Wikipedia talk:Notability (athletes)

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I think that durability is important such as playing a number of games in the top level of your sport for a number of years. As it reads, I think that it is too restrictive as compared with WP:BIO. Making a representative team is another indicator of notability. Capitalistroadster 03:19, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

I think a hard standard for Bios is too complicated for a genre with that can have so many variables. Obviously, I must say, I'd prefer to see most full and part-time pro athletes with articles... as well as National heroes... as in Olympic athletes and such... DMighton 08:11, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
I'm with you. Hell, from the looks of things, it would be impossible to include any baseball team's 25 man roster to completion. This feels completely misguided. --badlydrawnjeff talk 13:47, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Making a represntative team is a good idea - though that should only be national, not a regional team or state/county team. Number of games played is not a useful criteria - someone can play a fair few games, achieve nothing, win nothing just be a journeyman - are journeymen notable? Not in my book. Robertsteadman 17:14, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

  • I am fine with the current standard and hope it is not changed. Wikipedia is not paper, and playing a game at the top level of your own sport is notable. BoojiBoy 22:42, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

The notability standard I'd like to see for athletes is: *(a) Anyone playing at least one game at the highest level of a fully professional sport; therefore, someone playing in the Premiership or the National Hockey League would qualify, while someone with exclusive experience in lower level leagues or low minor leagues might not;

  • (b) Notable minor-league stars, the criteria for which includes (but is not necessarily limited to) single-season or career record holders, All-Stars and top twenty career record holders across all minor leagues;
  • (c) A starting player or other regular in the highest level of amateur competition in a sport, the criteria for which includes (but is not necessarily limited to) Division I American college sports, Olympic and World Championship competitions or the equivalent, British university teams and Canadian junior leagues; and
  • (d) Such other standards of notability as determined by consensus in the Wikiproject for the sport in question. Ravenswing 23:04, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
I support Ravenswing's proposal wholeheartedly. BoojiBoy 00:14, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
Two major problems. (d) is extremely open-ended, which I encourage only because it gives me a shot to actually have the articles we should have already, and this fails to account for obviously notable minor leaguers who don't fit (b): top prospects, minor leaguers who do rare/notable things, etc. --badlydrawnjeff talk 00:37, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
Well ... (d) needs to be open-ended, because you just can't have one explicit set of criteria that applies to hockey and baseball and tennis and NASCAR and cricket and swimming, etc. Leaving it up to the various Wikiprojects also creates the flexibility in (b); after all, there are many sports in which the concept of a "top prospect" doesn't exist - either you've done something or you haven't. Ravenswing 06:20, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
Someone playying ONE game is NOT notable - they must achieve something. Unless that one game is a final and they score the winner I see that suggestion as being an attempt to simply fill WP with stubs that have no content of merit. Similarly individuals whose career extends to rookie, minor, junior leagues is not notable in the vasy majority of cases - they are also rans and journeymen and should not be on WP> Robertsteadman 05:38, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
A note regarding (c): with a couple of exceptions (such as rowing), British university teams, unlike US college teams, are not usually the highest level of amateur sport. Oldelpaso 19:27, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

Fully professional league[edit]

The current WP:BIO provision referring to athletes who play in a "fully professional league" is too inclusive. Minor league baseball is fully professional in the sense that all the players are paid to play, but that doesn't make their players notable enough to warrant an encyclopedia article. --Metropolitan90 05:53, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

Agreed - and, probably, not about each separate team either. Robertsteadman 17:15, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Sorry, but I disagree, and I think a lot of baseball enthusiasts would too. ColtsScore 22:22, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
  • I disagree as well. It's not too inclusive to incorporate articles of people who get decent press coverage, and get written up in major baseball books. if the current standard at WP:BIO is too inclusive, this one is too exclusive for a number of reasons. --badlydrawnjeff talk 22:28, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
  • I think "minor league" (what constitutes a minor league could itself cause plenty of debate) pros can be notable, but need to have had a longer career at that level to establish notabity than someone who has played at the highest level. For example, in AfD I use a rule of thumb for lower division football (soccer) players of 100 appearances as a pro e.g. Simon Rusk. However, it would not be possible to set a fixed number across several team sports due to differences in the frequency of matches. Oldelpaso 19:22, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
  • But of course; I'm thinking that in order to be notable, a minor leaguer must be a significant and perennial star at that level. I'd just like a place for the Guyle Fielders of the world on Wikipedia. Ravenswing 20:55, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
  • I agree with Ravenswing, we can't have articles on every nn minor leaguer or college ball player. Jaranda wat's sup 03:24, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
  • The wording that I should like to see in the guidelines is:

"Plays in the major, national, professional league for their sport".

As I have said elsewhere the problem with allowing minor league basball players in is that it would open the door to all sportsmen who have been paid to play (including me since I was once paid to play in a bridge team :-) ). Here in the UK all non-league footballers (several thousands of them) come into the same category as minor league baseball. Multiply that across all sports and all countries and the size of the problem becomes apparent. BlueValour 03:47, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

I generally agree with Ravenswing's attitude on the subject. Among major sports I'm most familiar with baseball players, and there are a significant number of players who did not appear in the major leagues who are nonetheless notable for their accomplishments as an amateur or in a "minor" league. This is a particularly important distinction for players from before the 1930s, since at that time it wasn't always clear what constituted a "major" league and the farm system as we know it had not yet come into being. If we permit articles for minor league or amateur players with records, awards, and/or All-Star appearances, I think that'd be fair. -Hit bull, win steak(Moo!) 17:56, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

Beyond that, many big leagues just used to be a lot smaller. North American big league football, basketball and baseball have doubled in size from the Sixties on, hockey's increased fivefold, and soccer's come into existence. Many of today's great pro stars would have been doomed to minor league careers in 1950. Ravenswing 14:14, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

Olympic Athletes[edit]

I support these guidelines because simply taking part in an Olympic Games should not be sufficient. An athlete who finished 15th in the Games recendly survived an AfD because she was an 'Olympiad'. She had not even won her national championship. Hardly notable in my book.

BlueValour 23:58, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

I'm intrigued. Ok, ummm let's say a runner finished 15th at the olympics... but what if he is considered a countries top runner and has many national accolades like top athlete awards or hold his countried fastest time... could he then be eligible? Or what if he is terrible at the Olympics, but was amazing at the Pan-Ams? Or some internation circuit event... Super-G for skiing, Tour de France for biking, the various figure skating championships... What is your take? DMighton 08:05, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Fair points but this section is debating whether being an Olympian is sufficient and I'm arguing that it is not. As you rightly say there are many alternative ways to achieve notability. BlueValour 23:43, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

I think merely being an Olympian is insufficient. EVen being the best athlete in a poor sporting nation is insufficnet and, at best, only really warrants a mention in an article about sports in that country. Fair enough to have some mention of other things than the Olympics - but that must be carefully restricted to genuine noteworthy events - not the myriad of tournemants that fill the schedules. Robertsteadman 17:17, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Agreed; we've seen some thoroughly terrible athletes at the Olympics who get to compete solely because they're the best (and generally only) ski jumpers in Nauru, or some such. As far as other sports go, I'd leave that up to the various Wikiprojects to determine ... there's no blanket criteria that would stretch across all sports, team and individual alike, I'm sure. That being said, they must make some genuine determination: I agree that not every tournament should be considered notable. Ravenswing 23:07, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
I'd say every Olympian deserves an article. If you're the best ski jumper from Nauru, I'd say that was quite notable. That would make a good news story, a ski jumper from Nauru :) --curling rock Earl Andrew - talk 03:13, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
Personally, I agree with Robert on this one. With the exception of people remarkably notable for their ineptitude, such as Eddie the Eagle, simply qualifying for the Olympics should not be enough. Resolute 04:05, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
Can you remember any offhand, Earl? I sure can't, and we're both sports fans. Like Resolute, I remember Eddie the Eagle (although without looking, how many people can really give his nation, surname and the actual Olympiad in which he competed?), but that was just the 15 minute wonder of that year, promptly forgotten. The whole point of "notability" is not "we can find some editor, any editor, who heard of this bloke, or claims to do so." Ravenswing 04:09, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
Well, I can, but I live in Calgary.  ;o) Resolute 04:23, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
  • While I question whether every Olympic athlete should be considered notable enough for a Wikipedia article, I should note that there are a significant number of editors who disagree, as evidenced by Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Lecomte, in which an article about an 8th-place finisher from the 1900 Olympics was kept even though the man's first name is unknown. --Metropolitan90 03:27, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
There are similar AFD results at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Christine Robinson and Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Albert Baumann. -Hit bull, win steak(Moo!) 18:01, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

