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Nov 29 15 10:53 PM

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Europe Is The Best In The World At Sports

This research counts the top 10 countries in 24 team sports.
Europe: 119 places
Americas: 54 places
Asia: 52 places
Africa: 9 places

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TheRoonBa

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#2 [url]

Nov 30 15 3:53 PM

Not really surprising - down to collective wealth of the population, I guess, and ability to spend free time playing sports rather than working/finding food. You're hardly going to convince someone to build an American football stadium in Chad. How did Oceania fare (Australia and New Zealand)? I would guess they would be quite high due to their relatively equal wealth distribution.

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#3 [url]

Nov 30 15 4:00 PM

TheRoonBa wrote:
Not really surprising - down to collective wealth of the population, I guess, and ability to spend free time playing sports rather than working/finding food. You're hardly going to convince someone to build an American football stadium in Chad. How did Oceania fare (Australia and New Zealand)? I would guess they would be quite high due to their relatively equal wealth distribution.

Yes, but I also believe many European countries are more efficient than the USA in sports even if the 2 were equal in wealth and population. In the video I talk a little bit about New Zealand and Australia. In this particular moment New Zealand ties USA in number of 1st place sports, but this is rare. However, USA destroys NZ and Australia all around. As far as efficiency goes NZ and Australia are more efficient than the USA and most if not all other countries (Serbia, Ireland, Canada, Croatia and a handfull of others are all contenders for most efficient).

Last Edited By: abramjones Nov 30 15 4:02 PM. Edited 1 time.

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TheRoonBa

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#4 [url]

Dec 1 15 10:22 AM

International competition for Europe is easier - Pan-European tournaments are easier to organise than Pan-American due to the distances involved.

Also, the sports Europe is better in are traditionally European sports. USA is good at basketball, baseball, American football - all traditionally American sports with much weaker appeal in Europe. American football stands out for me - USA is so far ahead of the rest that they can even pick a bunch of college students (and they do) to represent USA, and they are still much better than all the other national teams. That is simply because, in general, people don't like American football outside the USA (except for the Superbowl, when they are just jumping on the hype bandwagon to look cool). The same holds for Australian Rules football - Australia is so far ahead of everyone else that they don't even bother competing. A few times they have fielded an Under-17 academy team and they have easily beaten New Zealand, who are one of the better nations at this sport. Again, this is generally because nobody outside Australia gives a damn about Aussie Rules.

If we look at sports where Europe is better - football (soccer) - no surprise that in the USA, support for these sports has largely come from ethnically European/African enclaves, where football has a longer history of being the people's game.

What else do we have?
Handball? USA is pretty bad at this sport - Europeans largely dominate. I guess that's because nobody in the US cares about it. Ice hockey is also supposedly one of the "Big Four" in American sports, but European nations such as Slovakia, Czech Republic, Finland, Sweden are regularly able to compete, or beat, the USA. Several of these players play in the NHL. The US has a clear advantage here in terms of having the richest league in the world, and having an interested population. They've had this advantage for years now, and they haven't dominated ice hockey. Some years, they do send a national team without NHL players, but that's their prerogative. They won the 1960 Ice Hockey World Championship, but the USA has managed only 4 third place finishes in the 52 tournaments since then. They also won Olympic gold in 1980, and had 3 silver medals since 1960. So, why haven't they used their potential to dominate?

The US in general is more able to tap into its rich ethnic diversity than any other nation due to its sheer size and population. Australia is generally good at most sports as well, and has historically had many "ethnic" origin players in its teams (many Greek/Croatian/Serbian sounding names).

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#5 [url]

Dec 1 15 6:45 PM

Just a footnote to the last point : the population of both USA and Australia is almost entirely descended from immigrants rather than "natives". I would be interested to know the general trend of sporting prowess in terms of proportion of immigrants.

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#6 [url]

Dec 8 15 4:01 AM

theroonba: International competition for Europe is easier - Pan-European tournaments are easier to organise than Pan-American due to the distances involved.


I agree with pretty much everything you said except the above statement. We have pan american tournaments in a variety of sports all the time, as i'm sure you know. Also, this data set only uses world championships where all continents participate. but I think you missed the point of this post which I admittedly did not state on purpose, it was a quiet implication. What I was suggesting is that it is ridiculous to have a national USA team (same for other large countries), by showing how ridiculous it would be to have a national EU team. The EU team would excel in many sports, even more than the USA does. And the USA is already better than other country in brute athletic force (as shown by the other spreadsheets). Think of it from an olympic perspective by imagining medal counts for the following...

