billsportsmaps.com

April 11, 2015

Australian rules football – the Australian Football League (AFL), 2015 location-map with: rules (in general), clubs-history-chart, and chart of 2014 attendances with titles listed./ Plus: 2014 champions the Hawthorn Hawks.

Filed under: Aussie Rules Football,Australia — admin @ 3:14 pm

australian-rules-football_2015-afl_location-map_w-2014-attendances_titles-list_post_e_.gif
AFL (Australia): Australian Rules Football’s 1st division – map, with brief league history, 2014 attendances, and club titles listed



Links…
-Teams…Australian Football League/Current clubs (en.wikipedia.org).
-Live scores…scoreboard.com/aussie-rules.
-Fixtures & Results (official site)…afl.com.au/fixture.
-Official website…afl.com.au.

    Australian Football League: 2015 location-map with: Rules (in general), Clubs-history-chart; Attendances, Club colours, and Titles listed

By Bill Turianski on 11 April 2015; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.com.
First off, apologies to all the regulars from Down Under who have waited patiently (over 7 years) for me to finally make a map and a post of an Australian pro league. I will also soon have a post, in the near future (around mid-May 2015), for Australian rugby league football (the NRL).

On the map page…
At the top left-hand side of the map page is a Clubs-formation chart which shows a brief history of the VFL/AFL, with each current clubs’ date of inclusion into the league noted. At the lower left is a globe-map of Australia, with the 5 largest cities noted. At the center of the map page is a location-map of the 18 AFL teams. At the upper right-hand side of the map page are two illustrations of the typical Australian rules field, with a brief rules description and a brief word on typical-playing-field-dimensions (there also is a section below, on rules/playing-field/traditional-positions). Below that is a chart which shows 2014 home regular season attendance for the 18 AFL clubs, with three other things listed…1). club’s dates of formation and of inclusion into VFL/AFL; 2). club colours, crest, and jersey-pattern; 3). Premiers (titles) won by each club (with date of last title noted).

Size and population of Australia…
I will start of with a brief description of the size, relative size, and population of Australia. If you click on the following link you can see, at a glance, how massive the island/Continent of Australia is when it is compared to the Continental USA, {here (aboutaustralia.com)}. As you can see in that graphic, Australia is about the same size as the Continental USA, but when you factor in Alaska (and Hawaii), Australia ends up being about 23% “smaller” than the 50 United States. Australia is the 6th-largest country on Earth, at around 7.6 million km-squared (or around 2.9 million miles-squared), which makes it about 10% “smaller” than the 5th-largest country – Brazil, and more than twice the size of the 7th-largest country – India. To put it another way, Australia is massive. It is also not very populous for its size, because Australia is only the 52nd-most-populous nation, with a population of around 23.7 million {2015 figure}. To give you an idea of how sparsely populated Australia is, it has slightly less inhabitants than the pretty-small-sized nations of Nepal, Ghana, or North Korea. {Sources of data: sizes: List of countries and dependencies by area; populations: List of countries and dependencies by population (both from en.wikipedia.org).}

The Big 5 Cities in Australia…
There are 5 major cities in Australia, all of which have AFL teams. On the map page, in the globe-map on the lower left there, I have placed those 5 cities along with their populations. Sydney is the largest city in the country, with around 4.7 million inhabitants (in the metro area/urban population/all listed here are 2013 or 2014 estimates). Melbourne is the second-city of Australia – but only just…it has a population of only about 300 K less than Sydney, at around 4.4 million. Brisbane is third-largest, at about 2.3 million; Perth is fourth at around 2.0 million; and Adelaide is fifth at around 1.2 million. The capital of Australia, Canberra (which is situated in the small Australian Capital Territory, located midway between Sydney and Melbourne) is a rather small city, and is the eighth-largest, with about 411,000 inhabitants. {Sources, each city’s Wikipedia page for the most-recent population estimates, however the following link is relatively recently updated (2012 figures), List of cities in Australia by population (en.wikipedia.org).}

There are 4 football codes in Australia which have professional major leagues (the most of any country)…
There are 4 football codes in Australia (listed below with first-division 2014 league-average-attendances):
Australian rules football (1st division: AFL, which averaged 32,327 per game in 2014).
Rugby union football (1st division: Super Rugby, which averaged 16,913 per game in 2014).
Rugby league football (1st division: NRL, which averaged 15,787 per game in 2014).
Association football [aka soccer]: only pro division: A-League, which averaged 14,759 per game in 2014).
[source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_Australian_football_code_crowds#Attendances_by_league.]

An extremely simplified guide to the 4 football codes’ popularity in Australia…
Aussie rules football…
[please note: a very basic VFL/AFL history is shown at the top left-hand-side of the map page.]
To simplify it in the extreme, Australian Rules Football, which originated in the 1860s in and around Melbourne in the state of Victoria, turned semi-pro when the AFL was formed in 1897. Although first division teams were not based in any of the other states and territories of the country for almost 90 years (until the 1980s and 1990s), Aussie rules football has always been hugely popular throughout all the 8 states and the 2 territories of Australia, with the exception of New South Wales (NSW) and Queensland. In and around Sydney (which is the capital of New South Wales) and in all of Queensland (including Brisbane), Australian rules football has been historically overshadowed by rugby league football. The split described in the last two sentences can be see in the map at Barassi Line (en.wikipedia.org) {that map is also at the top-left-hand-side of the map page}.

The 2 Rugby codes in Australia…
Rugby Union, a little over a century ago, became the major sport of the city of Melbourne and of the state of Victoria. The highest level of competition in Australia is the National Rugby Championship, although there is a higher tier that involves teams from South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia, Super Rugby.

Rugby League, a little over a century ago, became the major sport of the city of Sydney and of the state of New South Wales (as well as the major sport of Brisbane in Queensland). The highest level of competition in Australia is the National Rugby League (NRL), which has 16 teams (9 teams from New South Wales).

Soccer (aka association football), in Australia…
Soccer was widely shunned by many if not most Australian fans and players for decades (ie, only “Sheilas, Wogs & Poofters” played soccer, as the bigotry of the day held [circa 1950s through '80s]). Only in the last decade-and-a-half or so has soccer become a viable pro sport in Australia. And now, going into the 2010s, soccer has made significant gains in popularity, to the point that the Australian first division in soccer (the A-League) is currently drawing only marginally less than both rugby codes in the country (see list with league-attendance 4 paragraphs above).

Australian Rules Football: Rules (in general), Field Size, and Traditional Positions…
australian-rules-football_rules_typical-oval_field-size_traditional-positions_b_.gif
Image credits above – Field markings on the oval, illustration by Schultz at File:Footygroundfix.svg (en.wikipedia.org). Traditional positions in Aussie rules, illustration by Robert Merkel at File:Aussie rules ground positions.svg. Typical oval, illustration by clfm at File:AFL stadium.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).

Australian Rules Football: Rules (in general)…
[Note: the text below is the same as the text in the upper-right-hand-part of the illustration above.]
Each team has 18 players. The playing field is very large (~135 to 185 meters), and is usually oval in shape. The ball is oval, and has much more bounce to it than an American gridiron football. 4 quarters of 20 minutes each are played (80:00). Each quarter starts with a ball-up, which is similar to a tip-off, but with the umpire bouncing the ball down hard onto the ground, and thus high into the air, to be contested on the way down by each team’s ruckman (usually the tallest man on the team). Aussie rules is a contact sport and opposing players can stop the ball carrier by tackling, but dangerous play will result in distance penalties or suspension.

Out of bounds balls are put back in play by umpire, who, with his back turned, tosses ball overhead back into play.

