Analyzing the Polls: U20 JWRT Results and 7s or XVs
[ed. comments below.]
posted July 17 2012
We just completed the poll on Canada's 6th place finish at the JWRT and these are the results.
What is your reaction to the U20 6th place finish at the JWRT?
Good result (8) 3.3%
As expected (37) 15.0%
Poor result (201) 81.7%
Only 3.3 % of readers thought this was a good result, likely all of them working for Rugby Canada. Over 80% thought this was a poor result. Rugby Canada has this annoying habit of putting a positive spin on everything they're involved with, they've taken spin doctoring to another level but in the process, in my opinion, have lost credibility with many of their readers. My advice to them would be just turn it down a notch or two, everyone understands the need for corporate image but honesty is also expected. If a giant meteor is hurdling towards earth with catastrophic impact imminent, it's not a "once in a lifetime opportunity to view a meteor close up", or a "chance to buy our new warm fleece hoodies to welcome the new ice age". Reading the press releases around the U20 JWRT you would have thought we won the event.
According to Rugby Canada media releases the U19 CRC is billed as the solution, players are bigger, better, stronger, Mike Shelley is extremely happy, implying that a first or second place finish at the JWRT is on the books for next year. Of course, that's never stated as then there would be concrete goals to work towards and consequences if they weren't met. The negative impact of all this positivity is it gives the impression no other solution is being worked on to improve the 6th place finish in the Tier 2 competition. So I'll take a stab at what is needed to improve the U20 result next year.
1. Recruit, recruit, recruit. The U20 coaches and management team are going to have to look under every rock and in every dark corner of Canada to find the players they need to create a tournament winning team. Expecting them all to show up at the U19 CRC in the summer in Edmonton is ludicrous and if that's their only selection plan, we're in trouble. I would build an online recruiting system, and I've been talking about this to people who would listen, as a programmer I have a system figured out. It would allow coaches and selectors across the country at all levels to register online and write scouting reports on players under their jurisdiction, the ones that have national potential. The program would have a rating system for selectors based on how accurate their reports are when national coaches verify them, so after a couple of years those that write inflated reports would be downgraded. Selectors who write accurate reports would get higher marks. If a national coach needs to know all 250+ lbs second rows over 6'5", he could type that in and get scouting reports and metrics on each player. It's not rocket science.
2. Utilize local resources. The U20 program operates in Victoria where they are surrounded by some of the best club rugby in North America with varying levels below that also available. Did they really need to wait for Romania to come over to know their forwards were not up to task? Do they need Ontario or the Rock to show up to test players? It's crazy they're not testing their players against the various levels of competition right in their backyard. They're not going to beat JBAA or CW but use that as a litmus test throughout the year. Play UVic, Velox and Cowichan to see how the U20 forwards match up against older and stronger opponents. With the rise of 7s, the supply of speedy backs is not going to be the issue, it's finding the tough, hard-nosed forwards who can get the job done, and they need to be tested in the trenches of senior rugby.
If these two changes were made it would make a big difference, in my opinion. The iRB announced Chile as host for the JWRT in 2013, Hong Kong for 2014. We need someone in charge of the program who is willing to state publicly, our goal is to place at least top 4 in 2013, top 2 in 2014 and then host and win it in 2015.
XVS or 7s
I put this up as a benchmark for future testing. Early results indicate a strong XVs following with only 10% expressing a preference for playing or watching 7s over XVs, and only 3% indicating a preference for watching 7s. I'm wondering how this will change over the years so this year will be my baseline. I'll leave the poll up until at least 200 people have answered.
Which statement would best describe your rugby interest?
I'm a XVs player (30) 42.9%
I'm a XVs fan (32) 45.7%
I'm a 7s player (6) 8.6%
I'm a 7s fan (2) 2.9%
Analysis: If you had ONE rugby wish for 2012 what would it be?
posted Jan 14 2012
[ed. comments below]
Online polls like this one are an imperfect science, they can be beaten if someone wanted to bad enough. So it possibly measures two things, what the general population think and does someone feel strongly enough about the subject to load the votes. I monitor the voting pattern and can usually tell if someone is loading the votes, this one progressed in a normal fashion so if someone did try to beat the system... they were very patient.
