Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Athletics/Archive 3

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Category:Long-distance runners

I am currently working in Category:Long-distance runners placing the articles for athletes into their respective nations' subcategories. (Any help offered on this would certainly be welcomed!) A few questions have come to mind and I thought I would post them here to obtain some sort of mini-consensus. Are wheelchair athletes considered "runners"? If an athlete is born in nation X, but eventually competes for nations Y, should we consider him to be an athlete of both nations? What about athletes who competed for nations that no longer exist, such as the Soviet Union or Yugoslavia? Thanks! Location (talk) 22:59, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

I think if an athlete represented their former (and now dissolved) country then the category should be added. If they did not compete internationally, then it would be better to leave it out. I think athletes who switch nationalities should essentially gain a category, and not have their old one replaced by it (Albert Chepkurui for example). I think the Wheelchair racers category is fine as it is. SFB 23:17, 9 March 2011 (UTC)
We've had this kind of nationality situation with some top runners like Merlene Ottey and Bernard Lagat. Both had a significant history for their former countries, Jamaica and Kenya respectively. Some other editors have tried to make that disappear, claiming them exclusively for their current domiciles Slovenia and the United States respectively. I've had to revert those edits. While Quatar would like to hide the history of Saif Saaeed Shaheen, we should (and do) responsibly report that he is (or at least was) Kenyan. Sergey Bubka will always be Soviet, Heike Drechsler and Marita Koch will always be East German even though those countries no longer exist. Trackinfo (talk) 03:50, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the replies! Bubka competed for the USSR and for Ukraine, so the categorization for him is a bit simpler. How about Olga Bondarenko who was born in Russia, but competed only for the USSR? Would she be a Soviet long-distance runner AND a Russian long-distance runner? Should Meb also be listed as an Eritrean athlete/Eritrean long-distance runner even though he never competed for Eritrea? Location (talk) 04:02, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
That's a little more difficult. I wrote the section in Meb's article that clarified his American origin. That doesn't deny his place of birth. His Eritrean roots are clear in the article. Since he never ran for Eritrea--a fact that some people have confused, even in Wikipedia edits (I had to remove him from the List of eligibility transfers in athletics). Because of the confusion, I don't think he should be in the Eritrean long distance runners category. A little harder would be Olga or another athlete in a similar circumstance, a Soviet Russian who continues to live in Russia. They were Soviet, but are now Russian. Breaking it down logically I would say, if you can prove they have never run as a Russian you could deny the reference, but for most they are by history long distance runners AND are currently Russian, so they are Russian long distance runners. Trackinfo (talk) 04:30, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
That last sentence is a good guideline. Thanks! Location (talk) 04:39, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
Sounds like a very reasonable interpretation. SFB 19:57, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
So, a Soviet athlete from Russia would be a Soviet athlete AND a Russian athlete. Should an East or West German athlete also be categorized as a German athlete? Location (talk) 01:06, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

BTW, what do you guys think of Category:Male athletes and Category:Female athletes? Is there a need to break down athletes by gender? Location (talk) 04:39, 10 March 2011 (UTC)

I think gender is so wide a category that it will be unmanageable. Who would search through a category of thousands of athletes, cumbersomely broken down by Wikipedia's pages of 200, to find an article about some athlete of a particular gender? Now a category of controversial gender would be an interesting category and would cause a ruckus. Caster Semenya, Dora Ratjen, Tamara Press, Irina Press, Ewa Kłobukowska, Stella Walsh, Santhi Soundarajan. Trackinfo (talk) 07:31, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
I don't think we need a male category or a female category, either. A controversial gender category would certainly be interesting but way too subjective...
Categorizations should generally be uncontroversial; if the category's topic is likely to spark controversy, then a list article (which can be annotated and referenced) is probably more appropriate.
Such a list, even if very incomplete, already exists. Sideways713 (talk) 13:27, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
I agree about the immense difficulties of a "gender issue" category. I think the male/female gender category split would make sense if English Wikipedia had the same category set up as German Wikipedia, but it doesn't. Does anyone feel strongly about maintaining these? If not, they might be worth deleting if no one sees the purpose, nor has the desire to populate them. SFB 19:57, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
I'm OK with putting male and female athlete categories up for deletion. Location (talk) 23:17, 11 March 2011 (UTC)

Q: Should someone like Ralph Paffenbarger, who is not known for his achievements in running, be categorized as a long-distance runner? Location (talk) 03:56, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

