Polity by Rob Salmond

Read Post

Polity: The pantheon of sporting dominance

47 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 Newer→ Last

  • James Littlewood*,

    How does Team New Zealand in the mad world of yachting stack up in this analysis?

    They've certainly made it through to more Americas Cup finals than any other team, and have won it more often than any other team, and - I think - have won more individual America's Cup races than any other team.

    In the current season of the A.C. world series, they're top of table. With bugger all resources (relative) and a fraction of the development time of the other biggies.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 410 posts Report Reply

  • SteveH, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    The papers seem strangely reluctant to give any oxygen, let alone much coverage or comment, to Lydia Ko regaining her Number One position.
    Heck they still seem to give more coverage to Tiger Woods’ ex-caddy!

    I watched some of the Golf Channel coverage of her last few wins. They commented on the lack of attention her story has gotten and were also somewhat mystified. The best explanations they could come up with was the fact that she's not American (in context of the lack of coverage in US media), and that she has a low-key and friendly personality. Is she simply not exciting enough? I don't know.

    She's (yet) not dominating the way the All Blacks do, or the way Tiger Woods did in his heyday, but what she's achieving is unprecedented in golf (including in the men's game). I expect the attention will come if she can stay at the top.

    Since Sep 2009 • 444 posts Report Reply

  • chris, in reply to James Littlewood*,

    How does Team New Zealand in the mad world of yachting stack up in this analysis?

    The New York Yacht Club.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Paul Brown,

    both the youngest (20) and the oldest winner (39)

    hard to match. And who else can pull off this sort of freakish stuff?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    An off-topic question, but one that's perhaps worth asking: When will New Zealand produce it's first Asian All Black?

    The team is a tapestry of shades of white and brown, but we're more than that now (and always were, to greater and lesser extents). I expect it has more to do with the pipeline than with demographics.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to George Darroch,

    An off-topic question, but one that’s perhaps worth asking: When will New Zealand produce it’s first Asian All Black?

    The team is a tapestry of shades of white and brown, but we’re more than that now (and always were, to greater and lesser extents). I expect it has more to do with the pipeline than with demographics.

    There might be a little in there now, given that 30,000 Samoans claim some Chinese heritage.

    But the NRL in Australia has a few players of Asian heritage, mostly Filipino.

    And NZ rugby league coaches and former players Willie Poching (Samoan-Chinese) and Alex Chan (Maori-Chinese) both played for the Kiwis.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I don't believe Australia has ever lost an international championship in Aussie Rules.
    Or the US in American Football (but not Baseball).

    It's quite simple for a country to dominate a sporting code really - just choose a game that isn't the majority code in any other substantial developed country.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to George Darroch,

    The demographics are skewed more than a little by involvement in playing sport among cultural/ethnic groups – highest among Pakeha and Maori, and lowest among NZ Asians, according to the 2001 Active New Zealand survey. (And the preferred sport distribution was different too, e.g. volleyball was more popular among Pacific Island adults, and badminton among NZ Asians.)

    Proportions of “active” individuals by age, gender, and ethnic group:
    Children: Pakeha 70%; Maori 71%; Pacific 52%; Other 59%: overall 68%
    — male : Pakeha 76%; Maori 72%; Pacific 53%; Other 63%: overall 73%
    – female: Pakeha 64%; Maori 70%; Pacific 52%; Other 55%: overall 64%
    Adults : Pakeha 69%; Maori 67%; Pacific 63%; Other 54%: overall 68%
    — male : Pakeha 71%; Maori 70%; Pacific 68%; Other 57%: overall 69%
    – female: Pakeha 68%; Maori 65%; Pacific 58%; Other 51%: overall 66%

    * “active” = more than 2.5 hrs/week of sport or active leisure pursuit.

    ** Anybody know if there has been a more recent follow-up survey?

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1890 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    I kinda hate these stats for Rugby. People quote those percentages as if all those games are the same standard. The reality is there are only a handful of countries playing Rugby seriously and our stats against those countries are nowhere near as dominant. Essentially the numbers get puffed up by playing the other nations.

    That's true in most competitions but I'd suggest that the NBA is a much more even competition and so dominance is much harder, same for baseball and same for football (the roundball version).

    Not taking away from the performance of this team but those stats just don't do it for me - much compelling is the way they play.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    I kinda hate these stats for Rugby. People quote those percentages as if all those games are the same standard. The reality is there are only a handful of countries playing Rugby seriously and our stats against those countries are nowhere near as dominant. Essentially the numbers get puffed up by playing the other nations.

    Not even remotely true. Nearly all the All Blacks’ matches are against Tier 1 nations and most of them are in the Rugby Championship, which is made up of all four RWC 2015 semi-finalists. The others in the four years up to the RWC were against Six Nations sides, plus the one game against Samoa.

    That’s true in most competitions but I’d suggest that the NBA is a much more even competition and so dominance is much harder, same for baseball and same for football (the roundball version).

    Kinda. Half the teams in the NBA have never won a championship in its 70-year history (and most aren’t likely to) and nearly half of all the championships have been won by two teams, the Celtics and the Lakers. Only nine different teams have won a championship in the last 35 years.

    And the likes of the English Premier League are hugely uneven. How many teams have a shot each year? The guy who figured that only three teams were rich enough to win this past season turned out to be right.

    Yes, a weekly professional competition is different to international rugby, but Tonga beat France in the last RWC and Japan beat South Africa this time. The hugely wealthy England side only rarely beat the All Blacks and Ireland have never won against us in the history of the game. The fact that nearly one in three coaches at this year’s tournament were New Zealanders suggests we’re doing something right.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • mccx, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Yes, NZ is very good at rugby union, but as Rich said, doesn't our success have just as much to do with the relative lack of focus other countries put on rugby?