There are four goalposts, and kicking the ball through the two center-posts is the object of the game. Goals are scored by kicking the ball, untouched by anyone else, through the center-uprights (6 points). If ball goes through the flanking uprights instead, it is called a behind (1 point).
-Players can advance the ball (in any direction) by running with the ball, but must bounce the ball (or touch ball to ground) every 15 meters (~16 yards).
-Players can also advance the ball by kicking the ball to teammates.
-Players can also advance the ball via a clenched-fist hand-pass (called a handball), or by an open-hand-tap.
-No throwing of the ball is allowed.
A mark is made when a player catches a kick of more than 15 meters. Play stops, and then that player kicks the ball from the mark.
{For further details, see this, Australian rules football/Laws of the game;
and see this, Australian rules football playing field.}

AFL season:
The AFL (regular) season spans from late-March to early-September, and has 22 matches per team (11 home games for each team, played in a 23-weeks-span, with one bye week per team per season). Four points are awarded for each win and two points are awarded for a draw. That is illogical mathematics. Because what would be the difference if it was 2 points for a win, and 1 for a draw? There would be no difference. Hey Melbourne, why don’t you just give 2 million points for a win and 1 million points for a draw? Because the standings would still end up the same. Sheesh. {See this, Why does the AFL use 4 points for a win and 2 points for a draw? (answers.yahoo.com/question), which features some bloke positing the following theory…”Mate, I have no idea why they award 4 points for a win in the AFL. Almost every other Aussie Rules Football competition, outside of Victoria uses the 2-1-0 system. My hunch: 4 points looks bigger and better, exactly the way Victorians see themselves! (comment by Graham).}

The top 8 [of the 18] teams qualify for a post-season playoffs, which is a bit complicated {see this, AFL finals system}. Basically, of the 8 that make it to the post-season, the top 4 only have to win 2 more matches to advance to the Grand Final, while the lower 4 [of the 8 who qualify for the post-season] have to win 3 more matches to advance to the Grand Final. Excerpt from Australian Football League/Finals series (en.wikipedia.org)…”The grand final is traditionally played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on the afternoon of the last Saturday in September. The winning team receives a silver premiership cup and a navy blue premiership flag – a new one of each is manufactured each year. The flag has been presented since the league began and is traditionally unfurled at the team’s first home game of the following season.”

    Australian Football League (AFL): est. 1897 as the VFL…

(Note: The VFL changed its name to the AFL in 1990.)

1896: the Australian Football League (AFL), was formed in 1896 as the Victorian Football League (VFL), when 6 Melbourne-based clubs broke away from the the Victorian Football Association (Collingwood, Essendon, Fitzroy [now Brisbane Lions], Geelong, Melbourne, South Melbourne [now Sydney Swans]).

1897: a few months later, in early 1897, those 6 clubs invited two other Melbourne-based clubs to join the competition for its first season of 1897 (Carlton, and St Kilda).

In 1908, two more teams joined (Richmond, and the Melbourne University team), making the VFL, temporarily, a 10-team league for a 7-year-spell (1908-14).

(By around 1911 or so, player payments were becoming common in the VFL.)

1914: but one of those 2 new teams dropped out 6 years later – that was the Melbourne University VFL team. They were constrained by only being able to field players who were students there, and so never fielded professional players [just as the league was being filled more and more with semi-pro and pro players]. Melbourne University finished last 3 straight seasons, lost their last 51 games in the league, and left the competition for good in 1914. (Melbourne University team was re-started 5 years later in 1919 as 2 teams – the University Blues and the University Blacks – both of whom are currently in the top division of the seven-tier Victorian Amateur Football Association.)

1913: the VFL existed as a 9-team league from 1913 to 1925.

In 1925, 3 more Melbourne-based clubs joined, to make it a 12-team league (Footscray [now Western Bulldogs], Hawthorn, North Melbourne).

For over 5 decades (57 years/1925 to 1982), the VFL continued to exist in the 12-teams/all-Greater-Melbourne-based-clubs form.

1982: then one club moved up north to New South Wales – that was the South Melbourne Swans. The club’s Victoria-based supporters tried to stop it, but in fact the players wanted to move to Sydney, and so the move stood. Thus, in 1982, the first Interstate team (ie, a club outside of Victoria state) was established, when the South Melbourne Swans moved to the-land-of-rugby-league (NSW), and became the Sydney Swans. And several others clubs from outside of Victoria state soon followed…

1987: the first of two AFL clubs from the far western state of Western Australia, in Perth, joined the AFL in 1987 (West Coast Eagles/ 8 years later, in 1995, Fremantle, of Greater Perth, joined the league).

Also in 1987, the first of two AFL clubs from Queensland joined the league (the Brisbane Bears, who later became the Brisbane Lions in 1997, via a merger with Fitzroy [of Melbourne]/ 14 years later, the Gold Coast Suns, of far-southern Queensland, joined in 2011).

In 1991, the first of two AFL clubs from Victoria state’s neighboring state of South Australia joined the league (Adelaide Crows, who are currently the highest-drawing AFL club at ~48 K per game/ 6 years later, in 1997, the Adelaide Power joined the league).

2012: to round out the league, in 2012, another club from Sydney joined, and that was the Greater Western Sydney Giants.

So, at present [2015], there are 18 AFL teams, 10 of which are from Greater Melbourne/Victoria state; 2 from New South Wales state (in Greater Sydney); 2 from Western Australia state (in Greater Perth); 2 from South Australia state (in Adelaide); and 2 from Queensland state (1 in Brisbane, and 1 just south of there in the Gold Coast region).

To this day, first-division Aussie rules football draws best by far of any sport in Australia…in 2014, the AFL drew 32.3 K per game, which was almost double what its closest competitor for the fan-dollar (rugby union) drew. And for good reason, because Australian rules football is an awesome thing to behold. The AFL’s title-game, the Grand Final, which is held at the 95,000-capacity Melbourne Cricket Ground, draws the highest crowd of any national championship game in the world. The AFL’s 118th Grand Final drew over 99,000 last October (see illustration below).

Hawthorn Hawks have won the last two Premiers…
Hawthorn Hawks are of course Melbourne-based, and play most of their home matches at Melbourne Cricket Ground, but, since 2007, they have been playing 4 of their 11 home games per year at the 21,000-capacity York Park in Launceston, Tasmania, which is the second-largest city in Tasmania and is located on the north part of the island of Tasmania, 202 km or 126 miles north of the state capital of Hobart, by road. Distance by air from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia to Launceston, Tasmania, Australia is 442 km (or 275 mi). (Tasmania is the only Australian state located outside of the island/continent of Australia; Launceston is the only non-coastal city in Tasmania, with a population of around 103,000.)

Hawthorn Hawks – back-to-back champions of the Australian Football League (2013 & 2014 Premiers)…
-From Dailymail.co.uk, from 27 Sept. 2014, by Louise Cheer, Daniel Mills, and Sally Lee, Hawks soar to victory as Swans sink without trace: Hawthorn smash Sydney 137-74 as [more than 99,000] fans watch AFL grand final in Melbourne (dailymail.co.uk/news/article [w/ dozens of photos]).
-From Guardian/sports, from 27 Sept.2014, by Scott Heinrich, AFL grand final: Hawthorn win 12th flag with demolition of Sydney Swans (guardian.com/sport).

    Below: the reigning AFL champions, the 12-time Premiership-winning Hawthorn Hawks, of Melbourne (and of Tasmania)…

hawthorn-hawks_2014-afl-champions_2014-grand-final_photos_k_.gif
Photos and Images above -
Hawthorn FC colours, in swatch form, from File:AFL Hawthorn Icon.jpg (by the realjoebloggsblog at en.wikipedia.org).
Photo of Jared Lewis, from heraldsun.au. Photo-illustration of Peter Crimmins Medal from hawthornfc.com.au. Quote from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Crimmins_Medal. Photo of Jarryd Roughead, by Michael Dodge/Getty Images AsiaPac via zimbio.com.

Photos from 2014 Grand Final…Hawks fans at the G with flags and banners, photo by Getty Images via dailymail.co.uk. Luke Breust stooping to win possession, photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images AsiaPac via zimbio.com. Cyril Rioli scoring a goal from a tight angle, photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images AsiaPac via zimbio.com. Luke Hodge claimed his second Norm Smith Medal [best player in Grand Final] and helped the Hawks to another Grand Final, photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media via theroar.com.au. Hawks players celebrate at the final siren, photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images via gettyimages.com. Will Langford after leaping into stands to celebrate with Hawks fans, photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images AsiaPac via zimbio.com. Hawks’ Trophy celebration, photo by Joe Castro/AAP Images via guardian.com/sport.

___
Sources for map page:
Thanks to all at these links…
-Attendances (2014 season): 2014 Australian football code crowds/Attendances by team.