I was surprised to see the men's 7s put in such a strong showing so I ran a validating test, I asked a lady friend who has just a peripheral interest in rugby to take the poll. She chose the men's 7s. Upon questioning she revealed she thought of supporting the women's option but "the men's 7s sounded more important". So is the wording "core status" a trigger or has the "7s in the Olympics" story started to permeate through people's minds? Other possible reasons men's 7s did so well in the poll:
- it's the middle of the iRB 7s season, we won't see the men's XVs until summer
- most of the 7s players are BC based so there's more of a connection
- recent pan-am gold performance
The "my club wins a Provincial title" option started strong and was in the lead for most of the poll period. It's not surprising that a large part of the readership is focused on local rugby. The club system is strong in BC and people feel more involved and more able to make a difference at the club level.
I chose the U20 option as I think it's an important precursor to future success but I was in the minority as it scored just a mere 10% of the vote.
The women scored lowest at 9% reflecting the lower numbers women have in playing and supporting rugby.
Do you think the poll results accurately portrays rugby interest in BC?
If you had ONE rugby wish for 2012 what would it be?
My club wins a Provincial title 31.0%
Canada U20 win JWRT tournament 10.2%
Canada Women’s 7s retain #1 ranking 9.0%
Canada Men’s 7s achieve core status 35.1%
Canada Men’s XV improve ranking 14.8%
Analyzing the Poll Results: What do Readers Want from the Rugby Canada Directors AND New Poll: A 9 Team Premier in 2011?
posted Jan 16 2010
[ed. comments below]
So let’s analyze the past poll, the results being:
What message would you send to the directors of Rugby Canada for their March 12-14 AGM in Toronto?
Reduce Administration Costs - 130 - 23.9%
More Money for Junior Development - 81 - 14.9%
Resurrect Pacific Pride U23 Program - 305 - 56.1%
No message, I’m happy with status quo - 8 - 1.5%
Other... (firstname.lastname@example.org) - 20 - 3.7%
The big winner here was bringing back the Pacific Pride U23 Program. I'm guessing people want to see some sort of coherent development program for potential national team athletes, whether it's U23 or U21 I don't think matters to most people, but the Pacific Pride under David Clark represented many of the things that people want to see in a development program. They identified players across the country that had potential so John Tait, Dan Baugh, Josh Jackson were some of the examples of players who went through the academy in the early years and onto professional careers. The team raised the standard of the BC Premier league as the Pride consistently defeated the top clubs. They toured and hosted high level competition such as the NZ Youth team and performed very well even defeating the NZers one year. The program instilled in the athletes a sense of identity and a taste of high performance culture. The program was a winner. Today after a string of High Performance Directors from the British Isles we're reduced to a high-performance development program that sends 10 players to North Wales. Last world cup the coach was the scapegoat but this time the High Performance Director certainly has to be held accountable if the men's team does not perform to expectations.
Second choice was Reduce Administration Costs, as the cost of rugby continues to rise for players and clubs, we are carrying a million dollar plus payroll at the national administration level. It seems obscene seeing how clubs have to scrape by using every means available to operate in the black, the auditors statement on the last Rugby Canada financial statement clearly stated that without iRB money the Union could continue to operate as it does. So when will the gravy train end, and when will the national union have to be accountable to its members again. Time will answer that question. It doesn't seem the current administration or board of directors are willing to reduce the spending on salary costs.
Third was more money for Junior Development, again similar to the Pacific Pride vote, readers understand that to succeed we're going to have to put money into our development programs and the earlier the better in terms of developing high performance athletes.
Fourth was the category of Other and I didn't really get any emails explaining why a person chose Other but it still beat out "I'm happy with the status quo" which only received 8 votes out of 544, and it wouldn't surprise me if some of those votes were from Rugby Canada, and the rest from North Wales.
So we continue to state the obvious, readers continue to expect some action to be taken, but the directors seem to be taking the Nero approach, fiddle while the city burns.