I believe that all Olympic athletes are notable, and if you discriminate against the ski-jumper from Nauru because even the best ski-jumpers from Nauru can't win medals, you're just helping to perpetuate systemic bias within the encyclopedia. If you're the best in your country, then you belong, regardless of the size of the country. -Hit bull, win steak(Moo!) 18:01, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

Alright, I'll bite: what makes a nation-state the defining value of notability? California alone would just miss the Top 30 in population if it were an independent nation, and it has more people than the bottom 58 nations combined; why shouldn't California's athletes receive the same recognition as Nauru's? (Heck, there are thirteen nations smaller in population than that of the city I'm now in, which is something like the eighth largest in Massachusetts. Why shouldn't Quincy's athletes top Nauru's?) Ravenswing 20:06, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
The world's most prominent sporting events (such as the Olympics and the World Cup) implicitly demonstrate the equality (or at least peerage) of participants from different nations, simply by virtue of being international in scope and structure. This is perfectly sensible, since sports began as a ritualized proxy for warfare; the equal standing of nation-state-level competitors, even those unequal in skill, has been recognized since the origin of athletic competition, and it'd be a perversion of the historical order for us to rule against it now.
If you don't like that argument, you can also base a case on the international nature of Wikipedia itself. Wikipedia recognizes the validity of contributions from even the tiniest of nations, and even encourages them through structural means like the cross-language links to equivalent articles in different tongues. If we didn't care about the athletes of Nauru, why would we have Nauruan Wikipedia in the first place? So they can read a translated version of our article about the 100th-best runner in California? -Hit bull, win steak(Moo!) 13:39, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

What about teams?[edit]

I'd be interested as to how these suggestions work when transferred to teams as I am having a min-battle with the ice hockey fraternity who want separate articles for EVERY Junior A, B and C team (that's basically youth sides below Rookie and College teams). Is there a guideline? Robertsteadman 17:39, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

I'd hate to bother you Rob, but there is no such thing as rookie league in hockey. Also, in hockey (unlike in other sports) junior is not considered lower than college or university... also, in many cases, NHL clubs prefer to send their players under 21 back down to Junior instead of Semi-Pro (as Junior will develop them better than Semi-Pro). Another interesting fact is that the large majority of all NHL players are drafted directly from Junior, the rest are divided between Euro Pro and College/University. At one point, college players were rarely drafted in the entry draft. Until the mid-90s, college players only could be drafted into the pros through a Supplementry draft that was very, very short... with few draft picks to teams who were interested. Junior is not considered amateur as it does have a base salary (in one form or another) and is controlled by contracts -- been there, done that. The true pecking order in hockey goes like this: Pro -> Junior -> Minor with University sitting slightly back of junior, semi-pro barely ahead, and college is not notable (unless in the US where University is College, American College is roughly comparable with Canadian University Hockey). Also, you must note that Junior A, B, and C is not based wholly on skill level, but mostly town size. Many B teams could openly compete in A with no problem and even the odd C could make that jump... that is why Junior teams often jump leagues on a regular basis.
As to guidelines, try this one on for size, just because a person or team or league isn't notable in Japan, doesn't mean it won't be notable in Ireland... or Chile... Iraq... or Alberta. Junior teams are notable in Canada, by province (our provinces are generally twice as big as most countries as most know), by nature. I know you don't understand our system Rob, and hey, that's cool... no big deal... and I don't expect you to know much more than you do right now. Hockey is the religion in my nation. DMighton 03:56, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
So now who's trolling? The example of Rookie was to put it in context of other sports. "Your" system? The WP system is to have notability to entries and that is what teams should have. I know how ice hockey works and I know that junior/juvenile and midget leagues are not of sufficiently notability to be on WP. Robertsteadman 06:23, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
I don't play your "game"... and I am allowed to add to a discussion as long as it pertains to the topic and remains civil -- which I have done. We were discussing the reputability of Junior leagues. I was being nice and explaining a few things that you have ill-conceived notions of... if you wish to throw around your opinion and not have people who know what they are talking about discussing these facts with you -- well, stick to blogging.
So anyways, you have either read my explanation of the Juvenile/Midget thing on the AfD or have chosen to ignore it -- So I will cut and paste it for you right here:
  • Comment It is apparent you didn't read into it or didn't research it on any of the google hits you found last time you AfD'd this article. It is not a problem, I will explain. This JUNIOR league is multi-tiered during the regular season. As I can see, you seem to like euro football, so you might be able to understand this system. 3 different levels of hockey compete in interleague action... Junior "B", Juvenile, and Midget AAA... at the end of a roughly 40 game season... the 4 Junior "B" teams are the only ones allowed to compete in the playoffs... the playoff champion competes out west for the Keystone Cup. The Minor level teams compete in their perspective All-Ontario playdowns and no longer have anything to do with the TBJBHL... their results in the league do not enhance or disrupt their seeding in the Ontario minor playoff systems and are only used as "filler" for the Junior teams and as a way to warm up for the playoffs for the Minor teams. The Juvenile and Midget teams have not been included in the TBJBHL article other than in passing and have little to do with the Northern Hawks and therefore have nothing to do with this AfD. Hopefully this helps you. DMighton 00:07, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
So there you go. Hopefully you understand this analysis of the league... you've seemed to miss this every other time... but I am hoping you understand. The single Juvy team and the 2 Midget teams don't even compete in the playoffs... their games played in the league don't even count according to their governing body -- Hockey Northwestern Ontario. The article covers Junior "B" hockey, look into it if you want. DMighton 06:57, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

They are still a Youth side for teens - now please stop trolling me. Your trolling last night and this morning has already been reported. Robertsteadman 07:05, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

He is no more trolling than you are ... should we point fingers at you for hitting every conceivable avenue on Wikipedia to impose your POV on the majority, or just presume that you're interested in altering the criteria for athlete notability like many others? In any event, your "context" is dead wrong; far more NHL players come from the junior leagues than from college, and the few times college teams have played major junior clubs, they've been crushed. Ravenswing 23:11, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
  • With regard to teams there obviously has to be a cutoff - the question is where? I should like to see the qualification as playing in the major national league for that sport. BlueValour 23:49, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
    • If a team is professional, it should be included, period. This I cannot budge on, and will fight constantly over if need be. The issue with athletes is that some people, for reasons unknown, think adding a bunch of minor league players hurts the encyclopedia. Obviously, professional teams do not. --badlydrawnjeff talk 23:59, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
      • Agreed. Let's take hockey for an example. Hell, North Korea, of all places, has a national league for hockey. By contrast, I think of the Oklahoma City Blazers, which plays in a low minor league three cuts below the NHL, and yet still perennially has attendance over nine thousand fans a night, the highest average for any level of hockey outside the NHL. Yet what, the Blazers aren't notable? Ravenswing 06:41, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
        • Just a little correction, that is not the highest average for any level of hockey outside the NHL. For example, Frölunda HC in the Swedish Elitserien has an average attendance of between 11,000 and 12,000. – Elisson Talk 22:07, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
        • I also think any fully professional team should definitely be regarded as notable. Or rather, a team that has been professional for a significant period of its history - there are teams which used to be professional but no longer are which I would regard as notable. Oldelpaso 19:05, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Previous discussion suggested a qualification as playing in the major national league for that sport. The thing is, a single province in Canada is often at least as big as one, if not three European nations. The notability of the athletes that come from one of those smaller nations may be about the same as the notability of an athlete who plays at a less-than-national level in a huge country like Canada. For example, if we look at the British national ice hockey team. They won an Olympic Gold medal in 1936 (highly notable) and a European Championship in 1910 (again, very notable). Since that time, they really haven't done as much. I'm not sure how many NHL-level players (notable people) have come from that team, but I'm betting it's less than the 7 that have come from the Antigonish Bulldogs team.[1] Also, in a country that has little interest in cricket (like Canada), athletes just won't have the same notability, even at a national level, as they would have in a country that is cricket-mad. I'm not sure that a blanket policy to cover all sports, and includes geographic differences can be fair. Maybe each sport needs its own policy, as determined by the wiki-projects that look after it. ColtsScore 23:14, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

