I have been thinking about writing on this particular topic since 2004 but never seem to get around to find the time to sit down, brain storm and write.
Papua New Guineans are mad about sports, in particular Rugby and Soccer, the two most popular sporting codes in PNG. Unfortunately the performance of our national teams does not reflect our enthusiasm and the zeal we ordinary people have for sports. Lately I have been surfing PNG discussion sites like vortexpng, pngscape, masalai blog and waipii, to name a few and have found that national identity and sports seem to pop up as a common denominator that can unite a very diverse country like PNG. Flipping the coin over, and what do you get? OUR DIVERSITY IS OUR IDENTITY! Our weakest point is in-fact is our strength! I will probably write about that in a later post but back to what this post is about – Statistics And Sports In PNG.
Many have commented on better training facilities, tougher competitions, a disciplined and professional approach to sporting codes by coaches and players, and there are many factors. But I want to focus on team sports, down to the club level and talk about STATISTICS. Sports nowadays involves a lot of science, from psychology, performance enhancing drugs (both legal and illegal) to studying player profiles to enhance individual performance and ultimately the team’s. The basic thing which require all these to be done is recording and analysing statistics. You can see how your team fared in a season by recording proper statistics and analysing them later. This will tell you your strong areas, weak areas, where you need to focus your training on, which players to concentrate on and much much more.
I am not a qualified coach nor do I have coaching experience. But I love sports and want to see better results. What I am good at is recording and analyzing statistics using powerful analytical software and interpret what the statistics are saying. One thing that I know for sure is numbers do not lie. So what am I saying here? I am saying sporting clubs in PNG need to engage someone, who works with the club administrators and coaches to design a data collecting system for players and the team which collectively forms the team’s and player statistics. This can be used to monitor the team and individual performance through out a given season. That person can than analyse the statistics and inform the coaches accordingly so that training (both physical and psychological) is targeted appropriately.
My experience has been that in all the clubs that I have been a part of, both soccer and rugby, those clubs did not keep club and player statistics. Now with NSL and the SP cup it’s probably being done anyway. But wouldn’t it be good if amature clubs start analyzing their team’s performancing by recording and analzying their team’s statistics?
With rugby union we have begun this with Insurance registrations, this gives us a basic start with statistics…but you are right we need more data. I personally would like to see the club managers getting more involved at that level and we will be looking at pushing that this year in POMRFU.
In terms of injuries, we pay St. Johns Ambulance to take care of our first aid and in doing so thet report to is monthly on the types of injuries we get.
Our game is growing each year and with the inclusion of a female competition this year, we are running over 533 games this season, with over 3,000 people visting Bava Park a weekend. So statistics are very useful in imrpoving the sport both on and off the field.
Each year also each club is required to hand in a sheet with data on the club, but clubs have been a bit lazy with that and this needs to improve. Like all our sports we do not get paid to do what we do so manpower is one of the issues we have to face when trying to cover all our bases in improving our sport. But I think we will see improvements in this in the next 2 years, especially for rugby which I am involved.
(Emmanuel is the President of Port Moresby Rugby Football Union)
Yeah Emmanuel, I totally agree that manpower, especially to put in the extra hours to do the data collection and analysis. And even more harder when trying to encourage people to do that sort of thing they are not being paid.
I also think it depends on the club management and the clubs have to start realising the importance of keeping good data. I was begining to do this sort of thing for Medics RFU Club but had to leave for overseas for studies. I hope to continue where I left off.
If you need a full time statisticican who will work for POM RFU for FREE!! contact me anytime.
Thanks Rodney, that would be a great help, I’ll email you