So onto another subject, the 2011 Premier Season
[ed. updated name of committee responsible for study, see below]
Competition Committee Competitive Schedule Review Committee has released their recommendations which state that in 2011 there should be three tiers of competition. The Premier with nine teams and the other two tiers with eight teams each. So the top 9 finishers in the 2010 Premier will go through in 2011, the bottom 3 will be relegated and compete against the top 5 of the Province Wide Division 1, and the rest of the teams will participate in the 3rd tier. So our poll asks, "What do you think about the Competition Committee's recommendation that the Premier League has 9 teams in 2011".
It will certainly make things very interesting in 2010 as three teams will say goodbye to the Premier (assuming the recommendation is adopted). So who will those teams be?
While on the subject of the Premier league, send in your comments about the 2010 season (we'll treat them anonymously) and we'll compile them into a pre-season form guide. So who's hot and who's not, send us your reasons and predictions. Email email@example.com
Poll Results: 411 answered; 27% Taking a break; 25% Playing touch; 19% involved with RCSL; 15% Local tournaments; 14% NA4/Churchill Cup
[ed. comments below]
posted May 29 2008
So what does it all mean? My guess is about a quarter of the BC club players and supporters are taking a rest this summer. We saw it in the club representation and attendance figures (a generous 450) at the first RCSL game. About a quarter are going to play touch rugby to keep in shape and keep connected to the clubs. So there's half your rugby population in BC. The other half will be involved in RCSL, local tournaments and NA4/Churchill Cup in that order.
Now that the BC club season is over, what is your main focus for the summer?
RCSL 78 19.0%
NA4/Churchill Cup 56 13.6%
Local tournaments 7s/XVs 63 15.3%
Play Touch rugby 103 25.1%
Take a break from rugby 111 27.0%
Our latest poll on demographics: Only 11.5% in the 36 to 45 range, what does it mean?
[ed. comments below]
posted April 23 2008
In our last poll we looked at the BC Rugby News demographics, which age groups were reading? Based on our known statistics of total unique viewers I would estimate 10% of readers fill in the poll. So 573 poll takers translates to 5,730 unique viewers (separate computers) during the time we had this poll up. The number gives some statistical merit to the patterns we noticed. The question is what do the numbers mean, and everyone will have a unique interpretation but I’ll give mine below, and feel free to email your thoughts (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The most interesting figure I thought was the low (11.5%) representation in the 36-45 age group. We can all think of players at the clubs who played until their early 30s and then dropped out of competitive rugby. They were getting more serious about jobs and family and they didn’t see any role for themselves at the club that wouldn’t interfere with family time. This brings out the importance of a Sunday mini-rugby program. Not only are the clubs creating the next generation of rugby players, they are creating family time for this demographic (36-45) to be involved in rugby as coaches and administrators with their children on Sunday morning, a traditional family time.
Next is the U19 figure which at 12.6% is the second lowest. These would represent high school players, at that age they have a lot more to read on the internet rather than rugby, but it shows me they are not looking beyond high school playing when they leave school. If they were projecting to a club (or university) they were going to join in the next year or so then they might be following that club on the internet. Clubs have long recognized the need to up their recruiting at the high school level to make the transition from high school to club as seamless as possible. The U14, U16 club championships are a valuable tool for this purpose and clubs who are making an effort to keep these leagues going should be applauded.
The other three groups make up about 25% each, the 19-25 and 26-35 groups would represent active players. These two groups account for 50% of the viewers. The 45+ group would represent old boys still playing, administrators, coaches, referees and the club faithful who attend the games come rain or shine.
Another thought on growing the 36-45 age group would be the formation of a Women’s 35+ league, similar to the Men’s 40+ league. We’re seeing more women reaching their mid 30s with no future playing path for themselves and running with the young’uns is getting to be a bit too much. Getting them involved more in the Sunday minis program and a 35+ league would offer some options.
Just some thoughts, if you have more to add, email email@example.com
We are trying to learn more about BC Rugby News demographics.
Which age group do you belong to?