I would seem with 22 Boston Marathons and 5 Western States, he's got the credentials to be called a serious long distance runner. The question should be, should we limit participation in the category to people who claim that as at least one of their primary sources of notability--essentially limiting this to elite athletes? I do the same thing with the list of masters athletes where more than a few people are included, like Lee Baca, Alan Cranston, Bill Cosby or Marian Shields Robinson even though any sort of athletics is not their primary claim to fame. A list is like a category. So I don't think we should impose such a limitation to the category. Trackinfo (talk) 05:55, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
There are plenty of people who have ran many marathons and ultramarathons without their performances being remarkable. Similarly, there are plenty of people over the age of 35/40 who have run races but are not known as competitors. The next question is, do we tag everyone in List of marathoners who are non-running specialists with Category:Long-distance runners or Category:Marathon runners? Or should we tag those who are over 35/40 as masters athletes? I'm not sure that is a good idea. Location (talk) 14:11, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
Would a "recreational" category be more appropriate here? (e.g. Category:Recreational marathon runners) From a reader perspective, I would like to see a category for just elite marathon runners only, but also one for those (like Bill Cosby, Eddie Izzard, Oprah etc) who are people from other fields of life who have run in a marathon(s). A category combining both of these would probably not give a great experience from a search perspective. For comparison, there is little value in listing George W. Bush in Category:Writers from Connecticut, because people looking there are most probably not searching for people similar to Bush (even though he does fit that description, in the strictest sense). Just like writers, the main marathon runners category should be reserved for those who could list being a marathon runner as one of their definitive attributes. SFB 20:43, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

Q: If a person is categorized as being an athlete in a (somewhat) specific event for a nation (e.g Category:Argentine long-distance runners), does that person also need to be categorized as an athlete for that nation (e.g. Category:Argentine athletes)? My impression is that we should attempt to move athletes out of the broader category and into the more specific category and not have them listed in both. Location (talk) 20:06, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

I would move specialists out from the main "athlete" cat if they have been moved into their speciality. However, if for instance an athlete has done both long jump and sprinting, but there is only a national sub-cat for sprinting, I would leave them in the main one too. I think the national level division for athletes is a good one to have here. I'm not too convinced of the value of gender sub-division though. SFB 20:43, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

Category:World record holders in athletics (track and field)

Q: Should Stefaan Engels be tagged with Category:World record holders in athletics (track and field) for his streak of marathon-distance runs? Location (talk) 15:49, 19 March 2011 (UTC)

I've been thinking about issues like this ever since I divided the sport records from the plain world records category. I suppose the key ideas we want to separate out are world records ratified by a global sporting body, and records recognised by bodies like the Guinness Book of Records. Guinness broke from having "records" to "world records" in 2000 and this has only complicated things from our perspective. Frankly, I personally think it would be a bit of a travesty to list Haile Gebrselassie alongside people like the fattest man to run a marathon.
One way we could make this distinction it is to create Category:IAAF world record holders, which actually helps trim out other record holders in obscure events (200 m hurdles etc) as well. I think Category:World record holders in masters athletics is also a must as these record holders could eventually really crowd out the more important open class records. What do other people think of these ideas? SFB 11:31, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
Sounds good to me. Would your IAAF world record category include junior records or youth best performances? Sideways713 (talk) 18:49, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
These are all good ideas. Rephrasing Sideways713's question, should Category:IAAF world record holders include youth, junior, and masters performances, or should Category:IAAF youth world record holders, Category:IAAF junior world record holders, Category:IAAF masters world record holders be created? If the later three categories are created, what would be the parent category? Location (talk) 22:20, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
These are all sub-categories of a master World Records in Athletics category. I'm using Athletics in the same sense as we define it here on the still recent revision on WP--the wide view of the group of sports. Under that category we would have to have a place for the Non-Sanctioned events. More accurately, those are "events no longer sanctioned" because most of the events in that category do have a basis, we don't keep records for made up events like the "67 yard dash on one leg" though Guinness might keep such a record. And we will have the various age groups. We also have to consider the former holders of these records, so there will be a second such category for them.
I've never really liked sub-categories on Wikipedia. In the pursuit of brevity, they tend to hide information rather than what should be our goal of making information easier to find. The more we bury information into a sub-sub category, the more I will advocate for some way to cross reference and make the articles in the matching categories easier to find. We ourselves are boxing in our information. Then there comes the question of maintenance. Who's going to be managing all of these categories? You can see who is doing most of the editing in this subject; I can name names (abbreviated); Location, SFB, Sideways, Montel and me. That's a handful of people chasing these sub-categories to keep them correct. We might get occasional help, but probably more of it will be mis-directed than supportive.Trackinfo (talk) 00:41, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
I entirely agree with you about categories Trackinfo. This might sound dramatic, but I think the category set-up is not fit for purpose on the English Wikipedia – it actually seems driven to satisfy an Asperger's-like desire instead of its primary function: facilitating the reader in the search and location of related ideas. Our categories do not serve our (non-editor) readers, which is why there are no prominent links to the structure in any part of the mainspace.
The ideal method would be to have, for example, someone who is tagged as a Polish sprinter present in all categories right through the structure (e.g. Polish people, Polish sportspeople, Polish athletes, Polish sprinters, as well as Sprinters, Athletes, Sportspeople etc). Aside from a culture change, there are currently technical restrictions which prevent this better system from prevailing (mainly to do with software issues and excessive server bandwidth). I am confident that this will change when the technical aspect is less of a problem (same for a good category search mechanism).
Back on topic(!). I think an IAAF world record category should contain just the main records and not the other world (followed-by-qualifier) records. I'm not really convinced that junior/masters (etc) records are important enough to merit their own category, but if anyone has the desire to create and maintain such categories I would not object. SFB 21:03, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
Is the suggestion here to rename Category:World record holders in athletics (track and field) as Category:IAAF world record holders? BTW, is the IAAF responsible for Masters records, too? Trackinfo? Location (talk) 21:48, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
BTW, do we need to rename Category:Former world record holders in athletics as Category:Former world record holders in athletics (track and field) for consistency? Location (talk) 01:09, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

