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Clueless Finn

Detective work for finding old game results - WUGC 1998

July 2nd, 2010

The missing scores for Sunday’s (1st day, August 16th) and Thursday’s (5th day of tournament, August 20th) games in World Ultimate Championships in 1998 (Blaine, Minnesota) have been bothering me a lot. For some reason I do not have the tournament newsletters (hard copies) stored in anywhere (was there any newsletter in that tournament anyway?). The pages on WFDF site and from Internet Archive are missing results for those days. And as there are too many missing game results, one cannot even deduct the scores based pon the existing score information and the standings tables.
Finally yesterday I found a posting from containing scores for Thursday. Now it was suddenly possible to calculate the missing scores for Sunday’s games (as I did have Finland’s scores for open and women’s division, and Australia’s open team scores), right?
Well, not so fast. I was successful for open, and masters’ division. For mixed division I now know that USA won over Brazil and scored 17 goals, but the score for Brazil is unknown (something between 0 and 11 goals was best I was able to come up with). In women’s division there were too many missing games still - partly because the existing result sheets seem to be missing a few games for other days as well. Same story for juniors’ division as well.
So, the question is: Anyone out there reading this and knows some of the results I am still missing? Does anyone still have the tournament newsletters?

The first game between two national teams?

June 25th, 2010

I have been under the impression that the first ever ultimate game between two national teams happened in August 23rd, 1979 between Finland and Sweden. The Swedish team was really a club team SFMSC from Örebro, which was elected to represent Sweden as a national team in a scrimmage against Finland.
Just today I however found a reference to a Italy - GB game in 1978 from a UK Frisbee History Facebook group? Was this game the first international game between national teams (and can these two teams considered to be national teams)? Or were there still earlier ones? Anyone? Anyone?

Improving the speed of the site for ultimate national team games - Part 1

June 23rd, 2010

The National Teams of Ultimate site is slow. Period. I am painfully aware of this fact and constantly working on improving the site speed. Based on my rough analysis, there are 4 ways to improve the page download speeds:

  1. Speed up the pipe to the server / improve server speed / use content caching. This is no-go because of the costs and because the improvement for the download speeds would be minimal
  2. Decrease the time spent in various db SELECT queries needed to get the page content from the db. I have already attempted this earlier with limited success. There is lots of room for improvement in here though. Have to get back to the drawing board
  3. Decrease the amount of SELECT queries needed on each page. Not much room in here except for the all_tournaments.php and all_countries.php summary tables pages. Otherwise there is no excessive number of queries to the database on any page.
  4. Convert the whole site to a pile of static pages - I am working on a development server after all and the site is static between each content update (currently those have been happening every week or so)

Today I took initial steps in testing how the conversion to a static site would work. First test was a failure. I downloaded a neat tool called SiteSucker, which recursively traverses the site and fetches the pages to a local folder (yes, I could have used recursive wget instead…).
All that worked well resulting to 15,000+ pages (about 105MB) which is still ok. The problem is that I am using forms / pull down menus for site navigation - those do not work well if the dynamic pages are converted to static pages / URL without the URL parameters. So I have to either change the navigation logic on the pages or I have to find a dynamic-static conversion tool which preservers the URL parameters. Any hints?

Update for NTU - some wording fixes and minor additions to the db

June 21st, 2010

I have been able to keep my promise (mainly to myself) about updating the National Teams of Ultimate web site once a week. The changes in this update are quite minor, but the one thing I am most happy about is that we finally have the placing information for all countries for the first European Ultimate Championships tournament held in Paris, 1980. Special thanks for Klaus Korpela and Marko Timonen for digging up this information!
There are still several tournaments missing placing information, so any hints for those tournaments are very welcome, please see a list for missing information on this page. Thanks in advance for all contributions!

Challenges with people’s names

June 4th, 2010

This past week I spent a lot of time (well, at least more than I expected) in consolidating roster information from a few tournament web sites (mainly EUGC 2008 and EUC 2007) in the National Teams of Ultimate Web site/database (please, if anyone comes up with a better name for the site, please, feel free to send in the suggestion!)
I expected some amount of manual work - after all, many people play in more than one of these national team tournaments and I knew that I need to make some judgement calls on when to create a new person and when to re-use the person existing in the database when I bump into a name already in the database. That turned out to be the easy part. The hard part was everything else.
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New update for ‘National Teams of Ultimate’

June 4th, 2010

For once I was able to keep my promise to do something on time. Even a day or two early.
I am talking about updating the ultimate national teams archive site published last week (in the end of May 2010).
This time the update is mainly on the data side, including a number of games (thanks to Erik Hammer, I was able to get 1989 EUC tournament in good shape) and filling in many, many rosters (total of 121 new rosters are included along with 2100 new people in the database, hopefully with only minor mistakes :-)
More complete listing of added bits and pieces, see the change log.

Dusting off this blog

June 3rd, 2010

It has been a long break (almost 5 years), but it seems a good time to start posting in this blog again. Statistics on ultimate is still the main subject, but at least for some time the point of view is a little different: National team statistics / archive.
This project started as a small collection of national team games for Finnish open team, which was then expanded to cover all divisions (Finland only) and was later published on the Web. Last year the project expanded itself again, and for one week now, the national teams / games archive for all countries has been public. For the coming weeks and months I am striving to fill in the missing details (there are still many of them) and fix the existing mistakes. This blog will chronicle my work towards this goal (in addition to some other occasional sports statistics, sports, and technology postings).

Experiences in recording passing data

November 7th, 2005

In Nationals I recorded passing data from four games using an audio recorder (Jam-Pike on Thu, Furious-Sockeye on Fri, Jam-Furious semifinal and Furious-Sockeye final). I will use the next few days in transcribing those games (starting with final), but I thought to collect my thoughts on pass-level note taking of games.
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Sequences of passes and players

October 2nd, 2005

Auch, one week and no post from me - instead there seems to be a bunch of great posts from various people. Thanks for keeping this blog interesting.

After running around in CTIA and related events for the whole week, I decided to use a few hours to program a small python app to analyze sequences of passes (strings of players and strings of certain types of passes). I wanted to look past single passes to find out if there is a dominant string of players in a team. Or if a team seems to use a certain sequence of passes, like dumps after short attacking passes. Again I used data from WUGC open final: Canada vs. USA. small set of data, I admit.
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Friday fun: Animating passing patterns

September 24th, 2005

In social network analysis world there are tools to visualize static networks, like friendship, communication, trade, etc. Examples of such tools are Pajek and Netdraw and more programmatic tools like GUESS. However if one wants to visualize the change of network over time, possibilities are much more limited. One can for example calculate various network metrics (like centrality, betweenness) on different time points and plot these values on a graph. Another possibility is to use SoNIA. Some time ago I experimented with that tool using ultimate passing data as a data set.
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