Conversation Pieces


I have had an opportunity to write a number of articles for The Conversation in recent months.

These include an item about the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

I wrote about the 2014 World Cup in Brazil too.


The football posts included:

Photo Credits

Queen’s Baton Relay Renfrew (Paisley Scotland, CC BY 2.0)

Panorama Maracana Stadium (Jimmy Baikovicius, CC BY-SA 2.0)

Writing About #WorldCup2014 01


I am delighted to be on of the columnists for The Conversation’s coverage of #WorldCup2014.

My first post is about Home Advantage.

The other columnists writing during #WorldCup2014 are:

Michael Courts and Belinda Smith of The Conversation are guiding us through the writing process.

Today, Andy Ruddock has written about The Banality of the World Cup and Jorge Knijnik on The World Cup in Brazilians’ daily lives.

Photo Credit

Neymar and Dani Alves at a pre-World Cup training camp (The Conversation)


One of the delights of sharing openly is the insights I gain from others about the ideas that interest me.

Simon Gleave is a very generous sharer. He has pointed me to David Runciman’s review of Scorecasting in the London Review of Books (2011). David concludes his review with this observation “Home advantage is much more complicated and much more mysterious. It depends on a range of factors that are effectively impossible to quantify.”

My research into the performance of teams in relation to their previous year’s ranking is part of my exploration of home advantage. I believe that teams flourish with home wins. Supporters feel happy and have hope.

I do think officiating has a role to play in this. I am hopeful that coaching has even more to do with it … which is why I think the Top 14 Orange Rugby competition in France is so interesting. Lower ranked teams win at home.



Paralympic Classifications

This week I had an opportunity to write an ‘explainer‘ for The Conversation about Winter Paralympic Classification.

Explainer 1

I am hopeful that it is a reasonable explanation of the process and outcomes of classification. It includes a discussion of the Factor System in use too.

I wrote an explainer for the Summer Paralympics in 2012.

Explainer 2

Photo Credits

Frame Grabs (Winter Paralympics Explainer, Summer Paralympics Explainer)