Cfd: Category:Male athletes and Category:Female athletes

I have opened a discussion regarding the necessity of the male and female athlete categories at the WP:Categories for discussion board. Location (talk) 22:13, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

I have withdrawn the nomination. More comments to follow. Location (talk) 16:12, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

The point was raised in the withdrawn Cfd that "athletics are invariably gendered". What do others think of the following suggestions?

1) Rename Category:Male athletes and Category:Female athletes as Category:Male competitors in athletics and Category:Female competitors in athletics
2) Make Category:Competitors in athletics a container category and parent of Category:Competitors in athletics by gender
3) Make Category:Competitors in athletics by gender a container category and parent of Category:Male competitors in athletics and Category:Female competitors in athletics
4) Rename Category:Male athletes (track and field) and Category:Female athletes (track and field) as Category:Male track and field athletes and Category:Female track and field athletes,
5) Make Category:Male competitors in athletics a parent of Category:Male track and field athletes and Category:Female competitors in athletics a parent of Category:Female track and field athletes

Then the tedious work would begin. Like Category:American tennis players and Category:Female tennis players, Category:American sprinters and Category:Female sprinters would end up being parent categories for Category:American female sprinters.

I think we also need to revisit Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2011 February 9#Category:Canadian athletes since it makes the assumption that all competitors in athletics are track and field athletes. Location (talk) 16:46, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

In terms of gender, I can see the point that the sports are separated by the genders, thus the suggestion that our categories should follow suit. Athletics is not the only sport to have an open arrangement: Category:Track cyclists has an open format while Category:Swimmers seems to be in a similar arrangement to Category:Track and field athletes. I could see the value in the gender breakdown by event (e.g. female sprinters), but I think breaking this down further to the nation-gender-event-level would be quite time-consuming for actually not much beneficial effect.
In terms of the Canadian athletes, I was not happy with the result of that discussion, but ultimately it gives us an opportunity to reconsider what terms we use. The "athlete" terminology, while very useful and also natural for some parts of the readership, is just too ambiguous. It appears that some people understood my suggested change of "Athletes (track and field)" to "track and field athletes" as a simple move, rather than as a refinement of the terms. I think the "Competitors in athletics > track and field athletes, racewalkers, cross country runners, road runners" dynamic would actually resolve the linguistic ambiguities which existed before. SFB 22:23, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
Regarding gender categorization, are you saying that we should or should not break down athletics by gender? If so, you may want to suggest renaming Category:Male athletes and Category:Female athletes as Category:Male competitors in athletics and Category:Female competitors in athletics in the above Cfd. (Even though I've withdrawn the nomination there, comments are still being posted.) If not, then what should we do with the gender-specific athletic articles?
I don't think the few people who participated in Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2011 February 9#Category:Canadian athletes understood the terminology issues we have mostly ironed out here. I am happy to bring that up again for further review. Location (talk) 00:24, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
I agree with all five of your recommendations above (representing a move towards both categorisation by gender and a new terminology separating competitors in the sport of athletics into their relevant sub-sports). I've been thinking about the national level cats and I imagine that only a few would be needed (e.g. there are tons of male and female American sprinters which might be worth separating out, but I can't imagine Spanish hurdlers (for example) would need further breakdown). SFB 19:47, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

2011 IAAF Statistics Handbook

I just wanted to post a reminder to keep an eye out for the 2011 IAAF Statistics Handbook (HF122) that apparently is to be released next month in preparation for the upcoming World Championships. I have found the 2009 edition (Part IPart II) to be an incredible resource for updating articles that include information on world, area, and national records. Location (talk) 22:35, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

New template Template:Student athlete

Feel free to help fill in Template:Student athlete by adding new articles or creating articles for redlinks.--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 18:52, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

I can foresee the "athlete" vs. "sportsperson" debate affecting how this develops. See Template talk:Student athlete and Talk:Student athlete. Location (talk) 22:37, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

Your opinions and advice

A recently discussion Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Proposals/Women's Sport. Your opinions and your advice are welcome. --Geneviève (talk) 23:21, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

Interwikis for Athletics/Track and field

Does anyone have an idea how we could divide which interwikis on Athletics and Track and field pertain best to the corresponding concepts? I have just noticed that although athletics (sport) lists many interwikis, not one them links back and the foreign pages are directed to track and field instead. I know how I would divide things in the handful of languages I am familiar with (German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Greek) but I wouldn't even know where to begin with the Japanese wiki article, for instance. What makes this task even more difficult is that many foreign language wikis (inc. Japanese) contain direct translations of the English article previously at Track and field athletics (including the not-especially-relevant section detailing the history of multi-sport events), making it very difficult to grasp what the actual native nuances of the term are. Anyone have any ideas? SFB 12:20, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

Black athletic superiority and Race and sports

Feedback at Wikipedia:Redirects for discussion/Log/2011 April 4 and on the talk page(s) for these articles would be appreciated. Location (talk) 07:13, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

Move from Athletics (sport)Athletics (Olympic sport)?

