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Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Cup & Plate Quarter Finals - Results and Analysis

The results of all 8 matches are shown above. Look away now if you went second...

All 8 games were won by the teams going first. Some of those teams a betting man would have expected to win anyway of course, but there were some thumping margins of victory amongst the games. Nick's site has an interesting post in respect of his game and the below analysis bears out his comments.

The above table makes interesting reading. All 8 games are listed in the columns from left to right and the scores for each of the 6 Rounds can be seen as well.

Rounds 2, 4 and 6 were all won by the teams going first in every game, with the teams going first scoring three times as many points in total as those going second in doing so. Rounds 1 and 3 were predominantly (but not exclusively) won by teams going second, albeit by nothing like the same margin. Scores for Round 5 added up to exactly the same total points scored by those going either way, albeit 5 out of the 8 teams going first won the rounds in their games.

Let me know if you find this interesting. Let me know as well if you don't...

Watch this space for the Cup and Plate Semi Final draws - the Magic Ball Bag will pronounce soon...

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Church House Bollington...

The latest team to feature in our occasional series of portraits is the Church House Bollington, a friendly and welcoming location which we often refer to as "playing in Europe", it being slightly removed from Macclesfield town centre!

In this picture, the estimable Rick Davis is still smarting from the gross mis-direction in respect of which river runs through Norwich. The "official" answer - The Yare. Its good, but its not right as Roy Walker would have said. The River Wensum runs through the middle of Norwich (with the Yare not a million miles away, but not in the middle). We do like these things to be right...

In the picture (from left to right) are Allan Sherratt, Keith Arnold, Ed Baron and Rick Davis.

Cup & Plate Quarter Finals - 26/02/2008

Questions, questions, questions...

You can see all the questions asked in the League via Nick’s excellent site from the link on the right of this page.

The questions last Tuesday (Week 12) promoted quite a few comments from you on the score sheets.

One team awarded an entertainment mark of “minus 273” for the General Knowledge questions, which for the sake of mathematical integrity I took to mean zero (and a nod to question 3 in the Science round!)

The main gripe overall in respect of both sets was the number of “date related” and numerical questions which asked for specific years or numbers, often with very little or no leeway.

This is a general problem that has dogged many sets of questions over the years. Most of us could tell you with some precision the year of “big events” such as the first moon landing or the year of the current Queen’s Silver Jubilee, but I haven’t a clue in which year the elastic band was invented and if I ever wake up at night wondering about precisely when it was then I will arrange to have myself shot.

Our current (and in place for many years) guidelines for question setting say:-

“If the answer to a question is a year or number, always include some leeway unless it is reasonable to expect an exact answer, e.g. the year the Second World War ended.”

I am minded to change the guidelines for next season to a more definitive statement and we can discuss that at the AGM, but in the meantime, PLEASE consider very seriously whether you really need to ask a “date” question, and whether there isn’t a more interesting question to be asked about something that happened in a particular year – there always is!

A final point is on the subject of vetting.

Last week the General Knowledge questions were only shared with the other “vetting” teams right at the last minute, leaving no time for changes to be made. The schedule is fixed right from the start of the season as to who is setting questions etc (for League games anyway). People setting questions now and for the rest of the season have known since the end of last October exactly what is required of them and when.

Please ensure you get your questions done in good time so that other teams can see them and make comments / alterations etc. The best question setters make mistakes and miss things and so it is essential to get a second and even third opinion.

On that subject, at least two teams now this season have drawn my attention to the fact that they have made comments on questions only to find they were all completely ignored.

If comments are made on your questions, please do take them in the spirit in which they are offered and make changes if necessary. It may be that some of the comments are wrong as well, but that is where communication is crucial to this whole process!

Our whole League runs the way it does because of people’s goodwill, lets keep it that way and try and fulfil our responsibilities as best as we can.

And finally, please, no elastic band questions…

Weeks 11 & 12...

As promised, two weeks of results to report on...

In Week 11 we saw our first draw of the season – the Principals and the Dolphin Dragons ending up with 126 each in their A League game.