Under 19 72 12.6%
19 to 25 141 24.6%
26 to 35 143 25.0%
36 to 45 66 11.5%
Over 45 151 26.4%
45% of readers would consider a Spring to Fall season, 50% prefer existing season with limitations
[ed. comments below]
posted Jan 16 2007
With the unusual weather in BC causing game cancellations in December we asked the following question:
With the cancelled games in December should we revisit the playing schedule?
The results were as follows:
No, it's only a minor glitch in the weather - 105 - 27.9%
Yes, no games in December or January - 85 - 22.5%
Yes, let's try a March to November type schedule - 168 - 44.6%
I'm not sure, I'll have to give it more thought - 19 - 5.0%
The largest single group at 45% was for a change to a spring to fall schedule. There are definitely proponents of this in BC but also many of our readers are from out of province. It's definitely going to be on the minds of BC rugby directors when next December/January rolls around. I don't see change coming any time soon but two or three years of such weather may change the mind of the staunchest traditionalist.
If you add up those who don't want a change to a spring to fall season, then we get a figure of 50%, but 23% of those would like to keep games out of December and January, creating shorter fall and spring seasons. Again the weather pattern over the next year or two will dictate decisions in this area.
This brings up this week's question: Will all Premier games go ahead this weekend (Jan 20th)?
There is still snow on the ground in Victoria and presumably the same in Vancouver. The weather over the next few days will determine the condition of the fields for Saturday, it's almost 50/50 as of Tuesday evening.
62% of readers feel national team is not on track for 2007 - next poll, the BC season
posted Dec 22 2006
[ed. comments below]
Thanks to the 463 readers who completed the poll, 62% felt the national team were not on track for RWC 2007 after the Wales and Italy tour, 29% felt they were on track and 9% were undecided. Interesting figures that could be interpreted in a number of ways, first 91% had a strong opinion with only 9% undecided. Second, the percentage of those not satisfied with the Canadian performance steadily dropped from about 70% to about 62% over time. This can be explained by the five stages of grieving, first stage Denial (are you sure the score is correct), second stage Anger (early poll results), third stage Bargaining (if only player X had done Y or had been replaced by player Z), fourth stage Depression (I don't care any more), fifth stage Acceptance (we're a small fish in a large pond...how's the hockey team doing anyways}.
So next on the poll list is the question of the BC schedule, this letter from a reader (from mainland BC) prompted the next poll question:
"Hi Mark, in view of the trouble we have been having getting games off due to inclement weather, would it be worthwhile to put out a question on whether there is any interest in changing our playing season to some other time of the year? Perhaps one that would tie in with the time when the rest of the country are playing for example?"
So the question is: "With the cancelled games in December should we revisit the playing schedule?"
The options are:
- No, it's only a minor glitch in the weather
- Yes, no games in December or January
- Yes, let's try a March to November type schedule
- I'm not sure, I'll have to give it more thought
60% of readers picked the cancellation of the Pacific Pride 'Academy' program as the most significant event of 2005 to impact the Canadian men's rugby team
[ed. comments below]
posted Jan 9 2006
It's interesting that almost three times as many readers (60% compared to 23%) chose the cancellation of the Pacific Pride program over IRB funding as the most significant event of 2005 to impact the Canadian men's rugby team over the next few years. It's rather ironic that IRB money will pay to initiate a new academy program and really was the instrument in the dismantling of the previous academy program (known as the Pacific Pride).
What's really astounding are the words of the person hired to oversee the new academy program, Geraint John, when he was quoted as saying "Without things like that [a rugby academy], a rugby country like Wales takes for granted, Canada is never going to compete" (see story Following the IRB Money). It shows a lack of understanding of the recent rugby history in Canada and a lack of preparation by Rugby Canada in briefing their new High Performance Director. In 1996 a rugby academy was setup by Australian David Clarke, known as the CCSD (Commonwealth Centre for Sports Development) it produced the likes of Dan Baugh and John Tait who played professionally in Cardiff. Later it became known as the Pacific Pride program. That academy program was dismantled by Rugby Canada in 2005 in a decision that brought a lot of criticism and created a lot of ill will towards the national governing body. Instead of a smooth transition from an U23 academy to an U21 academy, passing on the wealth of knowledge gained during those nine years, the program was terminated prematurely giving a feeling of deja vu to those who witnessed the beginning of the 1996 rugby "academy".