But the population of Canada is only about 30 million..... There are many European countries with larger populations! Robertsteadman 07:34, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

Seven, anyway, if you count Ukraine. What's your point? Ravenswing 10:47, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

The point is that it is a meaningless way of comparing for these purposes... The Netherlands are, unquestionably, one of the best footballing nations in the world but have a small population. So Canada having 30 million says nothing about the worth of its sports teams. Robertsteadman 10:51, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

Then why did you bring up an argument that you knew from the start was meaningless? ColtsScore argued geography, not population. At any rate, the argument over the notability of lower level teams appears to be moot as the consensus was to keep the articles. My ultimate argument regarding this issue is posted on my user page. Resolute 18:57, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
And that arguement is meaningless - sorry but no one has shown how youth teams, and kiddie teams are in any way notable enough to be in an encyclopeia. I am already in discussion over this with a number of people - THunder Bay Northern Hawks days are limited....Robertsteadman 19:52, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
Also the decision was to keep that one article not all articles of youth/kiddie teams as your use of plurals suggests. Robertsteadman 20:12, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
Much of this discussion appears to be fallout from this AfD, and looks to be of only tangential relevance to the discussion here, unless the intention is to extend the proposal to Notability (sports). Please keep things civil and on topic. Oldelpaso 21:16, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
Fair enough, and you are correct. Sadly, it seems this debate is destined to rage on indeterminately, but is best taken elsewhere. Resolute 22:16, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

Related discussion[edit]

WikiProject Football has a related discussion at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Football/Notability. Oldelpaso 18:59, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

Sports wiki[edit]

I'm thinking about making a proposal for a sports wiki, similar to Wikispecies in . A wiki like that will help end conflect on non-notable minor league baseball players and college athetes by giving them their own wiki. Any thoughts. Jaranda wat's sup 03:44, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

It might eb a solution - but, really, if they are not notable they're not notable - shunting them elsewhere won't make a difference. I think the question to ask is: If someone wants to find out about X, will they think to use WP, or, because of the subject's achievements (or lack), will they look elsewhere? Robertsteadman 07:38, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
While I demonstrably disagree with Mr. Steadman on his definition of notability, I agree that Wikighettos aren't useful. Frankly, if someone wants to look up an obscure minor leaguer that badly, he's not going to use Wikipedia at all; he's going to go to SABR, where researchers of somewhat higher qualifications than your average Wikieditor are doing their thing. Ravenswing 21:29, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
And if someone wants to look up about a Junior ice hockey team.... WP or somewhere else? It's quite a good rule of thumb for whether WP is the right place for an article. Robertsteadman 21:34, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
The main merit of Wikipedia is its comprehensiveness, so it's shooting ourselves in the foot to split it up. In any case, all that would do is move the debate from "Who gets in" to "Who gets in here, and who gets in there." Golfcam 00:46, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

Let's not go nuts[edit]

The proposed policy is really restrictive. Even as a deletionist, I find this one goes way overboard. In my mind things as basic as making an all-star team in a professional league or winning major individual awards should clearly be sufficient. I'll add these. Pascal.Tesson 18:30, 24 June 2006 (UTC)


I appreciate all the feedback for the proposal. When I wrote it, I knew it wasn't perfect, and I know it can be improved with some agreed-upon suggestions. I'm aware of the whole "wikipedia is not paper" and "sum of all human knowledge concepts" (which I personally disagree with), but there should be an emphasis on quality over quantity. It doesn't make a lick of sense to me that all these cookie-cutter articles are created, when we don't make much of an effort to improve the existing articles. The truly undisputable notable athletes probably all have articles at this point. So many articles are around that will never get past stub status. They basically go in this format: "player was born in this city, he played for these teams, and he has these career stats". Nothing you couldn't get out of a standard sports reference site (like

I started this proposal after I had put an AfD on the golfer Michael Christie, and I thought it was for sure a lock and shut case. He was primarily a minor league golfer who did play 1 full season on the PGA Tour (only marginally well) and committed suicide a few years ago. Most of the keep votes were due to this player's experience on the PGA Tour, which was not spectacular or notable at all. You can figure out more details on the AfD page. I had also spotted a page of a usa football player who was an offensive lineman for one game in the NFL (or such), and that went through an AfD and was kept. That's just ridiculous.

With all the sports wikiprojects available, notability guidelines should be streamlined into each of them. And the golf stars project really needs work, they have a "goal" of creating pages on every single golfer on the PGA Tour, and that's just a little extreme. I will try to look at the other comments, debates and projects, but we really need to restrict things quite a bit. --Burgwerworldz 05:53, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

I absolutely agree - WP shouldn't be a catalogue for everything. As I have said before - ask yourself where someone would turn to look up the info about "X" - if their first or second response isn't WP then the inclusion of that athlet/tea/anything else on WP has to be questioned. Robertsteadman 07:33, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
Jimbo has said that we're supposed to provide access to "the sum of human knowledge". I think that having pages on people like Michael Christie is a reasonable and valuable example of this principle in action. -Hit bull, win steak(Moo!) 18:04, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
First off, I feel that your response is a violation of WP:CIVIL. Second, Jimbo is not god and we don't have to bow down to him and carry out every word that he says. "The sum of homan knowledge" tag is a really catchy tagline/slogan, but there is no clear way to know what that means, and it will never be possible to have the "sum", we just need to do a good job of informing people about topics. And in your edit summary, you say that Jimbo disagrees ith me, how do you know that? He's never said anything to me, and I bet he'd be in support of a guideline like this. Personally, I don't think that having a massive glut of articles is good for WP. I am a firm believer in quality over quantity, we need to make the articles better, and not just blindly create every article possible. I am in the process of revising the proposed guidlines, and I will not stop until there is more restrictions on the notability of athletes. I'm only trying to help and save time. More later. --Burgwerworldz 02:37, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
I understand your point of view, Burgwerworldz, but I am afraid you've got it wrong over the meaning of drafting a guideline and making it adopted by the community. This is a process of consensus building. A guildeline simply won't hold, no matter de jure nor de facto, if a significant portion of the community disagrees with it, even if the guideline may have been the best thing since sliced bread in the proposers' point of view. By now it should be clear that there exists significant objection towards the very existence of such a proposal, not to mention whether it is an appropriate one, as of this moment. It may be more fruitful if this proposal is now withdrawn and then re-drafted and re-submitted to the community for approval at a more opportune time later on when, say, most of the sports covered here have their own workable notability criteria, or to narrow down the scope of the proposal to cover only those areas where it is easier to estabilsh a notability criteria, or when more people are convinced of the need of such a notability criteria. It would not work, no matter how hard you try, if a significant portion of the community is still in doubt.
And, for the record, I fail to see how Hit bull, win steak's reply is in violation of WP:CIVIL in any sense at all. --Pkchan 09:22, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
Agreed on both counts. Like Burgwerworldz, I'd like to see more restrictive criteria put into place, because as written, every guy who's played so much as a single game for which anyone's slipped him a paycheck, at any level of competition, is eligible under WP:BIO, and that's crocked. That being said, as one editor said in an AfD debate, "Wikipedia is not written to please me." If the consensus is to include each and every athlete, then that's the consensus. It may be human nature to believe we each know better than the next guy, but pretty arrogant to believe our visions should be imposed against the tide. Beyond that, being so touchy that mere disagreement is perceived as civility violation sure won't win any converts to the proposal. Ravenswing 14:25, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure how anyone could reasonably see that commment as a violation of WP:CIVIL. As for the more serious point, I'm not opposed to the idea of standards; I just think that the standards you want are unreasonably restrictive, while the current ones are unreasonably lax. If anything, we should adopt an approach similar to Ravenswing's proposal, which looks like it'd do a good job of sorting the wheat from the chaff. -Hit bull, win steak(Moo!) 16:44, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
I considered the comments that the above user made to be in violation of WP:CIVIL as the guideline states that rudeness is not tolerated. There was a strong sense of rudeness shown in the response and especially in the edit summary where it says "I don't agree with this, and neither does Jimbo", which is hard to say since he hasn't personally commented on this. For what it's worth, I'm just tired of fighting this, and if someone wants to redraft the guidelines to something a bit more of a compromise, that is fine, just please don't make "appeared in one season/game in a professional league" a part of it. --Burgwerworldz 17:14, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
I looked back at it again, and I still can't see any part of it that'd reasonably be considered rude. I don't agree with your position, but that's certainly not rude in and of itself. As for the edit summary, it's just a simple one-sentence summation of the content of the post. You seem to be actively looking for slights where none are present. -Hit bull, win steak(Moo!) 18:27, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

