Wikipedia:Jamaican Bobsled Team clause
|This essay contains the advice or opinions of one or more Wikipedia contributors. Essays are not Wikipedia policies or guidelines. Some essays represent widespread norms; others only represent minority viewpoints.|
|This page in a nutshell: While something might not appear to have a snowball's chance in hell, don't ignore process until you are sure it is sensible to do so.|
Wikipedia's Jamaican Bobsled Team clause is a humorous relative to Wikipedia:Process is important. The essay concerns the importance of following the malleable guidelines, policies, and processes reached via consensus within the Wikipedia community.
The Jamaican Bobsled Team
In short, the Jamaican bobsled team should have never had a chance to compete, bobsledding being a winter sport with snow and ice, and Jamaica being a tropical country, devoid of both. Against the odds and beliefs of many people "in the know", the team became an eventual success, competing in many world events, qualifying for the Olympics numerous times and winning numerous events and trials.
How this relates to Wikipedia
Often, after a short time, a consensus may appear evident during the run of a process, whether it be at Articles for Deletion or Requests for Adminship, or even something minor such as a discussion on a source at an article's talk page. There is often a temptation to ignore the process and end discussion prematurely, citing an emerging/evident consensus after a short time.
The Jamaican Bobsled Team clause implores editors, when faced with this temptation, to think of the real life team. Initially, most people would have probably thought that a team of bobsledders from a tropical region would not have a snowball's chance in hell of success. However, the team defied the odds. Often, even if a significant number of editors feel, for instance, an article should be deleted after one day due to lack of evidence of notability, it doesn't harm anything to allow the deletion process to run for its full seven days. At worst, nothing changes and the article is deleted. At best, either a) a true, incontrovertible consensus is reached, reducing possible challenges and appeals in the future, or b) evidence that was not clear at the beginning of the process is presented closer to the end, and a good article becomes the end result.
- Wikipedia:Process is important
- Wikipedia:Ignore all rules, which implores editors to ignore the rules only if they "prevent you from improving or maintaining Wikipedia's quality."
- WP:STEAM, Wikipedia's "Steamroller clause," a humorous essay.
- WP:SNOW, Wikipedia's "Snowball clause," the opposite of this essay and things that bobsleds tend to ride over.
- Wikipedia:No climbing the Reichstag dressed as Spider-Man, self-explanatory, perhaps.