Duo weigh in ahead of title showdowns

first_imgGeorge Groves and Steve O’Meara have both weighed in ahead of their Commonwealth title fights on Saturday night.Hammersmith’s Groves is defending his super-middleweight crown against former world champion Glen Johnson at the ExCel London.Also on the bill is O’Meara’s clash with unbeaten Liverpudlian Liam Smith for the vacant title at light-middleweight.Johnson has faced a number of top fighters, including Bernard Hopkins and Britain’s world champion Carl Froch. The wily Jamaican pulled off a shock win over American superstar Roy Jones in 2004.A victory would move Groves a step closer to a world title shot.Groves came in well under the 12st-stone limit at 11st 12lbs 14oz and Johnson, who has previously operated at light-heavyweight, was 11st 13lbs 6oz.O’Meara, who was born in Shepherd’s Bush and lives in West Drayton, has a reputation as a technical boxer but has won his last three fights with early knockouts.He was well inside the 11-stone light-middleweight limit at 10st 12lbs 12oz, while Smith scaled 10st 13lbs 6oz.West London Sport will have live updates from the ExCel London during Groves and O’Meara’s title fights.See also:O’Meara to fight for Commonwealth titleGroves believes he can stop JohnsonWatch the Groves v Johnson pre-fight press conferenceGroves discusses Johnson and a potential clash with FrochO’Meara ready to seize title chanceDeGale backs O’Meara to win titleWatch Groves and Johnson square-up at their weigh-inSteve O’Meara ‘excited’ as he prepares for his title clashWatch O’Meara and Smith weigh in ahead of their title fightJohnson speaks ahead of his fight with George 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 Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

admin December 21, 2019 itnegjqegczj Leave a Comment

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Entries pour in for Comrades Marathon

first_img He added: “We warmly welcome all of our international participants but greatly value our local Comrades Marathon runners who have made the race the epic event that it is today. “With little more than 4 000 spaces left before the close of the entry process, we urge our regular runners to enter as soon as possible so as not to be left disappointed,” Van Staden said. Entry is open to all athletes, be they novices or veteran Comrades Marathon runners. Qualifying for the 2014 Comrades Marathon is applicable from 2 June 2013 until 5 May 2014. The entry criteria are available on the official Comrades Marathon website. SAinfo reporter The Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) has urged all aspirant Comrades Marathon runners who have not yet entered to do so soon to secure a space in next year’s “down-run”, which starts outside the Pietermaritzburg City Hall.‘Enter as soon as possible’ CMA race director Johan Van Staden said in a statement: “The attraction of the Comrades Marathon to ultra-runners across South Africa and all parts of the world has meant that our entries are being taken up very quickly. At the rate at which entries are coming in, we anticipate that the cap of 18 000 will be reached well before 30 November. No extensions will be granted.” 6 November 2013 With less than a month left in its 2014 entry process, the iconic Comrades Marathon has already amassed nearly 14 000 entries. International participants from as far afield as Egypt, China, Canada and India, along with a host of European countries will represent more than 60 nations in “The Ultimate Human Race” come Sunday, 1 June 2014.Entry process The three-month long entry process for the 89th edition of South Africa’s most famous road-running race opened on 1 September and will close at the end of November or as soon as the entry cap of 18 000 has been reached. The entry barometer reportedly stood at 13 900 on Monday and was steadily rising.last_img read more

admin December 18, 2019 rysqjljcpzpp Leave a Comment

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Threat to South African archeological treasure

first_img30 July 2015By Lyn Wadley, University of the WitwatersrandSibudu, a rock shelter above the uThongathi River in KwaZulu-Natal, is one of South Africa’s most important archaeological sites. Its recent nomination for World Heritage status demonstrates that it is of universal value, with heritage that belongs to all humanity.A housing development has been approved next to the rock shelter, threatening the fragile archaeological site.The fate of the cave has drawn global attention with international scientists and scientific associations offering to help support its survival. For South Africans, the site creates tensions between a desire to save a precious heritage site and the sensitive issue of providing homes for the poor.Why Sibudu deserves to be preservedThe ancestors of all humanity evolved culturally at sites like Sibudu. Early modern humans developed complex thought patterns and symbolic behavior in southern Africa. Among its prolific finds, Sibudu has some of the earliest examples in the world of sea-shell beads, a wide variety of bone tools, bone arrowheads for hunting, use of herbal medicine, and preserved plant bedding – all about 70 000 years old.Archaeobotanists have identified seeds and charred wood from trees not found in the area today, and some plants that are valued for their medicinal properties. This establishes the antiquity of South Africa’s profound indigenous knowledge. Hunters brought the remains of many animals including extinct giant horse and buffalo to the shelter. It is therefore an environmental as well as a cultural archive.Recently, chemical and protein analyses identified a mixture, probably from powdered red ochre mixed with wild bovid milk. This may have been body paint or something for decorating clothing or objects. The site is well-dated and has large collections of stone tools.Between 1998 and 2011, Wits University directed the excavations, and since 2011 excavations have been directed by a German university.Sibudu is on the Unesco list as part of a serial nomination for World Heritage status together with five other South African Stone Age sites. These sites inform us about the way early modern humans developed complex behaviour of the kind performed by people today. The South African Heritage Resources Agency nominated Sibudu as a National Heritage site. It was further nominated by the South African national government for World Heritage status.The Unesco document of July 2013, the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention, defines a World Heritage site thus:“The cultural and natural heritage is among the priceless and irreplaceable assets, not only of each nation, but of humanity as a whole. The loss, through deterioration or disappearance, of any of these most prized assets constitutes an impoverishment of the heritage of all the peoples of the world.”There is a considerable contradiction between South Africa’s national nomination of Sibudu as a World Heritage site and the provincial granting of development rights nearby.Development threatens SibuduA South African development company plans to build on sugar cane fields which it owns. The KwaZulu-Natal department of economic development, tourism and environmental affairs has authorised the building project. A low income subsidy housing estate with approximately 370 homes will be built on about 32 hectares within 300 metres of the centre of Sibudu.Archaeologists are concerned about the effects of an increased footprint at the site because its dry, loose sediments are located on a slope and are susceptible to damage by trampling.Other archaeological sites have been destroyed or heavily vandalised when housing developments were built nearby. Peers Cave in the Western Cape is an example. People perceive it as a secret area within a public place, where they can hold unnoticed parties or meetings. Fencing is an unsatisfactory option. Experience elsewhere suggests that intentional exclusion of people causes curiosity and invites vandalism.The most sustainable way to protect archaeological sites is to have caretakers who see them as resources. If Sibudu becomes a World Heritage site, there will be full- time custodians. If wisely cared for, it can become an important archaeo-tourism destination and educational centre. A site museum and theme park could be of economic benefit to the local community.When deciding on a course of action, South Africans must be cognisant that Sibudu cannot be moved in order to preserve it. It also has a non-renewable heritage resource that is only ours for as long as we cherish and protect it. Lyn Wadley is Honorary Professor, School of Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Studies at University of the Witwatersrand. She receives funding from the National Research Foundation.This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.last_img read more