Is this really necessary?[edit]

With due respect, I do not understand for one moment why is this guideline necessary at the first place. One of the many great things about Wikipedia is that it is not bounded by a physical media (yes, I mean paper) and allows everyone to be able to contribute in content and knowledge which ordinary editors don't bother to include in ordinary encyclopaedias. Another great thing about Wikipedia is that we have a large enough community of editors to keep watch of newbie contributions, make articles to reach a sufficient and acceptable level, and filter out vanity and vandalism and bullshits. Why don't we stick to our strengths and instead draw up a notability guildeline that will only do harm?

It is true that many sportspeople articles will never by anything more than a stub. This, however, doesn't mean we'll then have to draw a line to exclude categorically all those articles which are deemed "non-notable". In fact, I would submit that "stubs" is another great thing about Wikipedia: where we do not know fully well, at least we can put down as much as we know and, as long as a stub complies with other policies such as NPOV and veriability, it is publishable and is indeed published. For the really unacceptable ones, there are WP:CLEANUP, WP:AFD and other mechanisms to deal with those.

A notability guildeline for sportspeople is particularly inappropriate because of two reasons. First, for most sports there already exist a pretty stable community which helps to filter out vanity and vandalism and bullshits and to improve quality of articles for less-known players as they appear: see for instance Wikipedia:WikiProject Football, to which I am a member of. Such communities is more apt to implement mechanisms like Wikipedia:WikiProject Football/New articles to keep a community-wide drive of quality well and alive.

Second, there are too many sports over here that a single notability guideline would have problem satisafactorily covering all. For instance, the current proposal would have excluded many professional football players whose career is exclusively in the "lower" leagues (eg English Championship, Division One and Division Two). Not even the current proposal at WikiProject Football, which is still in proposal stage but has been adopted by many members in AfDs (eg this one also mentioned earlier), has something as draconian as that. And I suspect there may be many other sports which will encounter similar problems.

I call for this proposal to be withdrawn and, at best, delegated to individual sports for further consideration. --Pkchan 11:33, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

But is a footy player who has only ever played in the lower leagues, never repreented their country and not appeared in a "Wembley" final notable? Surely you're not saying that simply being a pro means they are notable? I think we need some global WP criteria that ensure that all the projects are adopting a similar standard - ice hockey have youth teams and leagues listed - surely football wouldn't do that? But is football trying to get every player ever listed? Robertsteadman 12:07, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
The question is, why not? Why is a lower-league player not worthy of a mention in Wikipedia? Why is a professional football player not notable, if an editor has gone through the trouble of writing it and making it NPOV and verifiable? For my rationale on the other side of the argument, see my post immediately above. And, for the record, WikiProject Football is not aiming to create an article for every football player; see the current proposal at WikiProject Football. --Pkchan 14:16, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
Simply being a pro footballer does not mean you are notable - why shoudl any journeyman (or journey team) be considered notable - the also rans, the cannon fodder..... what have they done that is notable? There needs to be some clear guideliens that can be converted to each sport to stop WP being filled full of pointlesss, non-notable rubbish. If we have all pro players, why not semi-pro - next we'll have every youth player and team (and that's what teh ice hockey project are currently doing). Genuine notability is worthy of a mention - otherwise leave it out orr include their mention within a team page only. Robertsteadman 15:59, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
I too call for this proposal to be withdrawn. There is no chance in hell that general athlete notability guidelines will work with the hundreds of different sports in the hundreds of different countries in the world. Leave it to the WikiProjects. – Elisson Talk 22:07, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

Doing nothing more than leaving criteria up to the Wikiprojects is code for making no notability guideline at all. The Wikiprojects have little sway to set any such criteria, and there's little evidence the AfD editors would pay much attention anyway. I've been an AfD hawk for some months now, and it's hard enough to get many editors to pay attention to black-letter policy. For another thing, it's shortsighted to claim there's no way to harmonize standards; you could claim with just as much justification that it's unfair to place the same sales standards on authors of romance novels as on science fiction books. Without exception, every sport has a recognized circuit, league or leagues representing the highest level of competition. Without exception, every sport recognizes record holders and those accomplishments it deems noteworthy. Without exception, every sport has some competition (or handful thereof) generally regarded as its most prestigious championships. Without exception, every team sport (and many individual ones) have notable or recognized all-star selections. So far, no criteria have been proposed that set numerical standards that obviously differ between sports. Wikipedia is not wastepaper; let's make it a worthy encyclopedia, not just a meaningless collection of everything. Ravenswing 02:49, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

Also keep in mind that Wikipedia is not a directory or database. I will make sure that this proposal is not withdrawn and that there can be some compromise into preventing an influx of undeserving athletes have articles created for them. For the most part, we are doing alright so far (in terms of article creation), I don't see too many articles that should be deleted. And I still think that instead of trying to create articles for everyone, let's fix up the articles that we have, that would help this site more than anything. --Burgwerworldz 09:39, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

Hear, hear to Ravenswing and Burgwerworldz. Robertsteadman 09:42, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

