Leading up to the Tokyo Olympics, there was every reason to believe the performances would be a mere shadow of what was seen at the Rio 2016 Games and earlier. For about a year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, athletes had not had access to trainers and nutritionists who could help build musculature and physical capabilities, commensurate with that athlete’s sport.
Bill Shankly, a former manager of Liverpool Football Club, once said: “Some people believe football is a matter of life and death. I'm very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.” Many die-hard fans of the sport would agree. But as much as they might love “the beautiful game”, some will tell you that… well, it’s not always that exciting to watch.
Universities around the United States are struggling to deliver their “product” in a manner that preserves its educational and social value. By design, universities draw people together as part of the learning process. Covid-19 challenges this objective, requiring students to distance themselves and not gather in large groups. This conflict is forcing universities to rethink their business models, transforming what they do in a manner that adds value while protecting everyone’s health.
My previous Significance article outlined statistical-based forecasts for the 2019 Rugby World Cup (RWC) by Rugby Vision. According to these forecasts, New Zealand were favourites to win the tournament, but the All Blacks were convincingly beaten by England in a semifinal, and South Africa were crowned 2019 RWC champions.
Now that the dust has settled on the 2019 Rugby World Cup, we can look back and analyze the accuracy of the World Rugby rating system. Before each World Cup, a great deal of attention is paid to the numerical ratings and the resulting ordinal ranking positions of the World Rugby system, and the ratings are assumed to provide guidance on what to expect in terms of match outcomes.