I'd just like to ask what people think of a possible move of Athletics (sport) to Athletics (Olympic sport). I think one of the problems with the current title is that is does not clarify the topic from the American definition of Athletics. The newer title would clarify that the article is dealing with athletics, meaning the type described in the Athletics competition at the Olympics. This would also in effect link in with the IAAF definition (as the definition of athletics as an Olympic sport is by all accounts the same as that of the IAAF). Do others think this change would be an improvement? SFB 13:05, 9 April 2011 (UTC)

No. I haven't really liked the move away from Track and Field, but I understood the push for a difference/separation that parallels the governance and the British approach to wikipedia. Categorizing it as Olympic sport does nothing to further the information conveyed by the title, but by adding the extra word, makes it that much harder to find for the average global reader and downgrades the sport one extra level of specificity. Trackinfo (talk) 16:58, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
No. Athletics may have its origin in the Olympics, however, it has grown beyond just being an Olympic sport. I actually like the current titles. Prior to the introduction of baseball, basketball, and football, "athletics" meant generally the same thing in the US as it did elsewhere. Now, the sport of "athletics" really has no equivalent in American English. How about... Athletics (for Americans who don't known, this means "track and field" plus "cross country" and "road running")? Location (talk) 20:52, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Location. Also include Racewalking and Mountain Running. Trackinfo (talk) 21:55, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
Funny, but true. SFB 10:17, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

Manual of Style for Athletics

Is there any consensus as to whether lists of winners should be noted with the most recent at the top or at the bottom? Location (talk) 18:03, 11 April 2011 (UTC)

Not that I'm aware of. I'd go for earliest first, no reason to go contrary to WP:WORKS, for example. GregorB (talk) 18:23, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
Most articles do appear to have earliest first, but I wasn't aware of the guideline. Thanks! Location (talk) 19:16, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
After the lede most articles seem to follow a sense of chronology, earliest to latest. The medal tables frequently seem to be inverted. Not there is any great move to a style format to begin with. For example, in most of the articles that Darius created, there are or originally were no medal tables, instead there is a results table toward the bottom (unless another editor added the table, infobox etc etc.). We're talking about a lot of labor, per article, to make a consistent style. A little over a year ago I went through thousands of articles during the "unreferenced BLP" push, quickly adding a source. As I passed through our collection of non-American articles, the majority were missing infobox and medals. Many were bare one liners mentioning one notable accomplishment. With the high WP standards toward both notability and sourcing, that dominates the content that is included. Stuff that doesn't conform to those standards rapidly gets wiped out by no-nothing editors with "administrator" credentials with nothing better to do with their time than to delete useful, valuable content. It would be nice to have a manual of style as a goal, but with the trend toward deletion, I would fear that would result in the removal of information before presenting more consistent and attractive articles. Trackinfo (talk) 17:19, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
I've no great preference whether it's earliest or latest which comes first. Generally, I think earliest first is the most common and reflects the chronology (as Trackinfo mentions). I think the best format would be similar to Turin Marathon, where the sorting mechanism makes such decisions irrelevant (although sorting by time can sometimes be problematic e.g. on half marathons as 59:59 comes after 1:00:00 numerically, not before).
I think much of Darius's work caused BLP referencing problems and also provided little to no context on the actual subject. Essentially, it's the difference between the Turin Marathon article and the Ferrara Marathon one. At this stage of the project, we should be looking to give short summaries of careers and races, showing the highlights of the topic. I see no point in making an article if its creator can only be bothered to spend three minutes on it. My perspective is: if you don't really care enough to spend your time on it, then it's likely that no one else really cares either. SFB 14:29, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
Honestly, I don't have a preference either, but I like consistency, it's less confusing. Sortable tables make the default sort less important, but consistency is still useful (for the initial display and printing, of course). As for sorting by time, e.g. {{sort|0:59:59|59:59}} should hopefully take care of that.
I'm not sure myself whether targeted efforts at improving the formatting make sense or not. I guess that the best strategy would be: 1) make sure new articles are conforming (by following the conventions while writing them, of course), 2) fix the formatting "while you're at it", i.e. concurrently with other edits (such as e.g. adding references), and 3) everything else, i.e. tinkering for its own sake. In terms of "Wikieconomy" (="Wiki value"/"Wiki effort"), 1 is better than 2, and 2 is better than 3. I'd guess that most of us do all three, in different proportions - it all boils down to whether one feels it's worth doing in a particular situation or not, and there's nothing wrong with that. GregorB (talk) 10:18, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