I am afraid both my general point and my specific point haven't been addressed. For the general point, I am still looking forward to a convincing reason as to why a notability criteria is necessary at the first place for sportspeople. I am sure you all have heard of the argument about Wikipedia is not paper so I am not going to repeat here. And we are not talking about mere databases here, but articles; I am sure Wikipedia have mechanisms to sort out those articles permanently deprived of meaningful content without improvements without having to resort to notability -- and even a lower league player can have plentiful of meaningful content written about him/her. As to the specific point, I would like to point out that the current proposal will result in massive NN in football articles alone; I suspect that more than half of the players on 2006 FIFA World Cup (squads) or indeed List of Arsenal F.C. players (which is a featured list) will become NN pursuant to this proposal. And you can hardly say that those articles are mere directory/database entries; most of them convey a meaningful narrative of a real character in an acceptable manner. Again, what for? --Pkchan 18:31, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
No, because the 2006 World Cup players have played in a representative team.... Arsenl players are notable by playing in one of the most successful clubs in the world - if Ian Botham had not been a cricketer but had only had his tiny career with Scunthorpe United - would do you think he still deserved a WP article? I would say no. Robertsteadman 18:35, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
I am not sure your interpretation is representative of this proposal as of its current version; I fail to see "representative team" or "successful club in the world" being mentioned there (not to mention that the latter is probably POV -- though I can accept that as a Gooner :) (and I fail to see the connection with Ian Botham either). And no, I am not pushing for these two criteria being added back to the proposal; what I am trying to point out is that, as Johan Elisson rightly pointed out above, it'll be really difficult to arrive at a notability criteria (if thought fit) that can apply to so many different sports in the world. --Pkchan 19:26, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
Errr ... what part of being on a national side represented in the World Cup doesn't encompass being on an all-star team? Beyond which, now we're talking about rules-lawyering; I can think of no notability process which anyone would attempt to use to cut down World Cup team members or Arsenal regulars without being shouted down. Ravenswing 21:30, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
Interpretation and speculation is only to be expected on any rule or guideline that aims to be all too embracing. I raised my 2 examples mainly to demonstrate how this proposed guideline may be inconsistent with the current understanding for football articles. And I haven't even raised, say, Category:Wycombe Wanderers F.C. players.
Having said that I still stand by my viewpoint -- according to the current proposal, most players on 2006 FIFA World Cup (squads) and List of Arsenal F.C. players would become NN. There's no mention of whether the club's successes would make a player notable (and it may also lead to undesirable result if it does -- consider the likes of Anthony Stokes (footballer)). And a world cup squad is much different with a all-star team: it is selected by the national team coach on behalf of the national FA, not voted by fans; and bear in mind some of the editors here proposed above that even playing in the Olympics won't make one notable! --Pkchan 16:59, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

Well, as you can guess, I disagree - I think its quite straightforward - the problem is convincing the warriors who want biggre and bigger representation of their hobby horse to apply the criteria. Robertsteadman 19:51, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

I agree with the points made by Pkchan and endorsed by Elisson. This proposal is restrictive and unnecessary. It references a Hall of Fame, all-star teams, milestones in baseball, and awards for a variety of player-type (Player of the year, Offensive player of the year, Defensive player of the year, Rookie of the year, etc) all of which mean very little to people outside of the American continent. No provision appears to have been made for the sport involved in the most widely-viewed sporting event in the world, (except in some catch-all conclusion where reference is made to football without specifying which type(s)). To try to formulate such a wide reaching guideline within the terms used makes this doomed from the start. There are a myriad of less prestigious sports where such stringent rules would be unworkable but, nonetheless, they have a place in Wikipedia. We have measures, as have been referenced above, for removing the less-deserving articles, and projects to oversee specialist areas. Please let us concentrate more on inclusive means rather than on processes destined to cause problems risking the exclusion of excellence and minorities. -- Alias Flood 22:36, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
Again, I will admit that the proposal I wrote may need to be a little more "generalized", but what we need to do is revise the vague guideline set in place by WP:BIO so that we can put some higher standards into article creation. Instead of trying to get the total article count up and such, let's focus those energies on improving the articles we have now. The requirement of "playing in a fully professional league" is just asking for it. That meaning is so loose and can open the floodgates which would lower the qualities of WP.
I think a big point of this debate is the "inclusion schools" that have been set here. There are deletionists and inclusionists. I've seen a few of both here. WP will not be a better place if we just make hundreds of stubs of players that could never be expanded, there are other websites that you can get that info from. The motto "the sum of all human knowledge" is what so many editors here strive to achieve, but that's just a catchphrase, it can't happen, it won't happen, and it shouldn't happen.
Even looking at stub categories, there are now 363 stubs for American football defensive lineman, over 400 for offensive lineman, 342 for linebackers, 136 tight ends, around 400 defensive backs. That's over 1600 stubs for the less notable football positions that which the majority of can not be expanded, especially the offensive lineman, who usually cannot record statistics. And i'm sure for other sports, the situation is worse. What i'm trying to make a point of is, why feel the need to create more articles, when there are thousands of stubs that really need attention from us.
And yes, I have no problem working toward revising my proposal some. I don't agree with the comments that a proposal like this would be difficult to accept or implement. Wikipedia is not a junkyard, but at this point, it is far from a mansion. --Burgwerworldz 02:36, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
Permit me some headshaking. Perhaps the soccer fans don't feel sufficiently (and explicitly) stroked, but then again that could be said of many sports. To address Alias Flood's specifics, the Premiership [2] maintains season-end All-Star teams, individual awards, and the like; Thierry Henry would be surprised at the assertion that the Premiership lacks a Player of the Year award. [3], and Ronaldinho would likewise be surprised that FIFA didn't have Player of the Year awards of its own. No Rookie of the Year? FIFA might demur at that too, considering the Golden Ball awards it issues at the biannual World Youth Championships. May we check the chauvanism at the door? Ravenswing 04:14, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
It would be more pertinent at this point to check Wikipedia:Civility. -- Alias Flood 15:49, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
Why can't stubs of offensive linemen be expanded? Even if they don't typically have as many recorded statistics as other positions, you can still add info about their personal lives, their college careers, their draft position, their record of games started, their awards/honors/championships, and published descriptions of their technique and style of play. Far too often, people here say "It can't be expanded" when they really mean "I wouldn't take the time to expand it". You need to remember that you yourself are probably not representative of the user base as a whole; all it takes is one guy with an interest in the subject, and then you end up with a good article. -Hit bull, win steak(Moo!) 18:10, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
I just wanted to say that I am not a fan of football/soccer, and I know little about it, so I would ask someone with a better grasp of it to help me figure out guidelines. Burgwerworldz 04:27, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
I do appreciate this comment. I respect and admire what is being sought here but I have doubts over its necessity and whether it is possible. The scope of sport is so large that I do not think that it would be workable to arrive at more practical guidelines and processes than those that we have at present. -- Alias Flood 16:00, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

My observation here is that this proposal is targeting too large a scope. May I point your attention to this section at the policy creation guideline, which says: "Choose policies that have sprung up organically, not imposed from the top down". If, as it apprears, the hockey or baseball editors (who appears to have made up a majority of the contributors here) aren't able to formulate a guideline even for the respective sports, then it isn't hard to imagine that it will only be more difficult to form a consensus here at an even higher level.

If we are to make any notability guideline of such nature in the future, it would be way more efficient if there had already been established, stable and smooth guidelines for the respective sports. Before then, this proposal, I am afraid, will only breed in-fightings among some editors while making other editors confused and puzzled. --Pkchan 16:59, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

It isn't that we haven't been able to form guidelines; it's that we've preferred guidelines to be formed on a Wikipedia-wide level, as opposed to developing seriously divergent criteria between different sports. Doing so would just create confusion and fragmenting, and make any sort of athletic consensus impossible to achieve, as every group of editors hotly defended their own accustomed way of doing things. Of course WP:HOCKEY could develop its own standard. Is that fragmentation what people really prefer? Ravenswing 05:57, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
It doesn't appear to be the case for hockey at least, as read from this thread. --Pkchan 15:02, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
You mean the discussion in which Mr. Steadman (who has not hitherto chosen to be a part of the hockey WikiProject, as to that) disagrees with every single WP:HOCKEY member who's chimed in as to the nature of junior leagues? I'm sure you're not asserting that no WikiProject has dissenters in a small minority, or that Wikipedia requires unanimity as opposed to consensus. Ravenswing 16:34, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

Absolutely not - we must have comparable guidelines and policy - otherwise whilst one sport is only having truly notable teams and players another will be filling WP with youth teams. ;-)Robertsteadman 06:42, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

To all interested in notability and sport issues[edit]

It would be good to have your input into this debate re: the notability of a youth ice hockey team and whether they should have a separate article or be merged into the league article (of course, youth leagues are notable enough!). Look forward to your comments. Robertsteadman 15:51, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

All-American honors[edit]

My personal criteria for keeping college athlete articles is if they earned All-American status. Should we include this? If so we need to mention if only first team is allowable, or if second or third team, or if an AA honorable mention is sufficient. I don't think all-conference should be sufficient enough. Also, we need to determine if we should count Academic All-Americans to this criteria. Someone could be Academic All-American of the year but not be an All-American athletic wise. See: Chelle Flamoe (who IMO only qualifies for an article of her own for playing on the olympic team...if she hadn't I don't think she would quite make my personal notability standards) VegaDark 02:48, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

My inclination would be to say no for academic All-Americans, and I'm also a bit skeptical for second- or third-team conventional All-Americans. I think a conference "player of the year" or the equivalent would clearly qualify (even for small conferences), as would finalists for major national awards and holders of national or conference records. -Hit bull, win steak(Moo!) 16:40, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
That sounds good. They must either have won conference Player of the Year, won a national honor, been a finalist for a national honor, or gotten first team athletic All-American status from a major organization. VegaDark 21:16, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

My comments[edit]

I was unaware of this page until this came up on the WP:BIO talk page.

