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.