-Dates of establishment: Australian Football League/Current clubs.

-Titles: List of Australian Football League premiers. (en.wikipedia.org).

-Rules: Australian rules football; Australian rules football playing field (en.wikipedia.org).

-Australian rules football ovals (3 illustrations)…
Thanks to Schultz at File:Footygroundfix.svg (en.wikipedia.org).
Thanks to clfm at File:AFL stadium.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
Thanks to Robert Merkel at File:Aussie rules ground positions.svg.
-Blank maps on map page…
Thanks to Ssolbergj for globe-map of Australia, File:Australia (orthographic projection).svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
Thanks to NordNordWest for blank map of Australia, File:Australia location map.svg (en.wikipedia.org).
-Jersey Icons…
Thanks to thejoesbloggsblog for most of the jersey-pattern icons on the chart on the map page at Australian Football League/Current clubs (en.wikipedia.org).
Thanks to the AFLstore for Western Eagles’ jersey-icon, theaflstore.com.au/west-coast-eagles.

Thanks to the contributors at Australian Football League.
Thanks to the bloke in the Geelong Cats cap, in the stairwell at the Fairport, NY library last November, who told me that Aussie rules football is…”the best sport in the world, mate.”

March 30, 2015

2015 NCAA Men’s Division I Ice Hockey Tournament – the 2015 Frozen Four: Boston University, North Dakota, Providence, Omaha.

Filed under: Hockey,NCAA - ice hockey — admin @ 12:01 pm




Links…
My map of the 2015 tournament, 2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament – map of the 16 qualifying teams in the 2015 tournament, with 2013-14 attendances, plus all-time Division I ice hockey titles list (including all-time Frozen Four appearances).

Qualifying teams/Bracket2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament/Qualifying teams/Tournament bracket (en.wikipedia.org).
Schedule2015 D-I men’s ice hockey NCAA tournament schedule and results (espn.go.com)Best site for in-game scoresncaa.com/scoreboard/icehockey-men/d1.

    The 2015 Frozen Four: Boston University, North Dakota, Providence, Omaha.

By Bill Turianski on 30 March 2015; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.com.

Boston University Terriers…
1R: Boston University 3, Yale 2 (OT). 2R: Boston University 3, Minnesota-Duluth 2.
Boston University Terriers’ 22nd Frozen Four appearance.
The Terriers are host of the 2015 Frozen Four in Boston, on April 9th through Saturday April 11th, at TD Garden (home of the Bruins).
boston-university-terriers_2015-frozen-four_b_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Barry Chin/Boston Globe at BU advances to the Frozen Four with win over Minnesota-Duluth (bostonglobe.com). Logos from Chris Creamer’s Sportslogos.net, sportslogos.net/logos/Boston_University_Terriers.

University of North Dakota…
1R: North Dakota 4, Quinnipiac 1. 2R: North Dakota 4, St. Cloud St. 1.
The University of North Dakota advances to the Frozen Four for the 7th time in 11 years.
university-of-north-dakota_2015-frozen-four_d_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Photo by David Samson/The Forum at grandforksherald.com/north-dakota-advances-frozen-four; grandforksherald.com/ [photo]. Logos from Chris Creamer’s Sportslogos.net, sportslogos.net/logos/North_Dakota_Fighting_Sioux. Jersey photo from shop.cbssports.com/CBS_North_Dakota

Providence Friars…
1R: Providence 7, Miami (OH) 5. 2R: Providence 4, Denver 1.
The Providence Friars advance to the Frozen Four for the first time in 30 years.
providence-friars_2015-frozen-four_b_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Photo by Matt Eisenberg at uscho.com. Logos from Chris Creamer’s Sportslogos.net, sportslogos.net/logos/Providence_Friars.

Omaha Mavericks…
1R: Omaha 4, Harvard 1. 2R: Omaha 4, RIT 0.
The Omaha Mavericks make it to the Frozen Four for the first time ever.
[Note: you can click on image below to see it in a separate page.]
omaha-mavericks_2015-frozen-four_d_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Photo from http://pics.mcclatchyinteractive.com/wire_photos/4y4wbk/picture16881716/ALTERNATES/FREE_960/Nebraska%20Omaha%20RIT%20Hockey.JPEG [I could not find attribution or the place the photo was situated] via Nebraska-Omaha beats RIT 4-0 to reach Frozen Four . Logos from Chris Creamer’s Sportslogos.net, sportslogos.net/logos/Nebraska-Omaha_Mavericks.
Photo of Omaha Mavericks white jersey from omavs.com [the "15" was drawn in using font at link below].
___
Thanks to Free Vector Download for that jersey-font template, http://osc-vector.com/tag/block-font-numbers.
Thanks to the contributors at 2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament (en.wikipedia.org).

March 25, 2015

2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament – map of the 16 qualifying teams in the 2015 tournament, with 2013-14 attendances, plus all-time Division I ice hockey titles list (including all-time Frozen Four appearances).

Filed under: Hockey,NCAA - ice hockey — admin @ 4:44 pm

http://billsportsmaps.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/ncaa_ice-hockey_2015-mens-division-i-tournament_post_i_.gif
2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament – map of the 16 qualifying teams, with 2013-14 attendances, with chart of all-time D-1 ice hockey titles list (including all-time Frozen Four appearances)



Links…
PreviewsTen things to watch in the NCAA men’s hockey tournament (by Eric Sorenson at espn.go.com).
…From USCHO.com, 16 numbers: A look at some facts and figures on the 2015 NCAA tournament (by Alex Faust at uscho.com).
Qualifying teams/Bracket2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament/Qualifying teams/Tournament bracket (en.wikipedia.org).
Schedule2015 D-I men’s ice hockey NCAA tournament schedule and results (espn.go.com).
Best site for in-game scoresncaa.com/scoreboard/icehockey-men/d1.

    2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament

By Bill Turianski on 25 March 2015; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.com.
#1 seeds, etc
#1 seed this year are the Minnesota State Mavericks, who are from Mankato, MN, which is in the far southern part of the state, where there is more of a plains-state feel to it. Mankato has a metro-area population of only around 98,000 {2013 estimate}, and the Mavericks hockey team plays in a 4,800-capaity arena in the city’s downtown area. Minnesota State wear purple-black-and-yellow. In 1980, the Minnesota State Mavericks men’s ice hockey team won the D-2 title as an Independent (or non-conference-aligned) team. Since 1997-98, they have competed in D-1. The second-ranked #1 seed are the 7-time champions the University of North Dakota, of Grand Forks, ND. The kelly-green-and-black-clad University of North Dakota teams are the only Division I teams in the United States without a nickname (see the article that I linked to, from Slate.com, at the foot of this post, for more on this). The UND hockey team plays in a 12,400-capacity stadium, which is rather large for D-1 college hockey…all the more so because Grand Forks is a pretty small city: it is the 351st-largest city in the USA, with a metro-area of only about 100,000. The third-ranked #1 seed are the red-and-white Boston University Terriers. Boston U., who are 5-time champions (last in 2009), are one of three teams from Boston in the tournament this year – the other two Boston-based teams who qualified are 5-time winners Boston College Eagles and the Harvard Crimson (D-1 champions in 1989). The fourth-ranked #1 seed are the red-and-white-clad Miami RedHawks (aka Miami of Ohio), whose best tournament showing was as the losing finalist in 2009. The RedHawks are from Oxford, OH (population of only around 28,000), which is 31 miles north of Cincinnati. The 2015 D-1 men’s hockey tournament starts at 2 pm ET on Fri. March 27 (see full schedule at the third link in the first paragraph above).

Eight teams are returning from last year’s tournament…Denver, North Dakota, St. Cloud State, Minnesota State, Minnesota, Quinnipiac, Providence, Boston College.
Six teams are making it three-tournaments-in-a-row (since 2013)…Denver, North Dakota, St. Cloud State, Minnesota State, Minnesota, Boston College.
Four teams have a 4-tournament-streak (since 2012)…Denver, North Dakota, Minnesota, Boston College.
Boston College has the third-longest current streak at 6 straight tournaments (since 2010).
Denver has the second-longest current streak at 8 straight tournaments (since 2008).
North Dakota has the longest current streak, with 13 consecutive tournament appearances (since 2003) [but North Dakota has not won the title since 2000].

