Oral Tracey: RSPL format works

first_imgIt has been a constant going around in circles in recent years as it relates to the format for the top local football league, now the Red Strip Premier League (RSPL). Four seasons ago, the semi-final and final playoff knockout format was restored after yet another cycle of having the traditional league format, where the champion was the team that accumulated most points at the end of the season. The conventional league format was always the most just and credible way to go. It smacked of injustice and lacking total integrity to have a team accumulating the best record and most points at the end of the regular season, then having one bad game in a concocted semi-final and final knockout game against a team that finished in fourth spot 10 or 15 points adrift the top team, then that fourthplace team could go on to be crowned league champions. There still remains a certain level of innate unfairness in that kind of scenario. This is one of those occasions on which I have been convinced by the unfolding reality to reconsider my previous position. It is a matter of the good of the situation outweighing the bad of the situation. The dynamics of the local football reality make it an unfair comparison to make between our top-flight football in Jamaica and what obtains in the elite leagues of England, Spain and Italy. These leagues have the advantage of huge television deals, more vibrant and richer economies and better infrastructure, which all contribute to better general spectator attendance and a more viable product to market throughout the season. IRRELEVANT, BORING AND USELESS The current format of the RSPL, with the top four teams pooled into a post regular season knockout phase, has worked and continues to work. The level of interest and buzz generated by the approach to the ‘playoffs’, as well as during the current phase, has increased exponentially. There was no disputing the fact that the four top teams in the league, on merit, all made it to the knockout round Montego Bay United, Portmore United, Arnett Gardens and Humble Lion were all rewarded for their consistency and that, of course, helped in the selling of the playoff intrigue and drama. There is also a particular spectacle and almost guaranteed excitement associated with a knockout series that does not exist in the straight league format, where there is always the possibility of one team running from the pack leading by 10 or 15 points, which would render the last three or four games of the season irrelevant, boring and useless. There is no possibility of that happening in a knockout play-to-win scenario. It is also quite instructive that in other regional football jurisdictions such as Mexico, the USA and Costa Rica, and in the majority of the South America countries, it is the post-season knockout format that is used to determine the national league champions. While there can be no real value placed on the unfortunate scenario of the best and most consistent team throughout the season losing a knockout semi-final or final, thus losing the league title, there is some credence to the decision to offer the top performing team at the end of the regular season $1m incentive. All things considered, the format of the RSPL working and is working well. The intensity and interest at this point in the season, as they have been ever since the re introduction of this format, are at an all-time high and I suspect that most, if not all, the previous dissenting voices against this format, have been duly silenced by its success.last_img read more

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Huskies bounce back in a big way