Marathon world record progression

For the Wikipedia regulars, Marathon world record progression and Marathon will need to be watched due to Mutai's mark at Boston which was set on a non-record eligible course. Location (talk) 16:14, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

Ugh. Statistician's nightmare. SFB 17:17, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
It already showed up in United States records in track and field. I put back the current record and made the Ryan Hall mark "pending" as it legitimately should be were it a potentially ratifiable mark. USATF does not ratify marks until December as a matter of policy. That leaves it to USATF's choice not to ratify the mark, so theoretically it will remain a pending mark until it is surpassed. We have those kinds of situations all over the World records in masters athletics. The organization responsible for such ratification is so screwed up, superior 30 year old marks have never been recognized. They are permanently pending. In that community, wikipedia is a better source than the official organization because it at least reports that the superior marks exist. I suggest that pending banner is the best way to treat this on wikipedia. We have reported that the mark exists, it is up to the governing body to accept it or not. When they don't, we can report the explanation without superimposing our opinions or predictions of whether a mark will be accepted or not. Just the facts, ma'am. Trackinfo (talk) 17:51, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
Interesting! I had no idea how USATF worked in regards to pending marks. Another tidbit that is confusing to me is whether or not American records can be set on the Boston course. According to USATF's rule 265(5)b, they are stricter on the point-to-point issue than the IAAF is (i.e. the start and finish can be no further apart 30% of the race distance - vs. 50% for the IAAF); however, this appears not to matter if there is no wind or a headwind. I imagine that Hall's record will not be ratified because there was a definite tailwind. Location (talk) 03:35, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
And what about the personal best surveys in the athletes' articles? The athlete her- or himself will always claim - take Geoffrey Mutai for instance - that the performance realised on a course that was not ratified by any official body, was her or his best. Shouldn't we add a note in these cases, that this performance took place on a non-record eligible course? Piet.Wijker (talk) 09:50, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
Just follow the reliable sources: Mutai's IAAF profile still says his PB is 2:04:55, and it looks like it's going to stay that way. GregorB (talk) 12:23, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
Good question. Currently we seem to have a happy mix of notes (Paul Tergat's half-marathon PB is "59:06a") and no-notes (Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot's marathon PB is "2:05:52"). Obviously, as far as information given is concerned, notes generally beats no-notes... Looking at what other people do doesn't really help much; ARRS and both use the "a" terminology, while IAAF and Tilastopaja do not.
Incidentally, I think GregorB might be off here. Other athletes with Boston PBs have those mentioned (without any notes) in their IAAF bios – I think Geoffrey Mutai's bio just hasn't been updated yet. Sideways713 (talk) 12:36, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
On a closer look, it doesn't look as if IAAF has any real consistency here. Athletes with Boston PBs indeed tend to get those marks into their IAAF bios, but other point-to-point marks are regularly thrown out. It's almost as if IAAF has arbitrarily decided that Boston PBs are okay... I don't think we should follow IAAF here. Sideways713 (talk) 12:49, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
You're right, IAAF says that Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot's winning time at the 2010 Boston Marathon is his personal best and the same mark appears in the 2010 marathon top list. So, according to the IAAF, Mutai's time will be his PB and (possibly) 2011 world best, but not a WR. This doesn't make sense to me. (If the course was found to be 2 m short, all the results would have been void - what is the difference?) GregorB (talk) 13:03, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
Boston marks are valid, they just are not eligible for world record consideration per IAAF Rule 260. Boston marks count as PBs. Location (talk) 13:49, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
Then why doesn't IAAF count marks from other similar courses as PBs? Take this year's marathon top list for example. You'll find results from other downhill courses (Treviso and Los Angeles) listed separately below the main list - IAAF doesn't count those as PBs. Logically Boston should belong in that same section, but it doesn't (or at least didn't in previous years - we'll see what happens this time). Sideways713 (talk) 16:49, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
Inconsistency with IAAF stats is nothing new. Tokyo is a point-to-point course, but you will notice that Tokyo results are on that list. Boston results are also on last year's marathon top list and their all-time top list. Their marathon world record/best progression, which they have retroactive accepted/listed, is also full of errors and inconsistencies. I imagine that it is a matter of time before they update their info. Location (talk) 17:11, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
So basically what we've learned here is that IAAF, who usually is the #1 reliable source to mimic, both does and doesn't accept point-to-point/downhill marks as PBs. Spiffing, but it doesn't exactly solve the original problem of what we should do:
a) only list the record-eligible-course PB ("59:17")
b) only list the record-eligible PB, but with a footnote to point-to-point PB if any ("59:17"[n 1])
c) list the best time as PB, point-to-point or not, without notes ("59:06")
d) list the best time as PB with a point-to-point indication if necessary ("59:06a")
e) list both the best time and the record-eligible best if different, with an appropriate note? ("59:17/59:06a")Sideways713 (talk) 17:28, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
As I mentioned above regarding wma, IAAF, or USATF are no better because they carry the moniker of the official governing body. There are still individual track statisticians trying to make sense of a heap of data submitted by a collection of sources. Your quality may vary. Its the same as the less official, but probably more fanatical ARRS, Tilastopaja oy, all-athletics, mastersathletics or GBRathletics. Just like any other sources we read here for posting information on wikipedia, we have to take it as part of the puzzle. Just because someone wrote it on the internet doesn't make it 100% true. I've made my own mistakes, but I try to take this mission as trying to compile information and make it make sense. Sometimes that needs explanations in the article. Rather than reposting and duplicating an error; if we post something that doesn't agree with what the sources say, this is our opportunity, our place to get it right and explain why. And if we are wrong in our summation, its all public and editable. Somebody else with more knowledge will come along and correct us. Trackinfo (talk) 17:38, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
I agree. It's because of the inconsistencies that explanation, attribution, and sourcing is important. In my opinion, personal bests should be attributed to some reliable source stating that time X at distance Y is a personal best for runner Z. If there is contradictory information from another reliable source, it needs to be explained. (I guess this would be option e noted above.) I have trouble with the "aided" designation (i.e. "a") used without explanation since the IAAF's definition of "aided" differs from those of USATF and the ARRS. Location (talk) 18:45, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
We already have the article on Wind assistance relative to track and field. Perhaps there is a new article (to be written) we can keep pointing to, that discusses the various aiding factors (and their interpretation by the various governing bodies and statisticians) regarding Road running. Trackinfo (talk) 18:55, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
Aided (athletics)? It could discuss wind-aided, slope-aided, and point-to-point courses. Location (talk) 18:57, 20 April 2011 (UTC)