In this year’s tournament, the team with the all-time least tournament appearances (2 appearances), is a team from my hometown of Rochester, NY – Rochester Institute of Technology. RIT won a D-2 and a D-3 hockey title (in the mid-1980s), and the men’s team has been a D-1 team since 2005-06. The Tigers’ best season was 2010, when they made it to the Frozen Four. The school just built a larger arena for the team, going from a 2,100-seat arena to a 4,300-seat arena, the Gene Polisseni Center, on-campus in Henrietta, NY.

2015 Frozen Four schedule
The Frozen Four will take place 2 weeks later (Thur. Apr.9-Sat. Apr.11th), at the TD Garden (capacity 17,565) in Boston, Massachusetts. Semifinal games on Thursday April 9, and the Final is on Saturday April 11th at 7:30 pm ET.

Last season’s final
Union College won last year’s [2014] Frozen Four, their first D-1 men’s ice hockey title, (but the Dutchmen did not qualify for the 2015 tournament). The final last year was a 7-4 thriller, with Union College (a Division I team since only 1991), beating perennial powerhouse Minnesota, before a sell-out crowd at the Wells Fargo Center, in Philadelphia (attendance: 18,742). The score was 5-4 to Union with about 4 minutes to go, when Union scored two unanswered goals, {see this report + 1-minute highlights video, from the NHL.com site from April 13, 2014, Union beats Minnesota 7-4 to win NCAA hockey title (by Adam Kimelman at nhl.com).

On the map page
In the long horizontal chart at the top-center-right of the map page, the 16 teams in the 2015 tournament are listed by average attendance (2013-14 home regular season attendance), along with conference, location [of arena], arena seated capacity, 2013-14 percent-capacity, Division I men’s ice hockey titles won (with last title noted), Frozen Four appearances (with last one noted), and all-time Division I Tournament appearances (the Minnesota Golden Gophers have the most D-I tournament appearances, with 36).

Teams in the 2015 tournament, by conference
I have shown team-distribution-by-conference in the 6 boxes at the upper-left-hand side of the map page. In each of these 6 Division I men’s ice hockey conferences boxes, the date of conference-establishment is listed along with the number of teams in the conference. Also listed in those 6 boxes are total Divison I men’s ice hockey titles won by conference members (with most recent title-winner noted). Then the teams who made this tournament [2015] are listed. Last season [2014], the conference with the most teams in the tournament was Hockey East, with 5 teams (Hockey East has 3 teams in it this year…Boston College, Boston University, Providence). This season, the conference that has put the most teams in the tournament is the two-year-old National Collegiate Hockey Conference. The NCHC was established in 2013-14, from 6 previous members of the WCHA (Colorado College, Denver, Miami of Ohio, Minnesota-Duluth, Nebraska-Omaha, and North Dakota), and 2 teams that left the now-defunct CCHA (St. Cloud State and Western Michigan). The conference is spread from the north-central Ohio Valley across the Upper Midwest through the Northern Great Plains to the foothills of the Rockies.

Here are the 8 NCHA teams, with the six 2015-tournament-qualifiers shown in bold…
2 teams from Colorado (Denver, Colorado College),
1 team from Nebraska (Omaha),
1 team from North Dakota (North Dakota),
2 teams from Minnesota (Duluth, St. Cloud State),
1 team from Michigan (Western Michigan),
1 team from Ohio (Miami).

The D-I Men’s Hockey Titles & Frozen Four chart
The D-I Men’s Hockey Titles & Frozen Four chart (at the left on the map page) was put together via the two sources linked to below. Michigan has the most D-I titles in men’s hockey, with 9 (but the Wolverines have not won it since 1998); second-most titles is 7 (a tie between Denver [last in 2005] and North Dakota [last in 2000]); third-most titles is 6, won by Wisconsin [last in 2006].

Sources,
For titles in the titles/Frozen Four chart at the far right-hand side of the map page, I used this list, List of NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament champions/Team titles. For all-time Frozen Four appearances I used this list, List of NCAA Men’s Division I Frozen Four appearances by school (en.wikipedia.org at [college hockey]).

Attendances are from NCAA via USCHO.com site, Men’s Division I Hockey Attendance: 2013-2014 (uscho.com). [Note: the excellent USCHO.com is on my blogroll.]

Here is an interesting article on North Dakota’s situation with respect to the hockey team’s former nickname of the Fighting Sioux…
From Slate.com, from Jan 12, 2015, by James I. Bowie, The University of North Dakota Dropped Its Offensive Nickname. How Does the School Replace It?.

___

Thanks to
For the blank map of USA, thanks to AMK1211 at File:Blank US Map with borders.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
Thanks to Two Hearted River at en.wikipedia for several of the team logos (8 jersey illustrations) on the map page [ such as File:WCHA-Uniform-MTU.png ]. These illustrations can be found at many of the D-I teams’ Wikipedia pages, such as Minnesota State Mavericks men’s ice hockey.
Thanks to North Dakota Men’s Hockey facebook page for that logo.
Thanks to Chris Creamer’s SportLogos.net, for several of the logos used on the map and the charts.
Thanks to the contributors at College ice hockey/Division I (en.wikipedia.org).

March 15, 2015

2015 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament – the 68 teams – map, with team locations / Plus 2014 average attendances listed.

Filed under: NCAA Men's Basketball — admin @ 11:04 pm

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2015 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament – the 68 teams – map, with team locations / Plus 2014 average attendances listed




#1 Seeds for the 2015 Tournament are: Kentucky Wildcats (#1 overall), Villanova Wildcats (#1/#2 overall), Duke Blue Devils (#1/#3 overall), Wisconsin Badgers (#1/#4 overall).

Teams making their tournament debuts: Buffalo Bulls, North Florida Ospreys, UC-Irvine Anteaters.

-Dabo Sweeney, who is paid over $3 million a year to coach student-athletes at Clemson, on why student-athletes should not be paid…”As far as paying players, professionalizing college athletics, that’s where you lose me. I’ll go do something else because there’s enough entitlement in this world as it is.”
-Less than 2 percent of student-athletes in college football and college basketball turn pro.
-The term “student-athlete” was created by the NCAA in the 1950s to avoid paying worker’s compensation for injured players.
From Gothamist, from 16 March 2015, posted by …Video: John Oliver Says NCAA Is Running “Sweatshop” For Not Paying Student Athletes (20:54 video from the March 15 2015 edition of Last Week Tonight, hosted by John Oliver, posted by Jen Chung at gothamist.com).