first_imgDylan Apsassin had a monster night offensively, notching 3 goals and 6 assists, for a nine point night.  “It seemed like the puck was just following me, and I was just in the right place and the right time” he said afterwards, adding “if if wasn’t for my linemates and my teammates I wouldn’t have been able to get those points.”  It was another crazy game in Slave Lake, with the Huskies served at least 12 penalties.  Four different Huskies were thrown out of the game, and two suffered injuries and were unable to finish.  In the end, there were only 8 skaters left on the Huskies bench.  But, unlike the previous night, the pups didn’t allow the officiating or other adversity to bring them down, and they skated to a lop-sided win.  “It went surprisingly well, after all the stuff that’s gone on here” said Coach Kalb of his team’s effort.  Although the Huskies scored 13 goals on the night, their penalty killing may have been their most impressive attribute.  They faced 131 minutes in penalties, and allowed only 1 powerplay goal (one of Dylan Apsassin’s goals also came on a 5-on-3 Wolves powerplay).  The big win helped erase a lacklustre performance the night before, and sent the Huskies into the final weekend of the season on a high note. The Huskies top unit also got on the scoresheet, with Cody Kalb registering 1 goal and 4 assists, and Cody Hildebrand notching 3 goals and 2 assists.  Robbie Sidhu was held off the scoresheet, and had to leave the game because of a minor injury in the second period. The Huskies wrap up the regular season with a big two-game set against unbeaten Whitecourt.  The Wolverines will visit the North Peace Arena for games Saturday (Feb. 13th) at 8 o’clock and Sunday (Feb 14th) at 2. – Advertisement – In all, Fort St. John got goals from Steven Fast (2), Dylan Apsassin (3), Luke McInerney, Kole Norris (2), Cody Hildebrand (3), Tyson Pederson, and Cody Kalb. Responding for Slave Lake were Dustin Ghostkeeper and Alex MacIsaac.  Ty Gullickson backstopped the Huskies to his second win in three days, making some key saves particularly on the second-period penalty kills. center_img By Jon Zacks Apsassin’s linemates also got in on the act, with Steven Fast scoring 2 goals and five assists, and Kole Norris chipping in 2 goals and 3 assists.  “It’s fun playing with those guys” said Apsassin of the chemistry he is finding with the second line.  “Speed and skill” said Coach Bob Kalb of the line.  “Speed kills in this game, and they’ve got the skill to go with it.”  His comments were exemplified by a sensational goal from Norris, who batted in a knee-height pass from Fast, leaving Wolves goaltender Travis Chartier exasperated.  “I think we’re coming together on some specialty teams, we certainly got lots of practice killing penalties this weekend” said Coach Kalb of his team’s readiness.  “We’re in a good spot right now.” It looked like they just couldn’t wait to redeem themselves.  After a disappointing 6-4 loss in Slave Lake on Saturday night, the Huskies got back on track Sunday, with a 13-2 win over the Wolves.last_img read more

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Whoops! Students “Going Google” Get to Read Each Other’s Emails

first_imgsarah perez 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Related Posts A recent bug in Google Apps allowed students at several colleges to read each other’s email messages and some were even able to see another student’s entire inbox. The issue occurred at a small handful of colleges, admitted Rajen Sheth, senior product manager for Google Apps, but he declined to say how many other institutions were affected. However, according to Donald Tom, director of IT for support services at Brown University, one of the institutions undergoing the transition, he got the impression that a total of 10 schools faced the problem. While the glitch itself was minor and was fixed in a few days, the real concern – at least at Brown – was with how Google handled the situation. Without communicating to the internal IT department, Google shut down the affected accounts, a decision which led to a heated conversation between school officials and the Google account representative. Details of the GlitchIn the case of the Google Apps glitch, which began on Friday, September 11th, a couple of students notified Brown’s Computing and Information Services department (CIS) that they were able to read emails belonging to other students. The CIS department contacted Google on the following day and sent out an email to the 200 students whose mailboxes were in transition, asking them whether or not they were experiencing the same problem. Some were. The affected students could either see entire inboxes belonging to another classmate or, in other cases, saw less than 100 messages that did not belong to them.In the end, only 22 out of the 200 students were affected, but the fix was not put into place until Tuesday. That means that the students had access to each other’s email accounts for three solid days (Saturday, Sunday, Monday) as well as parts of Friday and Tuesday before the accounts were suspended by Google.Oddly enough, this situation seems to be acceptable, according to Tom, who, reports Brown’s daily newspaper, “praised Google for its prompt response.” (We don’t know about you, but if someone else could read our email for three days, we wouldn’t exactly call that “prompt.”)Massive data migrations are no small feat and Google’s slip-up in this case is certainly not the first nor the last time that something has gone wrong. Still, Google is notably concerned when problems like this happen. “It was a small hiccup along the way and it’s an issue we’ve taken extremely seriously,” said Google’s Rajan Sheth.The Real Problem Wasn’t Email, it was Lack of CommunicationHowever, the real issue that concerned the university was the matter of communication between Google and the CIS department. Before fixing the issue on Tuesday, Google suspended the affected accounts, a necessary step that was taken so no more data was improperly shared. What angered the IT director, though, was that the accounts were suspended without first notifying CIS. “I’ve spoken very forcefully with the account (executive), my boss, senior administrators at Brown — including the president. (Google needs) to find a better way to communicate with us,” said Tom.When considering a move to a cloud service, most companies and institutions focus on how the change will affect budgets and the bottom line. They also think about data conversion issues and possible needs for re-training in some cases. However, one of the things that doesn’t come up as often is exactly how communication will take place between the business and the company involved. Sure, companies may discuss the procedures (use this form, this phone number) and uptime guarantees, but they can’t possibly imagine every scenario and spell out how they want the cloud provider to perform. No longer can company execs just stroll into the I.T. guy (or gal’s) office and cry out “my email is messed up!” Now there are a few more hoops to jump through. And whether it’s Google or someone else, the interactions that take place and the way the issues are addressed will be a learning experience on both ends. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostingcenter_img Tags:#cloud computing#Google#news#NYT#web Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…last_img read more