AVAILABLE POPULATION
EU: over 300 million
USA: over 200 million
China: almost 100 million

Some might argue that USA should have a national team because it represents 1 culture, but it really is an illusion. The only reason why USA is represented by USA is because of a perception, under a government. Technically, EU is under one governing body also (though a different kind, but again, this is a philosophical difference).  Another argument in favor of a national USA team could be a common language or something like that. But there are plenty of countries like India or even Ghana that have many languages. What I'm saying is that this is all a ridiculous illusion and should be done more scientifically. It would not be terribly difficult.

Last Edited By: abramjones Dec 8 15 5:04 AM. Edited 3 times.

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#7 [url]

Dec 8 15 4:09 AM

nfm24: Just a footnote to the last point : the population of both USA and Australia is almost entirely descended from immigrants rather than "natives". I would be interested to know the general trend of sporting prowess in terms of proportion of immigrants.


Yes, I have thought about this a lot. But I hate to talk about USA and Australia at the same time, because I believe Australia to be much more athletic than USA. Australia, New Zealand, and Canada seem to take after Ireland in sports efficiency. All 4 of these countries are among the top in the world in athletic efficiency. I think that Irish culture possibly has influenced these countries a lot. Even though NZ doesn't have much Irish, I think that NZ was highly influenced by Australia which is largely Irish. But this is just a hypothesis with no supporting research.

Last Edited By: abramjones Dec 8 15 4:14 AM. Edited 2 times.

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TheRoonBa

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#8 [url]

Dec 8 15 11:49 AM

internationalsports wrote:
theroonba: International competition for Europe is easier - Pan-European tournaments are easier to organise than Pan-American due to the distances involved.

I agree with pretty much everything you said except the above statement. We have pan american tournaments in a variety of sports all the time, as i'm sure you know. Also, this data set only uses world championships where all continents participate. but I think you missed the point of this post which I admittedly did not state on purpose, it was a quiet implication. What I was suggesting is that it is ridiculous to have a national USA team (same for other large countries), by showing how ridiculous it would be to have a national EU team. The EU team would excel in many sports, even more than the USA does. And the USA is already better than other country in brute athletic force (as shown by the other spreadsheets). Think of it from an olympic perspective by imagining medal counts for the following...

AVAILABLE POPULATION
EU: over 300 million
USA: over 200 million
China: almost 100 million

Some might argue that USA should have a national team because it represents 1 culture, but it really is an illusion. The only reason why USA is represented by USA is because of a perception, under a government. Technically, EU is under one governing body also (though a different kind, but again, this is a philosophical difference).  Another argument in favor of a national USA team could be a common language or something like that. But there are plenty of countries like India or even Ghana that have many languages. What I'm saying is that this is all a ridiculous illusion and should be done more scientifically. It would not be terribly difficult.

Hmmm - Pan-American tournaments don't happen that often compared to Pan-European tournaments.  Even North American tournaments don't happen that often, and if they do, only a few countries compete (USA, Canada, Mexico, for example).  There are hardly any sports where the majority of American countries compete in a continental tournament.  In Europe, there are regular continental championships in most team sports.  In any case, it doesn't change my point - it's easier and less expensive to hold a pan-European event than a pan-American event due to the massive geographical distances involved.

Pretty much every country exists as a perception, under a government.  Even those that we think of as ethnically homogeneous.  In my opinion, it would be pretty boring to have international competition if all countries were the same size and population and had the same resources.  I realise you think this would make competition 'fairer', but I don't think many people are actually crying out for it, and it's not through ignorance - they just prefer it the way it is.  Much more satisfying to overcome adversity on the sports field than equalise everything financially and resource-wise off the field.


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#9 [url]

Dec 8 15 8:38 PM

TheRoonBa wrote:
Much more satisfying to overcome adversity on the sports field than equalise everything financially and resource-wise off the field.

Surely the way forward is to try and equalise everything financially and resource-wise in general society first.  Can't see a lot of poor countries getting richer, so the natural solution is for us to make rich countries poorer (and also kill off any surplus population).  We just need to wait for a financial disaster to bankrupt the economies of all the major countr.... hey wait a minute.