Qualified teams (alphabetically) -
Listed below by: Name (Conference), Location [of basketball arena].
UAB [University of Alabama-Birmingham] Blazers (C-USA), Birmingham, AL.
Albany Great Danes (America East), Guilderland [Greater Albany], NY.
Arizona Wildcats (Pac-12), Tucson, AZ.
Arkansas Razorbacks (SEC), Fayetteville, AR.
Baylor Bears (Big 12), Waco, TX.
Belmont Bruins (Ohio V.), Nashville, TN.
Boise State Broncos (Mtn. W), Boise, ID.
Buffalo Bulls (MAC), Buffalo, NY.
Butler Bulldogs (Big East), Indianapolis, IN.
BYU [Brigham Young Univ.] (WCC), Provo, UT.
Cincinnati Bearcats (American C), Cincinnati, OH.
Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (Big South), Conway, SC.
Davidson Wildcats (Atl.-10), Davidson, NC.
Dayton Flyers (Atl.-10), Dayton, OH.
Duke Blue Devils (ACC), Durham, NC.
Eastern Washington Eagles (Big Sky), Cheney [Greater Spokane], WA.
Georgetown Hoyas (ACC), Washington, DC.
Georgia Bulldogs (SEC), Athens, GA.
Georgia State Panthers (Sun Belt), Atlanta, GA.
Gonzaga Bulldogs (WCC), Spokane, WA.
Hampton Pirates (MEAC), Hampton [Greater Norfolk], VA.
Harvard Crimson (Ivy League), Cambridge, MA [arena in Boston, MA].
Indiana Hoosiers (Big Ten), Bloomington, IN.
Iowa Hawkeyes (Big 12), Iowa City, IA.
Iowa State Cyclones (Big 12), Ames, IA.
Kansas Jayhawks (Big 12), Lawrence, KS.
Kentucky Wildcats (SEC), Lexington, KY.
Lafayette Leopards (Patriot), Easton, PA.
Louisville Cardinals (ACC), Louisville, KY.
LSU [Louisiana St. Univ.] Tigers(SEC), Baton Rouge, LA.
Manhattan Jaspers (MAAC), The Bronx, NYC, NY.
Maryland Terrapins (Big Ten), College Park, MD.
Michigan State Spartans (Big Ten), East Lansing, MI.
Mississippi [Ole Miss] Rebels (SEC), Oxford, MS.
New Mexico State Aggies (WAC), Las Cruces, NM.
North Carolina Tar Heels (ACC), Chapel Hill, NC.
North Carolina State Wolf Pack (ACC), Raleigh, NC
North Dakota State Bison (Summit), Fargo, ND.
North Florida Ospreys (Atl. Sun), Jacksonville, FL.
Northeastern Huskies (CAA), Boston, MA.
U. Northern Iowa [UNI] Panthers (Missouri Valley C), Cedar Falls, IA.
North Florida Ospreys (Atlantic Sun), Jacksonville, FL.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish (ACC), Notre Dame [Greater South Bend], IN.
Ohio State Buckeyes (Big Ten), Columbus, OH.
Oklahoma Sooners (Big 12), Norman, OK.
Oklahoma State Cowboys (Big 12), Stillwater, OK.
Oregon Ducks (Pac-12), Eugene, OR.
Providence Friars (Big East), Providence, RI.
Purdue Boilermakers (Big Ten), West Lafayette, IN.
Robert Morris Colonials (NEC), Moon Township [Greater Pittsburgh], PA.
San Diego Aztecs (Mtn. W), San Diego, CA.
St. John’s Red Storm (Big East), Queens, NYC, NY.
SMU [Southern Methodist Univ.] Mustangs (American C), Dallas, TX.
Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks (Southland), Nacogdoches, TX.
Texas Longhorns (Big 12), Austin, TX.
Texas Southern Tigers (SWAC), Houston, TX.
UCLA [Univ. of California-Los Angeles] Bruins (Pac-10), Los Angeles, CA.
Utah Utes (Pac-12), Salt Lake City, UT.
Valparaiso Crusaders [aka 'Valpo'] (Horizon), Valparaiso, IN.
Villanova Wildcats (Big East), Villanova, PA.
Virgina Cavaliers (ACC), Charlottesville, VA.
Virginia Commonwealth U [VCU] Rams (Atl. 10), Richmond, VA.
West Virginia Mountaineers (Big 12), Morgantown, WV.
Wichita State Shockers (Missouri Valley C), Wichita, KS.
Wisconsin Badgers (Big Ten), Madison, WI.
Wofford Terriers (Southern), Spartanburg, SC.
Wyoming Cowboys (Mtn. W), Laramie, WY.
Xavier Musketeers (Big East), Cincinnati, OH.
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Attendance figures from, http://www.ncaa.org/championships/statistics/ncaa-mens-basketball-attendance.
___

Thanks to Lokal_Profil for blank map, File:Blank USA, w territories.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, ‘2015 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament’.

March 5, 2015

2014-15 FA Cup, Sixth Round Proper (aka Quarterfinals): location-map with current average attendances./ Plus, an illustration with photos of the 8 clubs’ managers and photos and stats of the 8 squads’ top scorer (or scorers).

Filed under: >2014-15 FA Cup — admin @ 9:12 pm

2014-15_fa-cup_6th-round-quarterfinals_map_w-current-attendances_post_d_.gif
2014-15 FA Cup, Sixth Round Proper (aka Quarterfinals): location-map with current average attendances


FA Cup fixtures bbc.com/sport/football/fa-cup/fixtures.
BBC.co.uk/FA Cup.

    2014-15 FA Cup 6th Round (aka Quarterfinals). Below: the Fixtures, 8 teams’ managers & their top scorer(s)

2014-15_fa-cup_6th-round_8-teams_managers-and-top-scorers__arsenal_aston-villa_blackburn_bradford-city_liverpool_man-utd_reading_west-bromwich-albion_f_.gif
Photo credits above –
Arsene Wenger, photo of Wenger at 2014 FA Cup winners’ celebration in North London, by Stuart MacFarlane/Getty Images via huffingtonpost.co.uk. Alexis Sanchez, photo unattributed at iran-daily.com.

Tim Sherwood, photo by PA via telegraph.co.uk. Gabriel Agbonlahor, photo by Aston Villa FC at javaImages /avfc.co.uk/page/PlayerProfiles. Christian Benteke, photo of him congratulated by teammates after scoring from the spot in the 94th minute v West Brom [2-1 to Villa] on 3 March 2015 – a score which put the Villans above the drop-zone, photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images Europe) via zimbio.com. Andreas Weimann, photo by Aston Villa FC at javaimages/ avfc.co.uk/page/PlayerProfiles.

Gary Bowyer, photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com. Rudy Gestede, photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.

Phil Parkinson, photo at League Cup Final at Wembley 2013, by Getty Images via dailymail.co.uk/sport/football.ort/football. James Hanson, photo from i3.getwestlondon.co.uk.

Brendan Rodgers, photo by Liverpool FC via Getty Images via dailymail.co.uk/sport/football. Steven Gerrard, photo of him after scoring v Wimbledon in 14/15 FA Cup 3rd Rd, photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com. Raheem Sterling, photo unattributed at eatsleepsport.com.

Louis Van Gall, photo at ‘long-ball press conference’ by Niche via dailymail.co.uk/sport/football. Wayne Rooney, photo by Getty Images via express.co.uk/sport/football.

Steve Clarke, photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com. Simon Cox, photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.

Tony Pulis, , photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com. Saido Berahino, photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
___
Thanks to Soccerway.com for attendance figures and for league placements. You can find attendance figures (updated daily) for levels 1 through 6 of the English football pyramid at Soccerway, http://us.soccerway.com/national/england/premier-league/20142015/regular-season/r25191/.

Thanks to bbc.com/football team pages such as West Bromwich Albion Top Scorers (bbc.com/sport/football/teams).

Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, 2014–15 FA Cup.

March 2, 2015

2015 Copa Libertadores qualified teams: titles & all-time appearances chart for the 2015 competition.

Filed under: Copa Libertadores — admin @ 8:58 pm

The 2015 Copa Libertadores is in the group-stage round (8 groups of 4) .
-Here are a couple of links…
2015 Copa Libertadores Group Stage (misleadingly called the ‘Second Stage’): match-ups here (en.wikipedia.org); and also here (soccerway.com).




The following link directs you to my map of the 2015 Copa Libertadores (which I posted in January), http://billsportsmaps.com/?p=29484.

Below is the all-time Copa Libertadores appearances chart for 2015 qualified teams (with titles listed). To read the chart easier, you can click on the image below to place it in a separate page…

2015_copa-libertadores_qualified-teams_all-time_appearances-list_w-titles_h_.gif
___
Thanks to RSSSF – I used this list for all-time Copa Libertadores appearances for each club, ‘Copa Libertadores 1960-2014 Club Histories’ at rsssf.com .

February 17, 2015

MLB: Paid Attendance (tickets-sold) map for 2014 (home/regular season average tickets-sold), including change from 2013 and percent-capacity figures.

Filed under: Baseball,Baseball >paid-attendance — admin @ 6:45 pm

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MLB: Paid Attendance (tickets-sold) map for 2014




MLB attendance is defined as tickets sold.
If you buy a ticket for a Major League Baseball game, and then you don’t attend that game, your ticket that MLB sold you still counts in the officially announced attendance figure for that game. To put it another way, MLB attendance figures do not represent actual attendance, but rather, the total tickets sold for that game. The National League used to count turnstile clicks (aka ‘people in seats’), while the American League has always counted tickets sold. In 1992, the National League also began counting tickets sold instead of how many ticket-holders actually attended. Some sources say this was mainly because of revenue sharing (and the need to standardize the bookkeeping for all the MLB franchises), but revenue sharing only began ten years later, in 2002, which was a decade after the NL had started measuring attendance by tickets sold {see this, Attendance figures that count tickets sold, not turnstile clicks, make it hard for fans to reconcile what they hear with the empty seats they see (by Bill Shaikin at the Los Angeles Times)}.