(undent) Maybe a better treatment could be done under a broader article on Statistics in athletics or Athletics statistics? This is topic well worth sport-specific coverage as it plays such as integral role to athletics (we already have Baseball statistics and Cricket statistics for example). This could be a good place to incorporate other ideas (such as personal bests, year rankings, specific record types etc) which most likely do not warrant their own stand-alone articles, but are important ideas nevertheless.

Also, out of interest, we're actually missing the key parent article of Sports statistics (a topic found at Statistik (Sport) in German wiki). SFB 13:53, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

2011 Boston Marathon

Anyone interested in contributing to 2011 Boston Marathon to make it a DYK article? Other than Mutai's mark, there are a lots of other side-stories: a close women's race, a close wheelchair race, the Japanese wheelchair winners giving boost to their nation after the earthquake, registration closing in ~8 hours, Meb getting "snubbed" by the BAA, etc. Location (talk) 21:24, 20 April 2011 (UTC)

But Imperial units are necessary?

For instance, not for IAAF. What do you think about, user Jojhutton insert totally in the article high jump and pole vault. --Learasmus (talk) 06:44, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

I think they should go; in fact the whole high jump article is a mess, not only in this respect. (The worst bit is that Jojhutton decided to auto-convert those marks, which isn't very reliable and produces strange results with tiny fractions of an inch that aren't used even in places where high jumpers or pole vaulters actually still use imperial. So even if we decide to keep all that imperial stuff, his additions will still have to go!) Sideways713 (talk) 08:43, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
I think the second clause at relevant Manual of Style section gives us some good guidance. Whilst measurements in general topic areas should offer both metric and imperial equivalents (such as describing the distance of the marathon, the mile run, or 10,000 metres), it is inappropriate to translate that to more specific descriptions.
For example, it would be awkward to have a sentence at Kenenisa Bekele saying "he is a two-time 10,000 m (6.214 miles) Olympic champion". Similarly, Stefka Kostadinova did not jump a bar placed at 6 ft 10 1⁄2 in, but rather one placed at 2.09 metres. Conversely, I think it is unnecessary at Jesse Owens to say " he won the 100-yard (91 m) sprint". Reasonable conversions can be found at Bob Beamon, where the measurements were widely reported and understood in both imperial and metric.
I would argue that it is almost always incorrect to provide imperial equivalents on the statistical lists like on high jump because the specificity of the measurements are of key importance. For statistical lists, measurements should always be given in the unit type in which they were originally measured. SFB 15:17, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

Shanghai Golden Grand Prix

Hi. Dear WikiProject Athletics. I want to hear your take. Could you comment for Talk:Shanghai Golden Grand Prix, please? --Degueulasse (talk) 07:58, 29 April 2011 (UTC)

Widespread stat vandalism

I've just come across this IP Address vandalising the statistics of event information. There seems to be sporadic instances of a person doing this on IP addresses this month (see also [1][2][3][4][5]). It seems to have started with some high jump-specific vandalism earlier this year. Some of these bits of vandalism have persisted since February!

