Netball Quad Series September 2018

I used BoxPlotR to visualise the scores by quarter in the 2018 Netball Quad Series that concluded today.

The four teams in the series were: Australia, England, New Zealand and South Africa.

The centre lines show the medians; box limits indicate the 25th and 75th percentiles as determined by R software; whiskers extend 1.5 times the interquartile range from the 25th and 75th percentiles, outliers are represented by dots; data points are plotted as open circles. n = 6 sample points. Winning teams in light blue, losing teams in light green.

Photo Credit

Australian Diamonds (Twitter)

The Charles Reep and Bernard Benjamin Paper 50 Years On (1)

It is 50 years since a paper written by C. Reep and B. Benjamin appeared in the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society. Series A (General) Vol. 131, No. 4 (1968), pp. 581-585. The paper was titled ‘Skill and Chance in Association Football‘.

The paper was five pages in length, contained four tables and had no references to other texts.

I aim to write a number of posts to celebrate its 50th anniversary of publication. In this post, I focus on the second author B. Benjamin.

B. Benjamin is Bernard Benjamin. I have provided some biographical information about him in another post.

His presence as a co-author of the paper gave the paper substantial gravitas. It was published in a Journal of the Royal Statistical Society. Seven years after the publication of the paper, Bernard received the gold medal from the Institute of Actuaries. The presentation address was given by the President of the Institute, Gordon Bayley.

In that address it was noted that Bernard had published papers that covered medical, statistical, demographic studies, computer usage and operational research in a range of journals that included the Journal of the Institute of Actuaries, the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, the Lancet and the British Medical Journal.

Bernard held positions as Chief Statistician in the General Register Office, Director of Statistics in the Ministry of Health, Director of Research and Intelligence of the Greater London Council and Director of Studies for Statistics at the Civil Service College. He was a President of the Institute of Actuaries, a President of the Royal Statistical Society and a Secretary-General of the International Union for Scientific Study of Population.

Bernard concluded his career as Professor of Actuarial Science at the City University, London. It was the first chair of Actuarial Science at an English University.

Bernard did write a second paper, ‘Skill and Chance in Ball Games‘, with Charles (and Richard Pollard) in 1971. He was President of the Royal Statistical Society when this second paper was published. He received the Society’s gold medal in 1986.

Photo Credit

The Queen presents the 1966 World Cup to England Captain, Bobby Moore (Daily Herald Archive, no known copyright restrictions)

Transforming football: values and communities

Last month, I had an opportunity to meet with a consortium that was bidding for a Football Federation Australia franchise license.

Our conversations centred on values and communities.

My role was to challenge the consortium’s values proposition. By the end of our time together, and with the support of others keen to debate transformation we had come to a consensus.

We agreed:

  • The bid was based on a love of football.
  • We hoped to invite people to sample participation in the game in a variety of roles: player, coach, official, administrator, volunteer.
  • We hoped to persuade people that football could be a life interest that would be nurtured by respect and mutual recognition.

Our approach focussed on local communities that were the point of touch for the franchise’s values. We recognised that this needed leadership and that the franchise would actively connect communities in order to provide learning and support opportunities … and become an organisation that learns.

There was an unequivocal commitment to the spirit of the game and profound ethical dimension to the bid.

By the end of our discussions we also committed to:

  • a nursery model to support multiple role pathways
  • multi-sport opportunities as counters to early specialisation models
  • an invitational environment that enabled people to enter, leave and rejoin pathways
  • a distributed support system for young players that included opportunities to train in an intense way
  • clarity that a very small proportion of players would receive professional contracts and that lifelong involvement or absence from the game was not determined by the aspiration to be a professional player.

I though the bid enshrined the joys of being involved in football. The commitment to explicit values was very important in framing what I think is a transformational bid.

I am looking forward to learning what the Football Federation Australia think of this bid.