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‘New’ sports are bringing the glory

first_imgIt may be tempting for armchair critics to rubbish India’s campaign in the Guangzhou Asian Games as the gold medal tally has been abysmally low till now, with the shooters and lifters being the culprits.However, having traversed many miles from one venue to the other in Guangzhou, Foshan and Dongguan to the rowing complex outside the city, it is clear there is something positive which has emerged for India from these Games. Unlike the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, where venues were in clusters and travel was easy for the average fan, it has been a different experience in this part of China.Just to jog the readers’ memory, when we saw empty stands at venues in New Delhi, the first question was whether tickets had been hoarded, or printed in fewer numbers.A 100 Yuan ticket may not seem a big price, but not every venue in Guangzhou has reported high attendance. Questions on this subject were posed to the Olympic Council of Asia bosses, but their answers were evasive as they spoke of more tickets being put up on sale and how sponsors had perhaps bought blocks of tickets.Without going into the nittygritty, one thing is certain and that is how there are several sports for India where gains have been tangible. An assortment of gold , silver and bronze in rowing, silver in wushu, bronze in tough sports like swimming and gymnastics plus good results till now in volleyball have been eye-openers.At the risk of sounding invidious, I am convinced that it is the new individual sports where India has done well that we need to take a hard look at.advertisementWay back in 1994, when pistol prodigy Jaspal Rana won the standard pistol junior gold medal in at World Championship in Milan, nobody knew what this sport was all about. Agreed, we had maharajas shooting for the country.But the way shooting has evolved as a sport in India and how shooters have been performing in a plethora of championships is praiseworthy.There is no doubt, India have failed in shooting this time at the Asian Games. This should serve as a wake-up call for those who run the sport in the country, where their fetish for holding trial after trial for shooters is ridiculous.Agreed, present performances should be given weightage, but a comprehensive selection policy is a must where one does not rely just on trial scores to pick teams.The second aspect relates to quality of coaching. While in rifle we had Stanislas Lapidus as coach and Marcelo Dradi to help in shotgun, the pistol shooters, barring Vijay Kumar, were orphaned. The National Rifle Association of India needs to urgently address the pistol shooters’ demands.Look at sport like swimming, rowing, wushu, gymnastics and even hockey. The pattern is very clear. Either you get the best coaches from abroad or ensure at home you have committed coaches, like Ismail Baig in rowing, who work with the team like a father figure.In fact, one of the oarsmen was saying that when the rowing team trains in Hyderabad, Baig will even cook up a meal if required.Enough has been written on how coach Vladimir Chertkov ditched our star gymnast Ashish Kumar. But the fact remains Chertkov has made a huge difference and we need to find the right replacement.As for wushu, it is indeed amazing how in a sport where speed, technique, reflexes and style matter, India won a medal through Sandhyarani Devi.What this means is that there is obviously talent at home in these sports and we need not weep that all is lost. From now to the 2012 London Olympics, we need harder training for our athletes. And it is medals from the ‘unknown’ sports which need further encouragement as from rowing to swimming, the cry is for more exposure and training abroad.If in an expensive sport like shooting, the government can spend crores of rupees, some planning has to be done for a pool of athletes who can aim for glory at the 2012 London Olympics.Minus funding, Olympic and Asian Games sport in India will be dead. Since the government has now more or less made up its mind that it will not host the Asian Games in 2019, the least which can be done is invest in Indian sport.We need to get rid of this pessimism. Reality is, today Indian athletes do not go abroad just for exposure. There are talented people in various sports yearning for more encouragement.advertisementSince we cannot adopt a Chinese model for sports promotion, the Indian government needs to fund sport with tight controls in place.Hopefully for that, one will not need to wait till the 2011 budget for getting more money!last_img read more

