All 9 entries tagged Sport

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October 09, 2006

Paul Hunter RIP

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Died of stomach cancer aged 27. Yes, just twenty-seven. :(

September 26, 2006

The Completely Useless Sports Guide #6


Rugby is a confusingly generic term used to describe two similar but different sports. In both the aim of the game is to score points by kicking a ball over a bar and between two posts, sitting on a ball in the score area, and sitting on your opponent.

Teams for Rugby Union consist of 15 players, at least eight of which have to be big fat alcoholics. Teams also usually consist of one or two midgets who are like Cilit Bang through a penny. Rugby League teams consist of 13 similarly large players who like running into people. Each team must also supply a keg of ale for after the match.

League largely consists of running into the opposing team five times before kicking the ball to them. Should the opportunity persist players should sit on the nearest round oval object, be it ball or player. Brawling is positively encouraged on the pitch but everyone is too nice to do it after the game. Union is very similar, except there’s a lot more kicking and no limits to the amount of times you can run into a person. The two sports are also scored differently, even though you do exactly the same thing in both.

Competitions come in the cup and league form. The Cups are cash-cows designed to ensure the top flight teams from the league earn as much money as possible playing meaningless fixtures before two teams at random turn up for a final. The leagues consist of home and away fixtures, with each side getting a number of league points at the end determined by rolling a dice. Leagues then have a pointless end of season money-spinner by which the team which finished 27th usually ends up being crowned champions of the universe. Far more countries play union than league, so the latter’s World Cup consists for 14 New Zealand sides to make up for it.

September 07, 2006

UEFA: egalitarian is wrong?

This entry was inspired by the following:

a) eins zwei drei vier funf sechs sieben acht neun zehn elf zwolf dreizehn (Germany sticking 13 past San Marino)
b) The Rock wanting to play football (or to be more precice, Gibraltar’s request to be allowed to play international football)
c) Seeing Kenny Miller getting booked against Lithuania

Now I think that every nation no matter how small should have the right to play international fixtures. However, what good did it do San Marino to turn up tonight? Will they have learned much from the 90 minutes against Germany? To be honest, no. What it left Germany with – and likewise England and Scotland on Saturday – is a pointless exercise in increasing their goal difference. These teams risk their players picking up yellow cards or even worse injuries which can lead back to problems between the domestic clubs and the national associations.

Ah, I hear you cry, what about Northern Ireland? Allegedly they’re hopeless, because they let in three against Iceland, but then they go back and beat Spain 3-2 tonight. Well, you see, perhaps it’s time to look at how other bodies do their qualifying.

If you look at CAF, for example, they pair off the worst nations in a single two-legged qualification round, and those winners find their way into the main round-robin. AFC have three stages of groups, CONCACAF likewise, and they both also have some very useful countries and a load of hopeless part-timers. So why can’t Europe do the same?

Euro2008 needs 14 qualifiers, so UEFA came up with this brilliant idea of having seven qualifying groups and sending the top two through from each. Which is all well and good, except Group B has three out of the eight World Cup quater-finalists plus three banana-skin sides and Group A, Portugal aside, has a bunch of mediocre teams at best. Although this will make for lots of tough qualifiers (France v Italy? Germany v Czech Republic?) it will also make for a hell of a lot of mismatches. Moreover, it just drags out the calendar.

So I could have suggested something like this: you start out with 50 nations (plus 2 hosts), so take the top 20 and force the remaining 30 into 15 two-legged play-offs. Then take these 35 into 7 groups of five, and the top two qualify. The top sides would only have to play 8 qualifying games, and can play friendlies against other sides, the lesser nations will get games against their rivals to get there and if they don’t qualify can use the international weeks to play others who didn’t make it, and the quality of the qualifying rounds will increase. Of course there are other variants of how you could weed out the small nations, but that’s the only one I’m thinking of at 2am.

Sure it’s nice for the minnows to have a day out against the giants, but San Marino are not going to beat Germany in a year of Sundays.

August 05, 2006

The Completely Useless Sports Guide #5


Judo is a “safe” combat sport in which the aim is to either throw your opponent to the ground with a high degree of skill, hold them down on the ground for a set period of time, or apply a technique which forces them to submit.

The sport consists of a one-on-one fight between two people wearing differently coloured pyjamas, and a man in a suit watching over them. Throws are scores on quality, holds are scored on time, and arm locks and strangles are rather painful. Unless a winning score is given during the contest, the winner of the contest is the one who has scored the highest-scoring technique, not the one with the most number of points. The fact that 3×5+1×3<1x7 AND 7+7=10 is not only a very confusing scoring system to the layman but also mathematically wrong. Should the contest still be a draw by the time the timekeeper has drunk her coffee, the contest, two corner judges help the referee decide who wins on who they hate the least.

There are a number of banned techniques, including throws that might end up snapping the opponent’s head off, hold which might end up snapping the opponent’s head off, and locks which might end up snapping the opponent’s head off. It is, however, perfectly legal to pick a person up and drive them shoulder-first into the mat provided you can remember the Japanese name of the technique, or the referee is your dad.