In any case, counting tickets sold rather than turnstile clicks conveniently allows all 30 Major League ball clubs to get away with consistently painting a rosier picture of their attendance than what the reality is. The sad truth of the matter is, late in the season, with respect to games where the home team is out of the Pennant race, many MLB games have actual crowds that are up to around 40% less than the announced crowd size. That is because many fans who had bought tickets for that game earlier in the year then decided that it wasn’t worth attending a meaningless game late in the season, because their basement-dwelling ball club had nothing to play for.

Here is an article on this subject from the New York Times baseball blog, by Ken Belson, from Sept. 22 2012, The Official Attendance Can Become Empty of Meaning (bats.blogs.nytimes.com).

If you think that this is all pretty disingenuous, I won’t argue with that. I will simply point out this…the way that they tabulate official attendance figures in two of the three other major leagues – the NBA and the NHL – is far more dishonest. That is because the NBA and the NHL count tickets distributed toward what their official attendance figures are announced as. [Meanwhile, the NFL leaves it up to the teams, and 30 NFL teams count tickets sold, while the New York Giants and the Pittsburgh Steelers count turnstile clicks/ {see this, specifically paragraph 6 (cbssports.com by John Breech)}; {also see this, which lists the 4 major leagues' attendance-count policies, The book on attendance (utsandiego.com by Mark Zeigler)}].

And when the NBA and the NHL are measuring attendance by tickets distributed, that includes the often sizable number of tickets given away for free {see this article, How Sports Attendance Figures Speak Lies (by Maury Brown of the Biz of Baseball site, at forbes.com)}. And it is even more dishonest, because as they inflate the attendance by measuring it this way, they are inflating the “attendance” figure even more, because that tickets-distributed-attendance-figure includes all tickets distributed…even in those cases when the recipient of the free ticket didn’t even attend the game (seriously). Some NHL teams, particularly those outside of Western Canada and Toronto and Montreal, as well as those outside of the US Northeast and the US Upper Midwest, give away up to 3,000 free tickets a game! Which is how poor-drawing major-league hockey clubs in the Sunbelt, for example, can pretend they have far more ticket-buying fans than they really do. Thankfully, some franchises are seeing the corrosive effects of this (how would you feel if you shelled out big bucks for season tickets for a major-league hockey team, when sitting all around you are people seeing the game for free?)…{see this article from Oct.2014, where one of those under-supported-NHL-Sunbelt teams (the Florida Panthers) now has new ownership that is trying to stop the attendance-figure-dishonesty, by announcing actual turnstile clicks as the announced attendance, The Florida Panthers’ Empty Den (onlyagame.wbur.org)}.

So, at least, when you are given figures that measure not the actual attendance, but instead measure total tickets purchased (as in MLB)…well, you know one thing for sure, and that is that they (the MLB teams) are not lying about how many ticket they sold. They are only lying about the number of actual spectators at (some of) their games.

    Below, 2014 tickets-sold, the biggest change versus 2013 figures: change in tickets-sold of over 1,000 per game
    (11 MLB teams with plus-1,000-or-more tickets-sold / 9 MLB teams with minus-1,000-or-more tickets sold)…


Best increases in tickets sold in 2014 (versus 2013)…
Seattle Mariners: +3,738 per game.
Milwaukee Brewers: +3,287 per game.
Kansas City Royals: +2,540 per game.
Oakland Athletics: +2,399 per game.
Pittsburgh Pirates: +2,293 per game.
St. Louis Cardinals: +2,109 per game.
Miami Marlins: +1,802 per game.
Boston Red Sox: +1,516 per game.
New York Yankees: +1,507 per game.
Baltimore Orioles: +1,320 per game.
Houston Astros: +1,234 per game.

Worst decreases in tickets sold in 2014 (versus 2013)…
Philadelphia Phillies: -7,266 per game.
Texas Rangers: -5,145 per game.
Minnesota Twins: -2,803 per game.
Atlanta Braves: -2,400 per game.
Detroit Tigers: -2,502 per game.
Toronto Blue Jays: -1,988 per game.
Cleveland Indians: -1,673 per game.
Chicago White Sox: -1,452 per game.
Colorado Rockies: -1,401 per game.

On the map page…
At the far right of the map page is 2014 paid-attendance for all 30 MLB teams, along with 3 other statistics: percent-change from 2013, 2014 ballpark seating capacity, 2014 percent-capacity (which is paid-attendance divided by stadium seating capacity). At the lower right-hand corner of the map page, there are asterisk-type notes on 3 things: Boston’s different home capacities for day games and night games at Fenway Park in Boston, MA; notes on the Oakland A’s pretend-capacity (via huge tarps covering the upper decks at O.co Coliseum in Oakland, CA); and also notes on the Tampa Bay Rays’ pretend-capacity (also thanks to the egregious deployment of tarps, at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, FL).

The circular-cap-logos on the map page are all each MLB teams’ 2014 home cap logo, except with respect to Baltimore’s circular-cap-logo, which is of their all-black road cap, because the Orioles wear their white-paneled cap at home, and I wanted to maintain a uniformity to all 30 of the circular-cap-logos on the map. The circular-cap-logos were then sized to reflect crowd size, utilizing a constant gradient (the larger the ball club’s 2014 home regular season average paid-attendance, the larger their circular-cap-logo is on the map). I used cap logos from either the ball clubs’ pages at Wikipedia or at the excellent Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos.net, depending on which was more accurate in terms of actual cap-color as well as in terms of the logo itself (Yankees and Cubs cap logos are wrong at Wikipedia, and it looks like about 17 cap-logo background colors are wrong there as well).
___
Thanks to NuclearVacuum for the blank map, File:BlankMap-North America-Subdivisions.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
Thanks to ESPN for attendances & percent capacities, espn.go.com/mlb/attendance.
Thanks to Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos.net, for several (~17) of the cap logos, sportslogos.net.
Thanks to the contributors at en.wikipedia.org, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_League_Baseball#Current_teams.

February 13, 2015

2014-15 FA Cup, Fifth Round Proper: location-map with current average attendances/ with update.

Filed under: >2014-15 FA Cup — admin @ 7:34 pm

2014-15_fa-cup_5th-round_map_w-current-attendances_post_e_.gif
2014-15 FA Cup, Fifth Round Proper: location-map with current average attendances

Update: biggest upsets in the 2014-15 FA Cup 5th Round
The chart below shows the 3 biggest upsets in the 2014-15 FA Cup 5th Round (from Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th of February 2015/if there is an upset Monday [Preston v Man Utd], the chart will be updated). Note: league placements were from the start of the weekend (that is, Friday morning the 13th of Feb. 2015)…

http://billsportsmaps.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/2014-15_fa-cup_5th-round_upsets_feb2015_f_.gif







FA Cup fixtures bbc.com/sport/football/fa-cup/fixtures.
BBC.co.uk/FA Cup.

Broadcast games (en.wikipedia.org).
___
Thanks to Soccerway.com for attendance figures and for league placements. You can find attendance figures (updated daily) for levels 1 through 6 of the English football pyramid at Soccerway, http://us.soccerway.com/national/england/premier-league/20142015/regular-season/r25191/.

Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, 2014–15 FA Cup.

February 5, 2015

Rugby League: 2015 Super League XX location-map, with all-time English RL titles list & attendance figures from 2014./ Plus a season-preview article on 2015 Super League XX, written by James Nalton./ Plus illustrations of the 4 semifinalists from last season, including 2014 champions St Helens RLFC.

Filed under: Rugby — admin @ 8:16 am

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Rugby League: Super League XX location-map, with all-time RL titles list & attendance figures from 2014





Super League official site (superleague.co.uk).
Fixtures.

From the Love Rugby League site, Super League XX predictions (by James Gordon & Zach Wilson at loverugbyleague.com/blog).

New format explained at the following link…superleague.co.uk/#RL New Era.