How many sports have competitions where the 50 US states play against each other?
This would surely be a starting point - to run regional representative competitions within the larger countries which you insist should be broken up (but, for some reason, only in sports).

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#10 [url]

Dec 12 15 5:35 PM

TheRoonBa wrote:
In my opinion, it would be pretty boring to have international competition if all countries were the same size and population and had the same resources.  I realise you think this would make competition 'fairer', but I don't think many people are actually crying out for it, and it's not through ignorance - they just prefer it the way it is.  Much more satisfying to overcome adversity on the sports field than equalise everything financially and resource-wise off the field.

And indeed that seems to be supported by the data

Buraimo and Simmons (2008) wrote:
Turning to the U-shaped relationship estimated between gate attendance and home win probability, we find that attendance (comprised overwhelmingly of home fans in EPL) seem to prefer to pay to watch games that have either a very high probability or very low probability of a home victory. The attraction of a low probability win outcome for home fans conceivably lies in a "David versus Goliath" effect, in which home fans desire to be present on the rare occasion that David beats Goliath.

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#11 [url]

Dec 13 15 12:38 AM

Hmm. Although that is physical attendance at the stadium, which is almost exclusively made of supporters of one particular team, mostly the home team. In other words they found two forms of glory hunting - either the glory of winning matches and cups, or the glory of the underdog upset.

TV interest presumably isn't parallel since TV audience is a mixture of supporters of the two teams but also a lot of neutrals who have more interest in an unpredictable outcome (and also on the "quality" of the teams).

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#12 [url]

Jan 31 16 11:14 PM

TheRoonBa: Pretty much every country exists as a perception, under a government.  Even those that we think of as ethnically homogeneous.  In my opinion, it would be pretty boring to have international competition if all countries were the same size and population and had the same resources.  I realise you think this would make competition 'fairer', but I don't think many people are actually crying out for it, and it's not through ignorance - they just prefer it the way it is.  Much more satisfying to overcome adversity on the sports field than equalise everything financially and resource-wise off the field.



Again, it does not matter if people are crying out for it or not. I am speaking from a position of objectivity of what actually should be. What I'm telling you right now is that international sports are meaningless except in instance where a country that has less defeats a country that has more. and as the numbers show, this is rare.  Right now you say "in your opinion it would be pretty boring" but you give no reasoning for this. If you were brought up in a world where international sports were done my way what are the chances you would say "this is boring." I don't want to speak for you, but I highly doubt you'd say that, because there is no reason why it would be boring. The only difference is that aggregate scorelines would better represent the talent of that country in sports. It would still be a sports game (: And you say people "just prefer it that way" people don't "just" do anything, there is always reasons for it. and in this case it's because it's what they are used to, it's conditioning. most (99%+) of the people are followers and will follow whatever system is in place. As for your last comment, I disagree again, sports should not be about overcoming starvation and lack of resources, they should be about playing sports (: One real problem I have with these type of comments you have is that you are trying to minimize the perception of how big of differences wealth and population create by saying things like "i realise you think this would make make competition fairer" <--- it's not about me thinking, of course it would make it more fair, i know you've seen the numbers i presented which gives a ridiculously huge benefit to countries with more wealth and population. By the way, making things more fair won't necessarily stop huge differences in talent, what it will largely stop is deceptive scorelines. Germany vs Antiga and Barbuda in soccer.... really? international sports have not evolved much since the 1800s when they started. Don't you realize that this kind of "adversity" as you call it is VIRTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE TO OVERCOME. it's easy to think of thousands of examples like this. but situations where a country does overcome adversity is much much much more rare. this whole argument that wealth/population differences make sports more interesting is completely bogus and a total cop out. in fact, it makes it way more boring because there is way less teams that compete against each other.

Last Edited By: abramjones Jan 31 16 11:50 PM. Edited 4 times.

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#13 [url]

Jan 31 16 11:26 PM

nfm24: Surely the way forward is to try and equalise everything financially and resource-wise in general society first.  Can't see a lot of poor countries getting richer, so the natural solution is for us to make rich countries poorer (and also kill off any surplus population).  We just need to wait for a financial disaster to bankrupt the economies of all the major countr.... hey wait a minute.