Apart from that, 7 of the remaining 10 games were won by the team going “first first” (first in the Specialist round) and the other 3 games were won by teams going second.

In Week 12, following the well established “London Bus” principle, we promptly had our second draw of the season in which the Waters Green Wonderers and the Three Crowns shared the spoils in a B League game – 118 apiece.

The trend was then reversed from the previous week in that 3 of the games were won by the team going “first first” and the other 7 games were won by teams going second.

Two thirds of the way through the League season sees everything still to play for at the top and bottom of all 3 Leagues.

The British Flag have opened up the biggest gap in their title push in the B League with the Knot Inn not far behind them in doing the same in the C League.

News & Views - Weeks 11 (12/02/2008) & 12 (19/02/2008)

Monday, 11 February 2008

Cars and Vans 4U Ltd Question Setters Trophy

Week 10...

A tough set of questions this week and "Personal Best" scores were harder to come by than an Alex Ferguson smile on Sunday afternoon...

All credit then to this week's top scorer - Jon Thompson from the Waters Green Wonderers with a terrific 39.

9 of the 11 games played this week were won by the team going first in the Specialist round with the other 2 won by the team going second.

Last week’s Specialist questions were the most difficult we’ve had either in this season or last. Last season’s lowest total in the Specialist questions was 888. The previous lowest this season was 998 in Week 9. This set totalled 771 by all teams. T
he questions also scored on average 24% higher for teams going first.

The GK set were more balanced, being only marginally more difficult than average and only very moderately biased in favour of the team that went second (i.e. first in the Specialist round).

In the A League, the Principals, Ox-fford 'C' and Dolphin all won by similar-ish margins, although the Castle ran the Principals very close with consistent scoring from all the players involved.

The British Flag strengthened their grip at the top of the B League although everyone is still forming a very tight queue behind them. Congratulations to the Cock Inn who move into second place.

The George & Dragon have finally broken the hoodoo and posted their first win of the season, and indeed scored more than any other team in the B League this week in doing so. The Lamb Inn and the Baths Hotel contested the closest game of the week with the Baths edging it by just one point.

The Knot Inn opened up a small gap at the top of the C League after beating the Chester Road Tavern and the Puss Artists now hold second place after a good win over the Park Tavern.

News & Views - Week 10

Monday, 4 February 2008

"Of course I'm drunk, you don't think I'd wear this hat otherwise..."

The end of another long night for Pete Dykstra...

And whilst the New Castle are happy...

...here is a picture of them to celebrate their Cars and Vans 4U success so far.

From left to right the four regular team members are Pete Dykstra, Graham Wallace, Heather Wallace and Shauna Barstow. Neil Wall had excused himself at the bar when this was taken, we will get him next time...

Cars and Vans 4U Ltd Question Setters Trophy

At this point in the season, here is the new "Haydn Thompson" method of marking questions which we are using as the definitive version this year. As discussed previously we have discounted last season's scores as we are now half way through this one, so all marks are based entirely on this season's efforts.

This does change the picture somewhat as you can see - much for the New Castle to be happy about...

Week 9 - Half way there...

At the midway stage of the season all the teams in each League have played the same number of games (7 in the A League, 8 in the B and C Leagues) and patterns are emerging in some cases.

In the A League, the Ox-fford and the Principals could not be closer, both having won 6 and lost 1 of their games and are separated only by a tiny margin on total points scored. The Ox-fford 'C' and the Dolphin are only just behind as well.

The B League is very close. The British Flag have opened up a 4 point lead on their rivals, but their rivals are just about everyone else in the League! The Waters Green Wonderers, Harrington Academicals, Plough Taverners and Cock Inn are all on 10 points and anything could yet happen there. The George & Dragon deserve a special mention for having absolutely no luck at all thus far, being on the losing end of a large number of very close games.

The C League is just as tight with long-time leaders the Knot Inn still 2 points ahead of both the Puss Artists and the Albion. The Prince of Wales, Park Tavern, Harrington 'B' and Sutton Church House are all just 2 further points back.

All to play for as we move into the second half...

News & Views - Week 9