My first reaction is that while I appreciate the effort to bring some order to the issue of athletic biograpgies, this proposal is not written in the style of a notability guideline. It includes the personal views of the person suggesting the proposal, which should instead be on this page.

Secondly, the suggested criteria, to my eyes, seem to go beyond the stated intention of notability guidelines. My understanding is that "notability" in and of itself is not a criterion for the exclusion of articles. Instead, it is a tool to be used to help editors assess whether a given subject is likely to meet the more-important Wikipedia policies of verifiability and not being an indiscriminate collection of information.

I believe this is so because we don't want to be getting into subjective articles about whether a given person "deserves" a Wikipedia article. I know some college professors whom I believe are for more deserving of recognition than Britney Spears, but there's a lot more information available about Britney than there is about my acquaintances.

It happens that in most countries, athletes are the subject of great public interest and media attention. Any member of a major-league team in the U.S. will be written about by,, Yahoo, etc., as well as local media. Perhaps a placekicker or backup catcher is undeserving of such attention in the eyes of some, but nonetheless, the information is available.

Because so many athletes can meet verifiability criteria and are of interest to many people, the proposed guidelines on this page are far to narrow, in my view.

I proposed the following guidelines for the "big four" American sports on the WP:BIO talk page. I feel they are far more appropriate:

<begin here> As with other subjects, users should only create articles on athletes if they or other users are likely to find enough verifiable, independent information on the athlete in question to develop a full-length article.

The following types of athletes are likely to meet this criterion:

  • Anyone who has played or coached in the modern eras of the NFL, NBA or NHL or Major League Baseball
  • Any current or former starter or coach on a widely followed college football or basketball team
  • Anyone who has received significant media attention as a "prospect" or "phenom." Examples of subjects who would fit in this category might include:
  • Any athlete who has become famous for any other reason, such as Jason McElwain, the autistic high school student who scored 20 points in 4 minutes of an interscholastic basketball game.

<end here>

We'd also have to draw up guidelines for women's sports, as well as sports like track and field and soccer. I'd leave it up to others more versed in those areas to come up with ideas.

Mwalcoff 01:23, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

"Notability" is a practical formulation of Wikipedia being an encyclopedia and WP:What Wikipedia is not. It does serve as a heuristic for verifiability and original research, but it also serves as a heuristic for ensuring that articles will actually be edited by a neutral editor. That is, it helps to ensure not only that it is possible for the article to be verifiable and free of original research, but also that someone will actually take the time to cite the sources and get rid of NPOV. It means that there will not be a second class of articles that nothing links to or that no one edits or that the only people who edit it are family and friends or the persons #1 fan. Now, this does not necessarily discount the criteria in your proposal, but it is one of the broader reasons for notability.
I note, however, that one of your criteria is "Anyone who has played or coached in the modern eras of the NFL, NBA or NHL or Major League Baseball". If the reason for "modern era" requirement is to have a level of temporal notability, this indicates one of the problems with lowering notability. If a random player in the 1970s does not warrant inclusion now, why does a player from the 1980s? And why would a random player from the 1990s warrant inclusion 5 years from now? Here is the best-case scenario for these articles: They will remain one-liners forever, that no article ever links to and no one ever reads. More likely, they will degrade and be a maintenance hassle. Strange but plausible comments will make them inaccurate. Someone else with the same name will become notable, and someone will have to bother to create a disambiguation page. Finally, in five years, the article will be removed from the website, there will be no other webpages or books about the person as no one has ever heard of him, and the article becomes indistinguishable from the many hoaxes on Wikipedia, and it is deleted anyway. —Centrxtalk • 02:10, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
Valid points, but I think your comments are in partial contradiction to the introduction at WP:BIO, which we could call the "parent" page of this one. It seems to me that current policy favors keeping an article that can be expanded to full length and maintained in line with inclusion criteria, regardless of whether it is likely to be. I don't know if this is flat-out stated anywhere, but it seems to be what WP:BIO gets at and what is assumed in AfD discussions. A stub on, say, Andy Allanson, is unlikely to be expanded into a full-length article, but it certainly could be. I'm sure enough was written about the journeyman catcher during his career.
The fallacy is the assumption that any article cannot be expanded past a stub size. The reality is that the right editor to expand it might not come along in a prompt enough time for some people's desire. --badlydrawnjeff talk 02:43, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
I think that if someone objects to this policy, he or she should do so at the parent WP:BIO page. But WP:BIO being what it is, this page's proposal seems to contradict it. As an aside, I'd like to see some kind of policy discouraging people from creating one-sentence stubs just to create them, if such a policy does not already exist. -- Mwalcoff 02:20, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
Mwalcoff, the problem with your proposals is that they're just as subjective as the ones you decry ... well, come to that, any proposal would reflect the proponent's personal views; I can't imagine proposing a set of guidelines with which I disagreed! Talking about "modern eras," for instance, an arbitrary term seemingly invented by 1950s sportswriters to discuss why 1920s records should no longer count, and which would make just as much sense to distinguish 1970s sports from those of today ... when was the last time you could lead the league with fewer than 35 home runs, or 3500 passing yards, or 10 shutouts? Ravenswing 05:34, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
The difference between my proposed criteria and the original ones is that mine do not try to judge whether a subject is "worth" an article. Instead, my intention was to write criteria that could help editors determine whether they or someone else will be able to find indepedent, verifiable information for the article. So my proposed criteria, while certainly not perfect, are somewhat less subjective than those proposed on the project page. -- Mwalcoff 04:00, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
In fairness, some "modern era" distinctions reflect fundamental rules changes within a sport (such as the introduction of the shot clock in basketball, or the transition to overhand pitching in baseball). I agree that it's used all too often as shorthand for "old guys I don't care about", though. -Hit bull, win steak(Moo!) 15:21, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
Mm. If your proposal, Mwalcoff, comes down to your opening sentence of "As with other subjects, users should only create articles on athletes if they or other users are likely to find enough verifiable, independent information on the athlete in question to develop a full-length article," that's both not "notability" criteria at all and redundant to boot -- Wikipedia already requires verifiability as the fundamental criterion of any article or citation. Certainly the accomplishments of many star high school athletes are amply documented in local newspapers, for instance. Ravenswing 15:48, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
And we certainly don;t want WP filled with pointless articles about kiddie and youth sports people or teams which have no notability beyond their parents' interest. Robertsteadman 16:01, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
For people who aren't in the loop on what Rob's saying here, he's referring to comments he made on the talk page and AFD for Thunder Bay Northern Hawks (which is not a "youth sports" team in the sense that most people would understand the term). -Hit bull, win steak(Moo!) 20:36, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
There may have been some misunderstanding about the rules concerned here. There's a crucial difference in terms of standing between WP:V and WP:N: Verifiability is a policy, which is so-to-speak binding to all and uncompromised, whereas Notability is not even a guideline but merely an essay. Furthermore, WP:N says:

Although notability is not formal policy (and indeed the whole concept of notability is contentious), it is the opinion of some editors that this is what is meant by Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information (which is a formal policy).

so the assertion that notability is a realisation of WP:NOT is just one POV, which is yet to be widely accepted by the whole Wikipedia community.
To this end, Mwalcoff is right to defer this proposed guideline to verifiability because any notability guideline must ultimately stand on WP:V or other established policies. If this proposed guideline is to stand (the necessity of which I am very doubtful of, as I have made it very clear above), it must be because it expands on and clarify some specific applications of WP:V, WP:NPOV and other policies to the fields of sportspeople, not because it expands on WP:N, because an essay is non-binding. --Pkchan 16:24, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, Pkchan. I think what we need is a official definition of notability. It's impossible to say who's notable if we haven't agreed on what "notable" means. Once we do that, a guideline for athletes is sorely needed. AfD decisions on athletes seem to be all over the map. -- Mwalcoff 01:58, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

Notability of English football clubs[edit]

This is an issue for us because of the very large number of small clubs putting articles on Wikipedia. This is presently being discussed at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Football#When is a club notable?. I invite anyone who is interested to join in the discussion. To avoid splintering the discussion may I ask that this specific case be delegated to this forum so that the conclusion we reach can be added to any other results from this policy review (provided it is compatible, of course - we do not expect a blank cheque :-))? BlueValour 23:29, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

WTA Tennis Players[edit]

Is the world's 233rd best tennis player notable? Won a few doubles titles and once beat Serena Williams? See Alina Jidkova Grateful for some advice as I am considering listing at AFD Spartaz 01:22, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

Been wondering that, myself. I think that the test is whether WTA status is achieved because of notable tennis achievement or whether by paying the subs! Does anyone know? Meanwhile, I have de-crapped the article. Mind you, for all the interminable detail, vital birth/residency details were missinng! BlueValour 21:24, 26 July 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for that. I'm inclined to say that notable tennis players should either have peaked somewhere in the top 10 or have someother notable feature (Kurnikova anyone?) that justifies their inclusion. What do you think? Spartaz 22:20, 26 July 2006 (UTC)
I think that is too tough. Professional footballers (both Association and American) get in because they have played in a fully professional major league (and there are 1,000s of them!). I suspect that membership of the WTA tour (provided that there is some ability test) and having got beyond 1st round singles of one of the four Grand Prix tournies is about right (which this kid hasn't). If we can have other views we might be able to draw up a standard!
I agree with that last comment. One problem here (as always) is that without a real definition of "notability," there's no way to decide which tennis player is "notable." -- Mwalcoff 23:00, 26 July 2006 (UTC)
Well, you will see from item 13 above, we are starting to tackle this for speicific cases, so let's make a start:

1st proposal for discussion - Professional tennis players are deemed notable provided

  • They are members of the WTA or ATP tour and have won through to at least the 2nd round in the singles of one of the four Grand Prix events; or
  • Establish notability in their article through other achievements.

Views, please! BlueValour 23:28, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

Kill everything after "ATP tour" in the first line item, and you have my support. --badlydrawnjeff talk 23:40, 26 July 2006 (UTC)
  1. To get onto the main WTA or ATP Tour a player has to compete successful on the futures and satellite circuits. Golfcam 00:44, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
    Indef blocked user discounted Jaranda wat's sup 14:45, 27 August 2007 (UTC)


I know people are more likely to comment on stuff like this if they disagree with it rather than agree with it, so I just want to say that I think the current version of the proposal is very good and that I would support anything close to it. The current BIO guidelines for athletes are terrible and this is a big improvement. Keep up the good work! Recury 13:36, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

What's the problem with what's currently at WP:BIO? --badlydrawnjeff talk 14:35, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia talk:Notability (people)#Regarding notability of Football (soccer) players[edit]

This is an invitation for interested parties to contribute to the above discussion in order to clarify certain issues about football player notability. I think clearer guidelines are needed to avoid repeated inappropriate nominations for deletion and time consuming discussions. Cheers! StephP 18:35, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Prominent youth footballers[edit]

I disagree with the current criteria of notability of athletes; more specifically that of youth footballers.

Notability meriting an article in Wikipedia seem to stipulate first team appearences.

I would suggest that:

1. Being a member of a youth international team (such as Gavin Hoyte, Fran Mérida and Nacer Barazite of Arsenal) merits notability in it's own right, or at least under under the criteria of athlete notability p2: "Competitors who have played or competed at the highest level in amateur sports" (or in analogy thereof).

2. Prominent members of important youth academies merits notability in the same way as above.

It can´t seriously be argued that a player who has made a couple of appearences for a League 2 team is more notable than a player such as Bojan Krkic, Giovani dos Santos, Fran Mérida etc wich most probably will be playing first team football (if not already be big stars) in just a few years. Look at the attention G. dos Santos' selection of national team or proposed transfer has attracted in the football community. Or look at Theo Walcott who was included in the english WC squad without having played for the Arsenal first team. He never played during the WC, so before his first team debut at Arsenal, was it only his appearences for Southampton in the Championship that merited an article about him? Surely not!

There are players in a youth international squad that may never turn professional, but at the same time there are players that with high probability (on the verge of certainty) will be first team players if not big stars. I'm not saying that membership of a youth national squad automatically constitutes notability. My point is that there are youth players that may haven't yet broken in to the first team at a big club such as Arsenal or Barcelona, but nevertheless still are more notable than a player that may have appeared for a low-level first team such as Accrington. The requirement of first team football shouldn't be carved in stone. BTW ""fran merida" arsenal" generated 44,100 hits on Google, ""robert grant" accrington" generated 294. Sebisthlm 16:49, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

Competitors who have played or competed at the highest level in amateur sports[edit]

Can we rephrase it to say that "Competitors who have contributed significantly at the highest level in amateur sports" ? The way it reads now, I think it maybe leaves the door open for walkons and the mostly bench players. Corpx 16:21, 22 July 2007 (UTC)


I removed the inactive tag, as this is a guideline that is obviously needed, right now it's fairly moot and out of date, also should it be moved to Notability (sports) as indiviual sports seasons should be mentioned. Thanks Jaranda wat's sup 01:11, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

  • Perhaps you should advertise this around at e.g. the village pump, to get actual feedback here? Aside from that, I'm not convinced as to why this needs to be separate from WP:BIO. >Radiant< 11:18, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Best not to resurrect an old page without wide consensus. People have removed it from their watch list and aren't looking for it, so unless it's well known and agreed to you'll be talking in the wind. Wikidemo 23:31, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
    • I'd say that people are free to resurrect whatever they want. However, doing so is ultimately pointless unless they advertise it somewhere, as indeed people are probably no longer watchlisting it. >Radiant< 08:37, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
The guideline is fine as it is. The background to this attempt to reopen discussion is that it is an attempt to get an endorsement for applying higher standards of notability to baseball players than are applied to people in any other walk of life. The existing long-established guideline for athletes is excellent as it is, and does not need to be changed in any way. The criteria set out in this draft are totally out of line with community consensus, as they would exclude the great majority of athletes with articles, and are therefore of no value as a starting point for any further discussion. Golfcam 00:42, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
Above user comment is stuck out as he was blocked indef for very abusive sockpuppetry. Jaranda wat's sup 14:45, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm writing my own proposal at User:Jaranda/Notabilty (sports), with the help of some of the experts of the subjects. Thanks Jaranda wat's sup 23:45, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

Hugo Kuranda[edit]

Hugo Kuranda was an Austrian skeleton who participated in one "highest level" competition and neither started nor (obviously) finished. Of the four sources for him available at the time of this writing (ie. before all the mirrors spread him across the interwebs)