    2015 Super League XX Preview

By James Nalton
Defending champions St Helens head into Super League XX under a new head coach – club legend Keiron Cunningham – and retain their status as the good outside bet they were in last season’s Grand Final. Their opponents that day, Wigan Warriors, are favourites to take the crown this time around, in a year which is being dubbed a new era for the sport of rugby league.

With the new era comes a new format, which looks confusing on first glance, but aims to provide a sustainable system of promotion and relegation in which a team dropping to a lower division won’t be crippled either on the pitch, or on the balance sheet. It also means that most teams will have something to play for from the first game till the last.

It’s the first time since the end of 2007 that promotion and relegation has been used, although Bradford Bulls and London Broncos were relegated at the end of 2014 to facilitate the move to a 12 team Super League.

The clubs discussed the idea at length before implementing the changes, with the Chairman of Super League Europe, Brian Barwick, commenting that:

“The clubs were unanimous in their view that Super League should become a 12-team competition from 2015 and that there should be meaningful movement between Super League and the Championships.”

The season culminates in the end of season play-offs, and the “Super 8s”, in which the 24 teams from the Super League and Championship are split into three groups of 8, based on their league position, to decide who wins what and who stays in which division.

The first eight will play for the Super League crown, with the top four after seven games going on to the Super League play-offs to decide the winner.

The second eight will fight for a Super League place next season, with the top three from this group claiming a spot in 2016, and the teams finishing 4th and 5th playing off in “The Million Pound Game” to decide the fourth team who’ll make the top league.

The favourites Wigan boast a squad of impressive local players, with many coming through the club’s own academy production line. Their faith in this system has seen them assign the number six jersey to 20-year-old George Williams, rather than look to replace departing Australian stand-off, Blake Green, with another overseas player.

Local academy players Joe Burgess and Dom Crosby were also rewarded with numbers in the first XIII, taking the number 5 and 8 shirts respectively. They join a whole host of players in the Wigan squad who originate from Lancashire’s rugby heartlands, with many joining the club from local amateur side Wigan St Patricks.

Indeed, the entire top division has gone back to its roots in the working class towns of Lancashire and Yorkshire, with the only exception being Catalans Dragons, who are based in the south of France – another traditional league stronghold.

James Nalton is a writer based in Liverpool, England, whose sportswriting focuses on football tactics, emerging talents in world football, and rugby league. He owns several websites covering football around the globe, and has also written for the likes of Squawka, Sambafoot, and EPL Index. James also writes music reviews for local publications, and has a degree in Music Production from The University of Huddersfield. You can follow him on Twitter @JDNalton.

Below are club-profile illustrations for each of the 4 semifinalists in 2014 Super League XIX (champions St Helens, runner-up Wigan Warriors, and quarterfinals winners Catalans Dragons and Warrington Wolves). Included in each illustration is: club info, stadium photos and info, major titles listed, average attendance from the last 4 seasons (2011-14), club history with stadiums and derbies noted, recent home jerseys shown, and photos & stats of top players in 2014…

    2014 Super League XIX champions: St Helens RLFC…

St Helens’ 2014 average attendance: 12,120 per game (3rd best in Super League).
st-helens-rlfc_langtree-park_knowsley-road_t-makinson_j-roby_2014super-league_xix_champions_m_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Aerial view of Langtree Park, photo unattributed (uploaded by RMB2001) at skyscrapercity.com/thread [ST HELENS | Langtree Park Stadium | 18,000 | Completed ]. Street-level photo of Langtree Park by barr-construction.co.uk/barr-construction-news. Action photo (of 1st game at Langtree Park Jan 2012), photo by Action Images via telegraph.co.uk/sport/rugbyleague/Sell-out-crowd-watch-St-Helens-play-first-match-at-Langtree-Park.
Aerial photo of Knowsley Road (from 2008) by Webbaviation.co.uk (UK aerial photography), at webbaviation.co.uk/sports/gallery2/v/football-stadia/sthelens. 2015 St Helens home jersey, photo unattributed at newrugbykits.com. Photo of St Helens fans in the stands at Langtree Park (from 2013), photo by sthelensstar.co.uk. Thomas Makinson (2014 top try scorer for St Helens), action photo by liverpoolecho.co.uk. James Roby (2014 top tackler for St Helens), photo by swipix.com via bbc.com/rugby-league. Trophy celebration with St Helens captain Paul Wellens lifting the trophy, photo by Getty Images via dailymail.co.uk/sport/rugbyleague/st-helens-14-6-wigan.

    2014 Super League XIX runner-up: Wigan Warriors RLFC…

Wigan Warriors’ 2014 average attendance: 14,102 per game (2nd best in Super League).
wigan-warriors_central-park1902-99_dw-stadium_josh-charnley_joe-burgess_n_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Wigan Warriors 2015 home (retro) jersey, photo from store.wiganwarriors.com/home-shirt-2015-cherry-and-white. Central Park (Wigan), photo [circa late 1990s] by Brian Bradshaw at wiganworld.co.uk/photo-gallery. DW Stadium, exterior aerial telephoto shot with surrounding area in Wigan [aerial view to the South], photo by Dave Green/ OyPhotos.co.uk via skyscrapercity.com/forums via wiganworld.co.uk. Supporters in the rain with umbrellas at Wigan Town square for trophy celebration [photo circa 2011], photo from wiganwarriors.com. Josh Charnley, photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images Europe at bettingpro.com via zimbio.com. Joe Burgess, photo by Getty Images via dailymail.co.uk/sport/rugbyleague/article-2789495/sam-tomkins-backs-joe-burgess.

    2014 Super League semifinalist: Catalans Dragons (aka Ville de Perpignan Dragons RLFC)…

Catalans Dragons’ 2014 average attendance: 7,667 per game (7th best in Super League).
catalans-dragons_stade-gilbert-brutus_morgan-escare_t_.gif
Photo credits above –
Catalans Dragons 2014 jersey, photo from rlshop.co.uk/catalans-dragons-home-shirt-2014. Aerial view, unattributed at info-stades.fr/forum/rugby-top14/perpignan-stade-gilbert-brutus-dragons-catalans-t1269.html. Photo at front gate, Michael at flickr.com/photos/gumptard/2322189456/. Photo of Dragons supporters, at catalansdragons.com/en/articles-6/6-17-fans-associations/. Morgan Escaré, photo by swipix.com via bbc.com/sport/rugby-league.

    2014 Super League semifinalist: Warrington Wolves RLFC…

Warrington Wolves’ 2014 average attendance: 9,870 per game (5th best in Super League).
warrington-wolves_halliwell-jones-stadium_joel-monaghan-top-try-scorer2014_n_.gif
Photo and Image credits – Warrington 2014 home jersey, photo from rlshop.co.uk/superleague/warringtonwolves. Halliwell Jones Stadium, photo unattributed at examiner.co.uk/sport/rugby-league. WWRLFC crest (sign on stadium), photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com. Warrington fans, photo from warrington-worldwide.co.uk. Joel Monaghan (top scorer with 28 tries in 2014 SL XIX), both photos by: (on left), Gareth Copley/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com; (on right) Gareth Copley/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.som.


Notes on the map page…
The map page features, on the far left, a map of England and a map of France (which shows the location and crest of Super League club Catalans Dragons). At the top centre is an enlarged inset map of Northern England (which shows the locations and crests of 11 of the 12 Super League clubs). At the top right is the all-time English rugby league national titles list (1895-96; 1902-03 to 1914-15; 1919-20 to 1938-39; 1941-42 to 2014/[Super League established in 1996/SL playoffs began in 1998]). At the lower centre is 2014 attendance data for Super League XX clubs. Included in the attendance data are league averages for crowd size in the last 3 seasons (in SL XVII, XVIII, XIX/2012, 2013, 2014).
Here are the Super League league average attendance numbers for the last 3 seasons…
2012: 9,048.
2013: 8,570.
2014: 8,153.
The re-introduction of promotion/relegation in Super League was probably needed, because, while Super League attendances overall have not plummeted, they certainly are on a downward trend. In 2014, average crowds in Super League were down 4.1% (from 2013), and were down 9.9% from two seasons ago. That has been a drop-off of 895 per game. With the relegation of abysmally-drawing London Broncos, plus some hopefully tight relegation dogfights this season, Super League XX will most likely see an uptick in the league average crowd size.