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Six sin-binned, one sent off as Hull beat Featherstone amid Challenge Cup chaos

first_imgShare on LinkedIn Hull FC Support The Guardian … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Read more Topics Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Challenge Cup Perhaps the headline was the 36th-minute try scored by the Featherstone wing, Luke Briscoe, which equalled the sport’s all-time record for scoring 17 tries in consecutive games, set in 1936 by the Leeds great, Eric Harris. It is a phenomenal milestone, and one which deservedly should be recalled after an otherwise-chaotic evening in West Yorkshire.“He’s absolutely phenomenal,” the Featherstone coach, John Duffy, said of the wing, who could now break the all-time record next weekend when Rovers face Leigh. Featherstone’s focus now turns towards attempting to secure promotion to the Super League via the Qualifiers – and they should take heart from the fact that they will face far worse sides than Hull this summer and yet pushed the reigning holders for periods of this all-action encounter.But by the time victory had long since been secured courtesy of Bureta Faraimo’s two second-half tries, an entertaining cup tie had descended into farce. In total there were seven cards; three yellows to Featherstone players and three to Hull, before Faraimo’s red card seconds before full-time for an appalling challenge on Shaun Robinson.It meant Hull ended the game with just nine men – but before those shambolic scenes, the visitors were, in the end, worthy winners. They face a mounting injury crisis before next Sunday’s Magic Weekend date with Hull KR though; they could be without more than a dozen first-team players for that game, including Faraimo, who surely faces a suspension.Without the first-choice half-back pairing Albert Kelly and Marc Sneyd, their star here was Jake Connor, who scored two of the five first-half tries that put the visitors 30-10 ahead at the break – and though Featherstone fought valiantly thereafter, a comeback never seemed likely.Briscoe’s historic try was followed by another after the break, but when Connor’s superb looping pass found Faraimo soon after, it was clear there would be only one winner. Soon after his second, though, the rugby took a backseat to the card-laden anarchy of the final quarter. Not that Hull, who will be in Sunday’s quarter-final draw, or Briscoe, who has his place in history, will remember that in a few weeks’ time. Since you’re here…center_img Share on WhatsApp match reports Reuse this content Rugby league Tom Johnstone hat-trick against Hull KR lifts Wakefield play-off hopes Share on Pinterest On a night where a 123-year record was equalled, seven cards were shown in a chaotic half-hour of action and one side finished with nine men on the field, it is perhaps inevitable that the continuation of Hull’s three-year unbeaten run in the Challenge Cup was relegated to a mere footnote.Their quest for a third successive cup triumph eventually continued here; in terms of the scoreline and the final result, it was somewhat straightforward despite an admirable effort from Featherstone. Everything else could not have been more surreal. Magic of the cup? At times, this felt like sheer pandemonium. Share on Messenger Share via Emaillast_img read more

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Eurostar trains across English Channel face seven day strike

first_img Share LONDON — Workers on Eurostar trains that operate across the English Channel are planning seven days of strikes over two weekends in August – a peak summer tourist time.The Rail, Maritime and Transport union says its members will stop work for four days starting Friday, Aug. 12. A second stoppage is planned for three days starting Aug. 27, which is the start of a bank holiday long weekend for the British.It wasn’t immediately clear what impact the strike would have on Eurostar’s operations.The strike comes amid a dispute over what the RMT union says is “the work/life balance of safety-critical train managers.”The union claimed Wednesday that Eurostar has failed to honour a 2008 agreement to reduce the number of unsocial hours that the staff is required to work. Tags: Eurostar, Travel Alert Eurostar trains across English Channel face seven day strike Wednesday, August 10, 2016 Source: The Associated Press << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

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