This person knows very much what they are doing – they even made a very fine correction at one point. I suppose the best we can do is hope that this person gets bored, but seeing as this has spanned three months already. I've made a special page to help make an event article watchlist (Stat watchlist). I assume that because the user is using a variety of IPs, blocking offers us no protection. SFB 15:13, 30 April 2011 (UTC)

SFB has brought up this issue on my talkpage, as I have blocked some of these addresses. I would suggest opening a WP:SPI case, since the disruption covers a great many related articles and semi-protection may hinder good faith ip editors and it is possible a small range block will not effect anyone else. LessHeard vanU (talk) 18:45, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the help. Sadly, it looks like the IP ranges are quite diverse so a range block isn't really possible. Thanks to everyone else who is keeping this problem under control for the moment! SFB 19:26, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

Introducing gendered categories

Following on from the conversation above, I think it might be a good idea to introduce some level of gender into the athletics category system.

I would recommend introducing the split along the lines of "male/female (event)ers", similar to those currently shown at Category:Female athletes (track and field) and Category:Male athletes. Since it is possible to divide the genders into quite specific event categories, I think it would be wise to avoid introducing many gender subcategories at the national level. From my perspective, I don't really see the advantage of dividing up the men and women in, say, Category:Bahraini athletes. That category seems more useful and intuitive in its current form. From an event perspective, I think populating Category:Male javelin throwers would be quite good and give us a wider category view than the very nationally-divided one at Category:Javelin throwers.

The French wikipedia model (fr:Catégorie:Athlète par discipline) is quite good in my opinion, although I think we should avoid the specific distance categories like "80 metres hurdlers", "100 metres runners" and "5000 metres runners". Although I can understand why someone might like some of the more specific sprinting/middle/long-distance event categories, I think it could easily turn into a pointless exercise. For example, is Tyson Gay a 400 m runner because he's run that distance a few times? Is Kenenisa Bekele a 1500 m runner? It's easy to see how these could generate (a) endless, pointless arguments and (b) a system where most athletes are listed in all the categories which would have come under the much more convenient "sprinter" or "middle-distance runner" cats anyway. Still, one cat worth creating is for steeplechase athletes. Also, perhaps we could divide the hurdlers between "sprint hurdlers" and "400 m hurdlers"? There doesn't tend to be a lot of crossover between the hurdling events.

From an implementation point of view, does anyone know of a fast way of doing categorisation changes beyond the use of Wikipedia:HotCat? SFB 21:56, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

5000 metres

Please look at the recent history. An editor is putting in that it is 3.2 miles and I'm reverting back to 3.1. I'll let someone else have a shot at this. Thanks. --CutOffTies (talk) 18:59, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

It's a vandalism-only account, so a permanent ban is in order. GregorB (talk) 19:40, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

Samuel Wanjiru

Crazy news. Initially I thought it was random vandalism when an IP added a death date, then I saw twitter talk, and found a death article on Universal Sports. I added the recent death tag because it is unexpected and a possible suicide. Please watch this article for unsourced statements. It needs updating to reflect the death but since we're not even sure what day he died, I'm leaving it alone for now. Thanks --CutOffTies (talk) 01:20, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

Ugh! Awful news. Location (talk) 05:00, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
This is a great loss for athletics and Kenya in general. I really thought it would be only a matter of time until he broke Haile's record. Sadly, that has not come to pass. Once the situation is more clear, it will be well worth bringing the article up to a Good Article standard. As a side note, it would be good to document how the system works in regards to Kenyan youngsters acquiring Japanese athletics scholarships to attend high school. Aside from Wanjiru, there are numerous Kenyans who have followed this career route. SFB 18:21, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
What a shame. He had so much potential to be greater than he already was. It is my personal opinion that his victory in Beijing was one of the great races of all time. To run that time in that humid heat was incredible. Although it would of been nice to see him challenge Haile's record, his career didn't end in vain. He won Kenya's first Olympic gold in the marathon, broke a few WRs, and had several great marathon victories. Anyways, I would love to volunteer my services to bring this article to GA status. But yeah, I'm also leaving it alone until the story is a little clearer. Philipmj24 (talk) 20:01, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

Same user / different IP repeatedly adding misinformation to several runner's articles

Since this is continuing- there are now four known instances. Special:Contributions/, Special:Contributions/, Special:Contributions/, Special:Contributions/ Two of them have been blocked temporarily. If you see it continue, please revert all contributions, and report to wp:AIV. Thanks! --CutOffTies (talk) 18:47, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

More help is necessary. It spends too much time until this guy is blocked!!!

