and selling toffees through her high school to raise the money to get to competitions.

Pauline won the world amateur championship in Puerto Rico in 1988. She was 18. Five years later she won the world professional tour championship.

There is a great end to Jock’s article:

Surfing might finally be handing Pauline Menczer the respect she deserves. But meanwhile, it’s hit 2.45pm and Pauline needs to go. She’s got a bus to drive.

I was delighted to be introduced to Pauline. I am sorry I had not learned of her story earlier. I missed Joanne Shoebridge’s (2017) alert to Pauline’s omission from the Byron Bay honour roll.

In that article, Pauline observed of the absence of women from the honour roll:

I do care about the younger generation coming through, and there could be some young girls coming through and they look up at this wall and see a lot of men, and the women that they idolise aren’t there, so what’s that telling them? That they’re not worthy?

We should listen more to our bus drivers when it comes to the essence of egalitarian sport. The one from Brunswick Heads has a world of experience to share.

Photo Credit

Pauline in 1996 (Daily Telegraph)

Pauline (Surf Australia)

#ACUGCPA18: Looking back again to look forward

I have an opportunity to return to the Australian Catholic University’s Strathfield campus in February to meet students enrolled in the 2018 cohort of the Graduate Certificate in Performance Analysis course.

I have been working on my presentation to update the resources I shared on Clyde Street last week.

I am using Speaker Deck for my 2018 online resource and embed it here with the EmbedPress plugin for WordPress.

This was created with a pdf file downloaded from this Google Slides deck (this has my speaker notes).

Photo Credit

Johnny Evers (Find a Memorial, Russ)