I totally disagree, because the fix I offer is so simple and does not require a mass amount of resources and drastic societal changes. surely it would be a drastic change for the sporting world, but compared to fixing the world's socioeconomic problems it is a microscopic change. do i believe in erasing extreme poverty and do i think it's possible? yes and yes, but it is a different and more serious subject. Also, if we did things your way here, we would still have different sized countries. My idea largely solves this problem in the world of sports.

nfm24: How many sports have competitions where the 50 US states play against each other? 
This would surely be a starting point - to run regional representative competitions within the larger countries which you insist should be broken up (but, for some reason, only in sports).

We have 0 competitions like this. And I was actually talking to some people here about doing a such thing. It's a great idea. But I do not have the time or resources to pull of such a thing myself (sports are not my main focus in life). If i was rich i would certainly start this type of league. And about your last comment in parenthesis, that's a completely different topic. Also, it should be noted that you should not look toward the USA for innovation or to lead the world (see how well that worked for the world after ww2). i can't speak for the rest of the world, but i know for a fact that the people here grossly underachieve compared to what we have, it is disgusting. the longer people look toward the USA for answers the longer progress will take to happen (in most, not all cases).

Last Edited By: abramjones Feb 1 16 12:00 AM. Edited 2 times.

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TheRoonBa

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#14 [url]

Feb 1 16 5:20 PM

Well - first things first, you will have to unravel people's unnatural and conditioned love for their countries. Then teach them that international sport is all about fairness. Then convince them to form national teams based on their now unravelled love for their countries. Good luck with that!

In order for these people to get behind their new entities, you will have to teach them a new Ghana/Togo/Benin national identity (for example) which is currently not there. Then you are basically re-creating the "conditioning" thing you so heavily criticise, but in terms that you think are fairer. What might be fairer is if sport just didn't exist at all - that would take out any need to even consider its fairness. It's sport, it's not life or death - it doesn't have to be all evened out. As mentioned previously, solving world poverty or evening out financial resources on a global level (not only in sports) would be a better thing to achieve first. Without this, it would be hard to implement such a system as you offer.  If you can achieve some of what you think needs to be done, then all is well.

Tell you what - wouldn't it be fairer if antelopes were the same strength and ferocity as lions? Of course - it would give both adversaries an equal chance. Should it be so? No.


Chill out, man - have a beer.  It's Monday and the week is long.

Last Edited By: TheRoonBa Feb 1 16 5:23 PM. Edited 1 time.

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#15 [url]

Feb 1 16 5:51 PM

>> nfm24: How many sports have competitions where the 50 US states play against each other?
> jones: We have 0 competitions like this. ... It's a great idea. But I do not have the time or resources to pull of such a thing myself


Hmm, I'm not sure there is much point debating all this. The situation isn't likely to change (at least in the direction you intend) unless somebody actually does something about it, and that clearly isn't going to be you. Your ambition with all this is limited to doing some number crunching, and then attempting to persuade a few people that you are right, but you have apparently no plan or intention for what happens next even in the unlikely event that you successfully persuade people.

Given this, why not go directly to persuading the sports officials? Go to Switzerland and present your case to some sports federations.

[Small tip: you might persuade larger countries to split into regions if this increased their voting power on committees etc. ]


> Also, it should be noted that you should not look toward the USA for innovation or to lead the world

I wasn't, I was just giving the 50 states example as closer to home, as this would possibly be easier to begin with. But I don't really care.

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#16 [url]

Feb 1 16 5:57 PM

TheRoonBa wrote:
What might be fairer is if sport just didn't exist at all

That would save so much time, can we all agree to work towards this instead?

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#18 [url]

Jun 6 16 9:53 PM

TheRoonBa wrote:
Well - first things first, you will have to unravel people's unnatural and conditioned love for their countries. Then teach them that international sport is all about fairness. Then convince them to form national teams based on their now unravelled love for their countries. Good luck with that!

In order for these people to get behind their new entities, you will have to teach them a new Ghana/Togo/Benin national identity (for example) which is currently not there. Then you are basically re-creating the "conditioning" thing you so heavily criticise, but in terms that you think are fairer. What might be fairer is if sport just didn't exist at all - that would take out any need to even consider its fairness. It's sport, it's not life or death - it doesn't have to be all evened out. As mentioned previously, solving world poverty or evening out financial resources on a global level (not only in sports) would be a better thing to achieve first. Without this, it would be hard to implement such a system as you offer.  If you can achieve some of what you think needs to be done, then all is well.