In the words of one philosopher "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it" (George Santayana 1863 - 1952). Let's hope in another ten years that we haven't forgotten the lessons of 1996 and 2006.
Which of the following 2005 events will have the greatest impact (positive or negative) on the Canadian men's rugby team over the next few years?
Canada defeating Argentina 14 - 4.4%
Canada losing to Romania 43 - 13.4%
Rugby Canada cancelling the Pacific Pride program 191 - 59.5%
Rugby Canada receiving IRB money 73 - 22.7%
29% of readers use Mediazone to watch internationals on TV, 47% don't, and 24% don't know what Mediazone is
[ed. comments below]
posted Dec 20 2005
In the near future the distinction between TV, internet and telephone will become obsolete. They are all forms of audio/visual communication that are slowly merging into one. Companies like Shaw cable started delivering TV, then got into internet and now offer telephone services. A company like Telus started in telephone, added internet and now are offering TV delivery. At the present we generally use different home appliances to access each one, the TV, computer and telephone but that soon will be a thing of the past.
As video delivery over the internet improves in quality due to increased bandwidth and improved compression algorithms, the internet will become the new multi-channel delivery service for video. Instead of having to choose between the 100 or so channels offered by your cable or satellite company, you'll be able to choose between several thousand channels offered over the internet. Mediazone filled a niche, offering the right product at the right time. Subscribers can watch rugby and other sporting/cultural events around the world on a pay per view basis.
Once costs come down and capabilities go up on video delivery technology then there's no reason each major sports team couldn't have their own internet broadcasting system. Imagine a team like Leicester with a high quality video camera in each corner of the field and on-site multi-casting servers. You would be able to login, pay a fee and watch the game live. The cameras would zoom and pan, perhaps even being controlled by polling the viewer's choices. Leicester would have 30,000 people paying on site but maybe another 300,000 viewing worldwide through their internet broadcasting system. The technology is almost there and once the cost/performance ratio of the hardware and software is right, it will become a reality. In ten years there won't be a new stadium built that doesn't consider the internet broadcasting system and the potential revenue it can generate.
...anyway that's the way I see it.
Did you use Mediazone to watch any of the fall internationals?
Yes 85 28.7%
No 139 47.0%
What is mediazone? 72 24.3%
29% of readers were accurate in last poll, "How will Canada fare on the Fall European tour to France and Romania?"
posted Nov 21 2005
65% of readers thought that Canada would go 1-1 on the tour, conventional wisdom would be on their side since Romania had never defeated Canada but the less optimistic vote proved to be true, Canada were 0-2 on the tour. In fairness there were only 3 points separating Canada from the win (22-20) but a loss is a loss. The issue of what is ailing the Canadian men's team has been flogged to death and if I had an instant solution I would post it here, but, I don't, there are more questions than answers. Let's look at some common theories.
- We didn't do well because we didn't have enough professionals on the team.
Fiji are ranked 9th in the world and almost defeated 6th place Wales this month, what percentage of their team were professionals? Argentina is ranked 8th in the world and ahead of more 'professional' teams such as Scotland.
- We didn't have enough time to prepare.
This was the best prepared team that Canada has sent abroad. There was the East trial, the West trial, the East-West trial, the Shawnigan Lake camp. There was the hype, the consultants, the team bonding, the speeches, the carefully crafted press releases... and let's not forget that important week of rest before the East-West trial. The Romanians, I think they just ate raw meat, played the international in between a busy playing schedule and met each other at the park before the game...and won. But if it was a contest about consultation, team bonding and preparation skills, we would have kicked their ass.
- The referee was a Romanian undercover agent bent on destroying civilization as we know it.
According to informed sources, the Canada-Romania referee was in fact a referee on France's top panel who still refs in the top level of french competition. He was at the last World Cup and has served on IRB panels.
- We need a foreign coach.