Competitions take place all over the place and involve segregation of participants by gender and weight. This is not only to prevent fat people sitting on me, but also to stop perverts groping female opponents during groundwork. Club competitions are usually round-robin where everyone wins a medal no matter how rubbish they do, but serious stuff involves double-elimination tournaments.

May 06, 2006

The Completely Useless Sports Guide #4


Darts is a game in which the aim is to throw small shart pointy sticks at a wooden target, scoring points depending on where the stick lands. The first player to throw exactly the number of required points wins the game. Sticks must be thrown from a line drawn on the floor often by a piece of string but sometimes by a very large pen of liquid chalk, which is an absolute nightmare to get out the carpet afterwards.

Darts is generally an individual sport. During the period in which your opponent is playing darts players must consider their next three target areas, their next three drinks at the bar and their next three choices of bling. Most players set the drink as the priority, followed by the bling, and then finally the choice of target.

Alcohol plays a major part in this game, as a valid method of victory is to get your opponent so drunk he can no longer throw his sticks at the wooden board without substantial risk to the jailbait bargirl with tissue stuffed down her bra. Unfortunately the sticks may be used against neither the other player nor the annoying person who tells the entire world how inaccurate you are with your stick-throwing.

Competitions generally take place over a set number of games, which at lower levels become team competitions in either a league or cup format. In both cases they are set as close to the bar as possible to minimise dry time.

April 18, 2006

The Completely Useless Sports Guide Part 3

Table Tennis

Table Tennis is a game in which the aim is to ensure that your opponent cannot hit the small hollow ball over a net, onto a table between you and the net in a way that you are unable to reciprocate.

Each game of tabe tennis is played by teams of either one or two, with each player taking it in turns to serve twice, and the first to 11 points (provided they have a lead of 2) winning the set, and first to 4 sets winning. Of course it used to be first to 2 sets, 21 points and 4 serves, but they changed it because TV said so.

Valid tactics include hitting the ball in a way that the opponent is unable to hit it, playing a shot that doesn’t allow them to hit the ball back over the net and onto the table your side, and smacking it as hard as you can at their face. Diving around is not only impractical, but also makes you look like a complete goit.

The World Circuit consists of playing the same people in a number of different places around the world, thus giving everyone a chance to be completely ignored. The player ranked #1 is the one who least often gets hit in the face, while the World Champion is the person with the biggest trophy.

March 29, 2006

The Completely Useless Sports Guide #2

Rhythmic Gymnastics

Rhythmic gymnastics is a derivant of the floor event in gymnastics, in which competitors must prance around to music whilst utilising each of the ball, the ribbon, the club and the hoop. Guessing which film the gymnast is trying to show is sadly not part of the game.

Rhythmic gymnastics is almost exclusively done by schoolgirls, often those who were either bored with more conventional gymnastics or were fed up with the fat kid in 9F perving at her leotard during lunchtime. Although all the gymnasts have prefered equipment to use it is uncommon for top-level players not to be proficient in all of the items.

Each round will involve the competitor dancing around to music while doing stuff with the item, for example catching the ball, waving the ribbon around or throwing the club at the French coach. There is a team of judges who consider the music, difficulty of technique and synchronisation, then ignore all of that and roll a 20-sided dice to give the score for that athlete.

Rhythmic gymnastics does have a world championship, but the only time television cares about it is during the Olympics and the Commonwealth games, where it receives about half an hour of coverage. In each case a winner is awarded for each apparatus, and then they have to do all of them in turn for an all-round title.

March 27, 2006

The Completely Useless Sports Guide #1


Football, formally known as association football and known by some other countries as soccer, is a game in which the aim is to use any part of your body to propel the ball into a net held by one horizontal and two vertical poles. There is a line parallel to the goal which the ball is supposed to cross in order for a score to count but in practise this isn’t generally worried about.

Each team has a goalkeeper, usually the fat kid or the one whose hands need keeping warm the most, who will try to catch the ball or failing that knee an opponent when he jumps. The remainder of the ten players on the team are split between defenders (the kids who like to stand around and talk), midfielders (the kids who like to show off) and attackers (the kids with the biggest egos). Unlike most sports, players will often have to fulfil more than one of these roles in a given game, or in the case of Sunderland none of them.

Within the rather simple aims of the sport there are a number of sub-complexities. Besides the ultimate objective of the sport, valid subgames include debating, freestyle diving, improvised acting and the ever popular gum spitting contest. Whilst victory in none of these can be converted into game-winning points, they can be used to influence the flow of the game. In-game discipline is controlled by a single referee (either the PE teacher, the fat maths teacher or the kid who is even more unpopular than the keeper) who issues yellow and red cards to players who break the rules, although if you send your largest three players to have a polite chat with him he may reconsider his decision.

Competitions generally take place in either league format or cup format. In the league format, each team will usually play every other team at both their own and their opponent’s ground. The fixtures are usually arranged to cause upmost inconvenience for supporters of the travelling team, and are usually packed around public holidays and periods of expected bad weather. Cup games are normally single-elimination format arranged around league games in order to provide as much revenue for the leading clubs as possible.

January 10, 2005

Bangladesh finally win a test match

Writing about web page

To be honest I think it says more for Zimbabwean than Bangladeshi cricket.

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