Sources for map:
Thanks to the following…
-Titles, Rugby Football League Championship/League Leaders and Champions; Super League/Super League Champions (en.wikipedia.org).
-Attendance, 2014 and 2013 figures from this article at Total RL.com, totalrl.com/opinion-super-league-attendance-drop-cause-concern;
also, bbc.co.uk/rugby league reports via 2014 Super League season results (en.wikipedia.org), for Hull KR Percent Capacity figure (had to do it manually because of stadium-expansion midaway through the in April 2014).
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Thanks to League express at Total RL.com for the attendance figures for 2013 & 2014 {here}.
Thanks to very much to Hanigan for 2012 attendance figures {2012 SL league average and club average attendances from Hanigan at totalrl.com/forums/index.php/topic/244182-averages-attendances-for-super-league-and-other-divisions/.}.
Thanks to James Gordon at LoveRugbyLeague.com, for compiling the 2011 attendance figures, loverugbyleague.com/news_10175-wigan-top-average-attendance-table.html.
Thanks to bbc.co.uk/rugby-league for reporting attendance figures in Super League (the BBC is one of the few media outlets that report rugby league attendances, done on a game-by-game basis; unfortunately they do not report total averages).
Thanks to LoveRugbyLeague.com stadium profile pages,
loverugbyleague.com/club/st-helens/ground-guide.
loverugbyleague.com/club/wigan-warriors/ground-guide.
loverugbyleague.com/club/catalan-dragons/ground-guide.
loverugbyleague.com/club/warrington-wolves/ground-guide.

Thanks to DistanceFromTo.net, for distances between towns.

Thanks to the Cherry & White – Independent Wigan RLFC fansite, for this very detailed and illustrated article on the old Central Park (Wigan), wigan.rlfans.com/Central Park.

Thanks to D-maps.com, for blank map of the UK, http://d-maps.com/pays.php?num_pay=218&lang=en.

Bill Turianski thanks James Nalton for collaborating on this post. James’ blog, The Botofogo Star, is on the blogroll at billsportsmaps.

January 26, 2015

2015 Copa Libertadores, map of the 38 clubs in the competition; featuring 2014 Copa Libertadores champions San Lorenzo.

Filed under: Copa Libertadores — admin @ 7:04 pm

copa-libertadores_2015_map_post_i_.gif
2015 Copa Libertadores, map of the 38 clubs in the competition





The preliminary round of the 2015 Copa Libertadores starts on 3rd through 5th February 2015, with second legs on 10th through 12 Feb. The group-stage round (8 groups of 4/see second link below), starts on 17th and 18th February 2015.
-Here are a couple of links to see all the match-ups in the first two rounds…
2015 Copa Libertadores Preliminaries (misleadingly called the ‘First Stage’): match-ups here (en.wikipedia.org).
2015 Copa Libertadores Group Stage (misleadingly called the ‘Second Stage’): match-ups here (en.wikipedia.org); and also here (soccerway.com).

    2014 Copa Libertadores Champions & Holders – San Lorenzo, of Buenos Aires (their first Copa Libertadores title)

San Lorenzo -a club in exile…
CA San Lorenzo (Club Atlético San Lorenzo de Almagro). Established 1908 in the Almagro district of Buenos Aires, Argentina (which was just west of the then-city-limits of Buenos Aires, and is a few kilometers north of present-day Boedo barrio [Boedo being the former and still-spiritual-home of the club]). First match: 26 April 1914. First match in Primera División [amateur era]: 4 May 1915. First match at Estadio Gasómetro in Boedo barrio (which in the preset-day is situated in Buenos Aires Federal District): 7 May 1917. The club played at the Estadio Gasómetro from 1917 to 1979. They lost ownership of the stadium in 1979, when the military junta in charge forced the club to sell the stadium, for about one-eighth of the value of the parcel (in other words, the club was robbed by the fascist regime back then). CA San Lorenzo became homeless for 14 seasons (playing at the stadiums of Huracán, Vélez Sarsfield, and CA Atlanta). The original Gasómetro was demolished and a supermarket was built there. In 1993, San Lorenzo moved into a new stadium, the Nuevo Gasómetro, but in the barrio of Flores (about 7 km or 4 mi south-west of Boedo). San Lorenzo hope to someday move back to Boedo.
san-lorenzo_of-boedo_exiled-in-flores_but-someday_h_.gif

Pope Francis and his club, San Lorenzo
Pope Francis (born Jorge Mario Bergoglio), is a card-carrying member of Buenos Aires-based San Lorenzo, having paid his dues annually since 2008, even renewing them in 2011 after his election as pope. [See his card below.] As it says in an article by Joel Richards at the Soccer Gods blog, {excerpt}…”As a youngster, Cardinal Bergoglio of Buenos Aires attended every single [match] during the club’s 1946 championship winning season. His father played for San Lorenzo, albeit at basketball, and as Cardinal he blessed the club chapel that was paid for by another famous supporter, actor Viggo Mortensen.”…{excerpt from Remembering 2014: When San Lorenzo became more than “the Pope’s club” at soccergods.com}.
san-lorenzo_the-club-that-the-the-cool-pope-supports_b_.gif
Photo credits above -
Satellite view of El Gasometro, unattributed at portal-argento.com.ar/estadios-primera-division.
Curva at El Gasometro in 2009, photo by Lee Barrett stuartnoel.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/san-lorenzo-4.jpg at A South American fiesta of football (theballisround.co.uk).
Unattributed at circuitox.com/el-coco-basile-y-su-episodio-con-el-papa-francisco.
Photo of commemorative 2013 San Lorenzo jersey featuring photo of Pope Francis, photo by San Lorenzo de Almagro via worldcrunch.com.

CA San Lorenzo are finally Copa Libertadores champions in 2014, and are the 8th Argentine side to win a Copa Libertadores title…
From ESPN FC.com, from 13 Aug. 2014, by Tim Vickery, San Lorenzo capture first Copa title.

San Lorenzo had been the only one of the Big 5 in Argentina without a Copa Libertadores title. They finally won South America’s biggest prize by defeating Paraguay’s Nacional 2-1 aggregate (on 6 & 13 Aug. 2014). The trophy was won under the leadership of Rosario-born Edgardo Bauza (who had made history, 6 years previously in 2008, by leading LDU Quito to Ecuador’s first Copa Libertadores title/ see captions below).

san-lorenzo_2014-copa-libertadores-champions_edgardo-bauza_nestor-ortigoza_e_.gif
Photo credits above -
Edgardo Bauza, screenshot of video image from ESPN Deportes at espndeportes.com/videohub/video/clipDeportes?id=2132326. Edgardo Bauza, photo by Fernando Romero/ABC Color at abc.com.py/deportes/futbol/san-lorenzo-con-equipo-confirmado.
Nestor Ortigoza, photo by Natacha Pisarenko/Associated Press at utsandiego.com/news/2014/aug/13/san-lorenzo-wins-copa-libertadores-for-1st-time.
San Lorenzo squad celebrating at the ceremonial platform, photo by Kamen/PikoPress/REX at theguardian.com/football/blog/2014/aug/14/san-lorenzo-copa-libertadores.

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Thanks to FootieMap.com, for finding stadium-locations of various clubs who have qualified for the 2015 Copa Libertadores, such as http://www.footiemap.com/?co=ecuador .
Thanks to RSSSF – I used this list for all-time Copa Libertadores appearances for each club, ‘Copa Libertadores 1960-2014 Club Histories’ at rsssf.com .

Blank map used for the post – Thanks to selfmade, for uploading a cropped section of this map (adapted from Brianski’s File:BlankMap-World3.svg by Canuckguy and originally based on CIA’s political world map) , to make the following: File:Latin America – First level political divisions.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).

Thanks to this article about alleged bribe-takers, at BBC World service, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11841783.
Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, ‘2015 Copa Libertadores‘.

Thanks to the following…Photo credit on map page (San Lorenzo 2014 Copa Libertadoes champions), photo by AP at deportes.starmedia.com/futbol/libertadores/resultado-partido-san-lorenzo-vs-nacional-por-final-copa-libertadores-2014.html.

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