    The All Blacks dominance is impressive, but it also makes it hard to get that excited about winning. The AB's worst win rate is against South Africa, at just over 60% I believe. Are there any other teams anywhere that don't have a losing record against at least one of their opponents? I find the Highlanders finally being champions or the Kansas City Royals winning for the first time in 30 years much more entertaining.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2012 • 36 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Ronda Rousey is totally dominant in women's MMA. She has never been beaten and has won all of her fights by knockout or submission. She is head and shoulders above all the other female fighters in her weight class. She's also great to watch, a technically excellent competitor.

    But to compare her to the male MMA champs would be crazy. She's only had 12 professional MMA fights in total. It's a fiercely competitive sport at the top, making big money for the successful athletes. To dominate the men's competition in the way she has for the women's is pretty much unthinkable. None of which is to say that she isn't amazing. And that's comparing people in the same sport. To try to compare to a team in a different sport is just ... well it's fun, but it ain't robust.

    The same tale could be told about the Black Ferns. That they dominate women's rugby tells you something about women's rugby, rather than giving us useful comparisons between the All Blacks.and the Black Ferns' achievements. On paper, the Black Ferns own it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to BenWilson,

    She’s also great to watch, a technically excellent competitor.

    I mean seriously, any fight where her extremely experienced opponent comes flying in the first second with a knee, takes her down, and then we witness her escaping the takedown by somersaulting with a backwards cartwheel off her head to reverse and gain rear control, which she neatly turns into an armbar that has never been seen before, all in 15 seconds, is a competitor you have to give a lot of credit to. I was like WTF? She's some kind of freaky wrestling snake. Definitely my favourite fighter to watch, although some of that is because she demolished 3 fighters in a row in under 60 seconds in total. That's never happened in men's MMA or boxing. Ever. You don't get a protracted game dragging on and on like often happens with the guys, you get non-stop action, with a result. She's also a very amusing trash talker, which is an important part of any fighting sport. Scary tough woman. The crowd goes berserk over her.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    I don’t believe Australia has ever lost an international championship in Aussie Rules.

    Don't they play a "World Series" of Aussie Rules just like the USA Play a "World Series" in Baseball??

    It is a serious sport isn't it?

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1589 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason, in reply to BenWilson,

    She has never been beaten and has won all of her fights by knockout or submission.

    And this is a sport? Beat the effing brains out of another human for the sake of a few bucks? At least rugby is beginning to understand the effects of brain trauma. These goons (Female and male) need their freaking head read. Hmmm....nothing much to read anyway.

    IMH but warped O.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1589 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Ross Mason,

    And this is a sport?

    One of the oldest. It's not safe, certainly. Rousey scores most of her wins by virtue of her judo skills, rather than brain beating, though. Mostly arm bars, typically set up by dazzling throws, and contortions on the ground. Never seen such an amazing array of moves in a single fighter. Probably because it's not possible for men - if you try to do all that, you end up substandard at everything. There's always going to be someone better at some aspect of the play when the competition is so tight. Full spectrum dominance is probably only possible for Rousey because there are so few women in the sport. OK, and she has the perfect build for a female fighter.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Not even remotely true. Nearly all the All Blacks’ matches are against Tier 1 nations and most of them are in the Rugby Championship

    Really? You're going to go with none of the tier 1 nations are easy wins? "history All Blacks vs ..." suggests that only four nations are a serious challenge.

    I do think the All Blacks are a great team but I don't think the overall win percentage is a good measure. Apart from Australia, South Africa, England and France there are no teams that are serious challenges. To some degree that emphasises how good the All Blacks are but it also highlights just how poor the Rugby is that is played by most nations.

    You want a good measure - then look at how many points the All Blacks score in the last 20 minutes of their matches, that is a mark of just how good they are - when players are tired and hurting the All Blacks passes are timed, their kick bounce up into the hands, they own the loose ball. That is a good measure.

    Or you could look at their record against those nations why take rugby seriously - that is a good measure.

    Just not overall wins.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    English rugby might have a lot of money, but their player pool is quite small, being limited to their core of posh southerners - and of course soccer has a lot more money, especially at club level. It's the same everywhere else, rugby (union) is a minority sport in all the top countries, even South Africa where the majority population mostly play soccer.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    but I don’t think the overall win percentage is a good measure.

    Yes, I don't even know what we're measuring. "Dominance" is what the speaker called for. Define dominance and we get somewhere. We also need to define which subset of all sports competitions we're comparing to. In the end, I'm sure we can find a statistic that makes the All Blacks the most dominant team, if we narrow the definition tight enough. "Games played in international tournaments with an ovoid ball involving tackling, by men". Or we could have just settled for saying the All Blacks dominate men's rugby, and not gotten sucked into the need to compare apples and oranges.

    Which makes me wonder about the motivation to find this spurious statistic. Is it to justify why we love the All Blacks so much? Does that really need a justification? I know why I like them - because I was brought up that way. I don't really have to look deeper.

    In fact, since were pretty much behind in the RWC success stakes until 2011, and then we were only first equal with 2 other teams, most of my life of supporting the All Blacks has been during a period where their dominance was constantly in question. It was really only on Sunday that I felt about the All Blacks as I used to in the 1980s, that they clearly are the best team in the world. Currently.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    One thing a friend brought to my attention yesterday about this particular victory is that it is especially sweet since no one can say we got a cheap shot pass through the tournament. We literally had to play every single one of the best teams in the world, all of our traditional nemeses.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Brent Jackson,

    And another totally unheralded New Zealand team that is World Championship material - Women's Rafting. In the 9 biennial World Championships, they've gotten Gold 4 times (including back-to-back once), Silver once, and Bronze twice.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 615 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.