Tell you what - wouldn't it be fairer if antelopes were the same strength and ferocity as lions? Of course - it would give both adversaries an equal chance. Should it be so? No.

Chill out, man - have a beer.  It's Monday and the week is long.

I think you are taking my idea of "fairness" out of context. I know we have been over this before. I mean fair as in "competing on a level playing field" not fair as in "everything needs to be equal and the same so that all teams have the same skill level" that is not a very good description, but i don't know how else to put it.

With this second paragraph you are also erroneous. You don't need to teach people a Ghana/Togo/Benin identity. If there is a group of americans, a group of spanish, a group of indians, and then 1 guy from togo, 1 guy from ghana and 1 guy from benin... 9 times out of 10 they are going to naturally start to form their own social group because they are more culturally/ethnically similar. There is nothing to teach except the raw math. Furthermore, the majority of the people do not need to be convinced of this, I don't see why you think so. Your other points are also incomplete. Sport is not life and death... of course not. Neither is toilet paper, i can wipe my ass with a leaf and water if need be. The current international sports situation: wiping your ass with a leaf. my scenario: wiping your ass with toilet paper. We have also been over the eliminating extreme poverty argument. it is absolutely ludicrous to suggest solving extreme poverty is easier than changing international sport to be something closer than i suggest. solving extreme poverty is a simple concept and can be done, but would involve mass revolution and complete economic reorganization. My scenario involves creating a few dozen teams out of mostly rich countries (china would be a pain in the ass to divide up, but most countries not so much). secondly, as stated before, even if you remove extreme poverty you still have different country sizes (USA and New Zealand for example). New Zealand is superior in athletic efficiency to USA, but USA destroys NZ at most sports. There are countless examples like this, just view the European standings in my spreadsheets.

Your final statement I cannot apply to this situation realistically. a lion is naturally a lion, an antelope is naturally an antelope.  germany is not naturally wealthy, cambodia is not naturally in extreme poverty... it's artificial circumstance.

I am pretty chill, i just don't beat around the bush when it comes to the few topics i actually know something about. I don't want to come across as an ass, but I know I am (:

Last Edited By: abramjones Jun 6 16 9:56 PM. Edited 1 time.

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#19 [url]

Jun 6 16 10:09 PM

nfm24 wrote:
>> nfm24: How many sports have competitions where the 50 US states play against each other?
> jones: We have 0 competitions like this. ... It's a great idea. But I do not have the time or resources to pull of such a thing myself


Hmm, I'm not sure there is much point debating all this. The situation isn't likely to change (at least in the direction you intend) unless somebody actually does something about it, and that clearly isn't going to be you. Your ambition with all this is limited to doing some number crunching, and then attempting to persuade a few people that you are right, but you have apparently no plan or intention for what happens next even in the unlikely event that you successfully persuade people.

Given this, why not go directly to persuading the sports officials? Go to Switzerland and present your case to some sports federations.

[Small tip: you might persuade larger countries to split into regions if this increased their voting power on committees etc. ]


> Also, it should be noted that you should not look toward the USA for innovation or to lead the world

I wasn't, I was just giving the 50 states example as closer to home, as this would possibly be easier to begin with. But I don't really care.

Just to clear things up, the only reason why I don't have a plan or intention to change things is because I don't have the resources. I am one guy of below normal social status living in poverty (not extreme poverty though at least). If I had any type of resources to do such a thing I would in a heartbeat, I am only doing what I can because everyone else is a bunch of pansies (that is directed at rich people with power who just sit around keeping everything as is as if this is the year 1916).

About presenting it to actual organizations: I have thought about this and eventually will. My first step is presenting these ideas to the internet sports community and taking it from there. It's important to note that there have been actual scholars that have released similar points as mine about wealth and population in sports, but they simply release it as an academic report with no wish to change things, I take more of an activist approach.

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#20 [url]

Jun 6 16 11:03 PM

abramjones wrote:
The current international sports situation: wiping your ass with a leaf. my scenario: wiping your ass with toilet paper.

I don't see much of an improvement. 

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