Montell 74 (talk) 13:59, 11 June 2011 (UTC)

Unfortunately there may be more - use this list to check... GregorB (talk) 15:58, 11 June 2011 (UTC)
I know. This vandalism is systematically. Why some of them still unblocked?Montell 74 (talk) 17:04, 11 June 2011 (UTC)
Just discovered Special:Contributions/ --CutOffTies (talk) 16:47, 30 June 2011 (UTC)

Deletion discussion

There is on-going discussion at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Athletics (overview). As this meaning is the other (chiefly American) interpretation of the word "athletics", then this debate has some relevance to this project. SFB 10:11, 11 June 2011 (UTC)

Earl Thomson/Thompson

Please see a discussion I have started at WP:CANADA about Earl Thomson/Thompson, the 1920 Olympic gold medalist in hurdles: Wikipedia talk:Canadian Wikipedians' notice board#Earl Thomson/Thompson. At this point, I am not certain which name is correct, and would appreciate further input. Resolute 23:14, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

CIF California State Meet alumni

Hi Athletics folks, An article I created is under attack. First let me preface, I created the core article of the CIF California State Meet a while back and have tied it to many of our elite athlete's articles. The first "attack" as it were, on the article was a request to expand it. As often as this meet has been a significant stepping stone to the elite of our sport, I built up a simple list naming the names of well over 100 notable athletes (as expressed in the header, not all achieved notability in athletics). To be specific, there is a famous baseball player, a basketball player, Olympic volleyball player, the World's Strongest Man, a WWE wrestler, an actor who achieved fame unrelated to his sports activities, several who did become famous by being athletes, numerous NFL players, 3 with Super Bowl rings and Hall of Fame credentials. Plus we have the notables from the world of Athletics, numerous Olympic Gold medal winners and world record setters. For a few, this meet was the notable culmination of their careers. And prominently we have many of our stars showing up there, but not as super-stars. Florence Griffith-Joyner only finished 6th, Kevin Young was only 3rd in the High Hurdles, javelin world record setter (and manufacturer) Bud Held was a pole vaulter. It may be trivial, but I think it ties a lot of information about the development of these athletes.

So the in the second "attack" this one editor came by and deleted the whole section as being random and WP:LISTCRUFT. I think its well researched and quite specific. Of course, this same attacking editor downgrades the entire meet as just being "a" high school meet, which kind of hits me at the core, if you look at the volume of high school and junior athletics articles I have contributed to. There really wasn't any room to expand on the significance of all these people, so I created the new separate article. Within hours of posting the article, this same editor has it up for deletion. Obviously there is a major difference of opinion. The article will be discussed at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/CIF California State Meet alumni, so you have the opportunity to tell him or me which one of us is out of our mind. Trackinfo (talk) 20:08, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

World records awaiting ratification

I've updated the world record progression section of Half marathon. The new women's mark is still awaiting ratification, so am hoping that someone else can take a look at it and suggest how it be addressed in the table there. Thanks! Location (talk) 18:09, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

I'll say I needed to look at it carefully to understand the situation. Between IAAF, ARRS, pre-IAAF, aided courses and en route marks, its a lot for the layman to digest, but the information is all there. I would suggest an align=left, or align=right in the times columnTrackinfo (talk) 20:01, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, this list is particular confusing given that the IAAF recognizes that their list includes marks that don't meet their own standards. I spaced the indentation for the relevant marks since align=right didn't line-up so well with the "a" in the aided marks. Location (talk) 23:16, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
The official ratification process is frustrating to me no end. American and World Masters records that I have spent so much time editing here are a disaster from the official body. It has made WP the superior source, which is the positive kind of contribution I hope to make by my editing here. I'm also going to try to get on the USATF records committee to find out what the bleep is going on in there. As with the Half Marathon page, if something is ratified, or a problem has been detected but is bypassed, there should be a public explanation. Why? Trackinfo (talk) 23:49, 28 June 2011 (UTC)

Two questions regarding the IAAF Continental Cup

  1. Do Continental Cup competitors represent their respective countries or their respective continents (particularly in the context of e.g. this edit)?
  2. Is it correct to use the EU flag (as in the above edit and the IAAF Continental Cup article itself) to represent Europe as a continent? GregorB (talk) 12:31, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
IAAF's site consistently lists both the country and the continent. Of course, that doesn't solve this little problem... (Incidentally, the Perković article you linked to badly needs to include her latest controversy, preferably with a couple words about the stimulant she tested positive for in the context of why's likely to get away with six months only.) As for the EU flag, I can't think of any alternative... anyway, the article on that flag is at Flag of Europe and the flag itself is also used by the Council of Europe (which represents almost all of Europe, not just EU). If we are to have "continental flags" at all, that's the one to use. Sideways713 (talk) 12:55, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
Flag of Europe indeed seems to suggest that the answer to question #2 is "yes". Regarding the Perković article - I'm planning to update it along these lines shortly, as soon as the suspension becomes official (reportedly within 10 days or so). GregorB (talk) 14:04, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
I don't think the usage of this flag in this way is entirely perfect. I'm not completely against it, but I think we could largely sidestep it by not including these medals in the lead templates. After all, they don't hold the same importance of other world level awards, or even continental level ones. Similar to Athletics Grand Final medals, these are high calibre competitions, but the actual importance in terms of people's careers (Perkovic's for example) is not particularly high. SFB
A valid point. I probably wouldn't have added it to the medal box myself, for this exact reason. It would be very nice if we had a project-wide MoS on medal boxes. There are many questions regarding those which are far from clear; which competitions should be displayed and which should not is only one of them. GregorB (talk) 20:29, 28 June 2011 (UTC)