  • 1 is from the English Wikipedia
  • 1 is from the German Wikipedia
  • 2 have nothing to do with this Hugo Kuranda that I can tell

A search of the library catalog at the University of Texas and Jstor yield no results. Even within the context of "every Olympian ever is notable," do we really need a page on him when he's already mentioned at Skeleton at the 1948 Winter Olympics since he didn't technically "compete" or "participate"? Cheers, CP 15:30, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

I'm also posting this on the general notability talk page. Cheers, CP 15:30, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
If there is literally no further information about him available, I can't see a redirect to Skeleton at the 1948 Winter Olympics being controversial. Oldelpaso (talk) 15:47, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

One more time with feeling: WP:ATHLETE, college athletes[edit]

Folks, before I nominate them for deletion, just wanted thoughts on a couple of articles: Christa Harmotto and Megan Hodge. Both are obviously successful college athletes, but as I read it, they do not meet WP:ATHLETE. Views please. Thanks. – ukexpat (talk) 14:49, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

I would think winning Big Ten player of the year (2007 & 2006 respectively) would come along with newspaper article and the like that could establish independent notability. So even though may fail WP:ATHLETE, each may pass general notability standards. I am new to this conversation, but have been considering it regarding the afd for Jonathan Lade. Not to go all "other stuff" but how about the entire roster listed here: Template:Syracuse basketball. A major conference player of the year in a minor sport, is more notable than a bench-warmer in a major sport, in my opinion. Mitico (talk) 17:33, 27 June 2008 (UTC)
So as the person responsible for the Syracuse basketball page, I will give my standard response: In the USA, members of Division I NCAA men's basketball teams play on a national stage. Each member of the team receives national (or at least regional) media coverage by reliable, third-party sources, which is what our notability guidelines for people are meant to guarantee. Trying to determine who's a star and who's unlikely to see much court time is an invitation to speculation by Wikipedia editors, of the sort we're institutionally committed to avoid. Thoughts? GoCuse44 (talk) 05:58, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
Are you proposing every starter of every D-I college basketball team in history should have a page? We shouldn't have pages for college athletes unless they won some sort of award, or at least are an All-American or conference POTY. VegaDark (talk) 15:33, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
I believe he is proposing that every player (not just the starting players) on a D-1 college basketball team should have a page. Essentially allowing BLP's (players) to inherit notability from the team. Mitico (talk) 16:52, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
That is, under no uncertain terms, a horrendous idea. VegaDark (talk) 18:23, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Agree to disagree. Thanks for answering back, though. GoCuse44 (talk) 05:12, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

(outdent for readability) As just one example of the growing number of amateur sports articles, the Lorrenzo Wade article is about a collegiate basketball player in the United States. Per WP:ATHLETE, it fails the notability test because the athlete is neither professional nor at the highest amateur level in the sport of basketball. Yet, attempts to delete it via speedy delete and PROD have been overturned by Wikipedia editors. Something has to give. Either we change the rules and allow this type of article (by expanding the definition of notability) or we enforce the rules and delete these articles. I have no preference either way. Having some definitive guidelines is a necessity. What say the Wikicommunity? Truthanado (talk) 18:45, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

I once partook in an AFD where an article about a singer with 6 trivial news accounts for the subject was kept. Lorrenzo Wade has about 200 Google News hits which I have not reviewed. WP:BIO says, A person is presumed to be notable if he or she has been the subject of published secondary source material which is reliable, intellectually independent, and independent of the subject. If the depth of coverage is not substantial, then multiple independent sources may be needed to prove notability; trivial coverage of a subject by secondary sources may not be sufficient to establish notability. Wade does not automatically meet WP:ATHLETE. At what point does coverage of a college athlete like Wade cross the bar to non-triviality? Currently, CSD does not require an assertion of meeting one one the many notability requirements-- just an assertion of significance to disqualify an article for deletion. This article asserts significance, and is therefore not speediable. Truthanado prodded; creator deprodded. Here we are. Truthanado is right, clearer guidelines (with seamlessness between the three deletion processes) would be helpful. Cheers, Dlohcierekim 16:04, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

College athletes do fail WP:ATHLETE, but the WP:N standard does not prevent notable athletes from getting an article. If a college football, baseball, or basketball player gets coverage in reliable sources, then they get in under standard notability requirements, see Colt McCoy, Mike Minor, and Stephen Curry. But not under WP:ATHLETE: that standard is limited to professional football, baseball, and basketball players. Many of them get an article although they do not meet the larger guidelines, see Kerry Cash, Jerry Browne, and Richard Rellford.

WP:ATHLETE is an exception to WP:N, so a line has to be drawn somewhere, and that is at college players. By and large, in the pros, most of the articles are good articles and there are fewer pro stubs like the last three players I listed. To open WP:ATHLETE to all college football and baseball players would flip that on its head: most of the articles would be stubs like the last three and there would be fewer good articles. So the good articles still get in this way under, but under WP:N, not WP:ATHLETE.--2008Olympianchitchat 06:18, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

Notability of FAI league players[edit]

As can be seen here in an AfD WP:ATHLETE is being used as a reason to delete a professional footballer who plays for Cork City F.C. by stating that it is not a fully professional league. This is IMO wrong and needs to be changed to accomodate all the professional players that play in this league. So I am just opening this discussion up for suggestions on how to remedy this problem. BigDuncTalk 16:07, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

I would think that the rules need adapting to allow them to be included. I would say this needs changing for any nation"to allow players from its top division to be included but particularly in the case of an english speaking country. I believe football fans from Ireland are likely to come to english wikipedia and look up their favourite players, and that information on them should be here. These teams may not always be fully professional but they are able to qualify for and compete in the UEFA Cup and UEFA Champions League and perhaps the criteria should include allowing players on teams who able to qualify for these competitions, i.e the highest division in each European nation. I don't wish to actively encourage thousands of articles about semi-professional players but I don't think they need deleteing if someone has gone to the effort of making a decent, and by that i mean sufficiently sourced, article. Basement12 (T.C) 16:34, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
I think it should also be noted that the Paul Zammit (footballer) page is up for deletion and so I wondered if Number 57 thinks the Irish league (Eircom League) is as good as the Maltese league. Well, last season, Floriana finished fifth in the Maltese First Division. Their stadium is only a 3,000 terraced place, meanwhile, Shamrock Rovers finished fifth over here, with a stadium of 9,700 (Tolka Park), and will soon move into a completely new stadium (Tallaght Stadium), with a capacity of 10,000. This stadium would a small League 1 stadium or a medium-sized League 2 stadium in England, so if those teams like Crewe Alexandra, Southend United or Luton Town are considered to be suitable for Wikipedia, then by all means FAI League of Ireland teams should be as well.--CorkCityFCRebelArmy (talk) 18:15, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
Are you seriously equating player notability to the size of the stadium that the club plays in? There is a club at level 12 of the English league that plays at a 25,000 capacity stadium. Does this make them equivalent to Fulham? пﮟოьεԻ 57 08:59, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
I agree, the guideline should be altered to stop wholesale deletions of players in the top league in major countries such as Ireland, New Zealand, etc. Nfitz (talk) 21:25, 28 September 2008 (UTC)
Guidelines are just that - guides. Each article, or individual, should be considered on their own merit. Wikipedia is not limited by storage space, and that is not the concern of editors. That is not to say that Joe Bloggs who once played for Ballybackanowhere Reserves should have his own article, but common sense should be a good guide. --Setanta 18:18, 18 November 2008 (UTC)
And, that being said, we also must have a significant amount of independent sourcing covering each article. Regardless of professional status or otherwise, an article on an athlete or an anything is unacceptable without that. Conversely, an amateur athlete who has been covered significantly over time might be notable despite not passing ATHLETE. Seraphimblade Talk to me 00:08, 1 December 2008 (UTC)