Been there, done it.
- We need a more equal representation of players from each province, here is the recommended list (5 from BC, 5 from Ontario, 5 from Quebec, 3 from Newfoundland, 2 from PEI....)
Don't get me started
- We need more money, we need more paid executives at the national level, we need more stadiums, we need more fans, we need more national team coaches, we need more TV exposure, we need more high level domestic competitions, we need more international competitions...
Romania beat us, they have very little from the list above.
After going through this list the solution that seems most evident is, put the money and effort into grassroots rugby and infrastructure and the national team will eventually flourish, there is no quick fix. Scrap all the grandiose plans for spending the IRB money on a super regional competition, put it into mini-rugby development at the clubs, high school rugby, university rugby and bring back the Pacific Pride development program, cancelling that program was one of the dumbest things Rugby Canada ever did.
How will Canada fare on the Fall European tour to France and Romania?
2 wins 34 6.3%
1 win and 1 loss 351 65.0%
2 losses 155 28.7%
Last Poll results, 30% thinks Caps will go undefeated, 38% think James Bay will go undefeated
[ed. comments below]
Oct 27 2005
Our last poll asked which team will remain undefeated in the fall Elite competions. Predictably both JBAA and Capilano were top of the charts with James Bay slightly ahead. Realistically the only team that has a chance of beating JBAA this fall are CW in their return match. On the mainland, Bayside are the only team with a realistic chance of defeating the Caps in the fall season. There is a good chance that both teams will remain undefeated in the fall competition...that's my bet anyway.
Which team will most likely remain undefeated in the fall Elite competitions?
Bayside 52 11.6%
Capilanos 136 30.4%
Castaway Wanderers 56 12.5%
James Bay 169 37.8%
Velox Valhallians 34 7.6%
Last Poll results, 22% attended the East-West match, 17% said maybe, and 61% said no for various reasons
The question and results are below, so what does it mean. There are many ways to interpret the data, the event actually drew about 1,000 people. If we guessed that half of the maybe vote went to the game we could say that about one-third of BC Rugby News poll takers attended the game.
370 people took the poll over the week, with at least 1,000 visitors a day and 8,000 visitors a week it's obvious that not everyone enters the poll. Many viewers from outside the country and the province probably wouldn't answer the poll. Students were more likely to vote that it was too expensive, and many on Vancouver Island might say it was too far away.
1,000 is a poor turnout for the event, in my opinion. Why was that, was it the day chosen, the venue, the city, the promotion of the event? It appeared to me that this event wasn't run as smoothly as some of the previous BCRU events. I think Rugby Canada should have turned this over to the BCRU instead of running it themselves. They were about a week or two behind in building up to the event, and it seemed they put in a token effort at the last minute to hype it up. The hype angle may have actually turned off some in the rugby community and it obviously didn't appeal to the non-rugby public. Live and learn I guess.
Will you be attending the East-West game on Monday Oct 10th at UBC?
Absolutely 82 22.2%
Maybe 64 17.3%
No, too far away 81 21.9%
No, other plans that day 31 8.4%
No, too expensive 56 15.1%
No, not interested 56 15.1%
Last Poll results, 32% think Caps will prevail in May, 26% James Bay
posted Oct 2 2005
We asked the question:
After seeing Week One winners, any early predictions for Premier supremacy?
Abbotsford 35 9.4%
Bayside 35 9.4%
Capilanos 118 31.8%
Castaway Wanderers 56 15.1%
James Bay 96 25.9%
UBCOB Ravens 31 8.4%
Based on last year's results and game form so far this year, I think our readers came up with a sensible choice. If we see James Bay and Capilanos in the final come May (last year it was Apr 30th) it will not be a surprise to us or, apparently, to most of our readers. But the season is long and there were a couple of clubs not in the poll, due to a loss in week one or a bye (Lomas and Velox), who may play a part in determining events in the spring. CW was third in the poll, taking 15% of the votes. The two head to head matches between CW and JBAA will be a must see for island fans this fall.
This week we will be asking, "Will you be attending the East-West game on Monday, Oct 10 at UBC?"