admin December 18, 2019 mfkvpfavqhez Leave a Comment

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Cobb named location manager at Archbold Equipment Bowling Green

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Archbold Equipment Company has named Phil Cobb Location Manager of the Bowling Green CASE IH dealership.“Phil brings diverse experience to this location,” said Zach Hetterick, Archbold Equipment CEO. “His extensive background in service, industry knowledge and leadership skills will strengthen the Bowling Green team. We look forward to him expanding and developing the staff there.”Cobb comes to Archbold Equipment from AGCO, where he was Key Account Manager in Ohio and Indiana. Prior to that he held various roles at Case New Holland including Regional Service Manager, Cash Crop Specialist, Product Sales Training Specialist and Combine Field Test Intern. Cobb has also spent time custom harvesting from Texas to Montana.“I am looking forward to getting back closer to my farming roots, working with the local community and farmers in the area,” Cobb said. “I plan to work with the Bowling Green team to enhance the location for customers as well as the staff.”Cobb grew up on a farm in England and graduated from State University of New York with a degree in Agricultural Equipment Technology. He and his family reside in Helena, Ohio.last_img read more

admin December 17, 2019 pypqskzmbfie Leave a Comment

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Ohio Soybean Council announces Board of Trustees election

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) Board of Trustees has five district seats up for election this year. All eligible candidates interested in running for the OSC Board must obtain at least 15 valid signatures on the petition available at www.soyohio.org.OSC is the Qualified State Soybean Board for Ohio and manages state soybean checkoff dollars. The OSC Board is made up of farmer volunteers who direct the investments of checkoff dollars to improve the profitability of Ohio soybean farmers.Districts up for election are:District 1: Fulton, Henry, Lucas, and Williams Counties incumbent Todd Hesterman is eligible to run for another termDistrict 2: Erie, Ottawa, Sandusky, and Wood Counties incumbent Nathan Eckel is eligible to run for another termDistrict 5: Allen, Hancock, and Putnam Counties incumbent Bill Bateson is eligible to run for another termDistrict 9: Delaware, Marion, Morrow, and Union Counties incumbent Bret Davis is term-limitedDistrict 13: Adams, Brown, Clermont, Clinton, Highland, and Warren Counties incumbent Amy Sigg Davis is term-limitedAll petitions must be submitted to the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) by mail, and must be postmarked no later than July 6, and received by ODA no later than July 13, 2018. To be eligible for election to the OSC Board, you must live in a county in the districts listed, and be a soybean producer engaged in the growing of soybeans in the State of Ohio, who owns or shares the ownership and risk of loss of soybeans at any time during the three year period immediately preceding November 15 of the current year.  Eligible producers who have contributed to the soybean checkoff and have submitted a petition with the signatures of 15 other eligible soybean producers who reside in the respective district shall be determined by ODA as candidates for election. OSC Trustees serve one term of three years, and may be elected to serve up to three consecutive terms.For questions, please contact Kirk Merritt, OSC Executive Director, at kmerritt@soyohio.org.last_img read more

admin December 17, 2019 kwstxiplqlko Leave a Comment

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BMW expects hit from trade dispute and emissions tests

first_imgFRANKFURT – German luxury automaker BMW said Tuesday that its profits and sales will fall short of its forecasts this year, saying that fear of international trade conflicts has weighed on pricing and citing the impact of new emissions tests on European markets.The profit warning — the second from a major German automaker this year — underlines the difficulties facing the industry in maintaining its record of steadily growing sales and profits.The Munich-based company said that sales revenue in its automotive division would fall slightly compared with last year’s instead of increase, while earnings before tax would be moderately below last year’s 10.66 billion euros ($12.55 billion) instead of roughly in line.A key earnings metric — the operating profit margin — would fall short. BMW predicts a 7 per cent profit margin, below its target range of 8-10 per cent. The figure represents how much the company is making per vehicle, an area that has been a strong point for makers of higher-priced cars.“The continuing international trade conflicts are aggravating the market situation and feeding uncertainty,” the company said in a statement. “These circumstances are distorting demand more than anticipated and leading to pricing pressure in several automotive markets.”The company also said that new, tougher diesel emissions tests in Europe, called WLTP for Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure, have led to market and sales distortions, even though BMW has managed to implement the new standard ahead of time. Auto registrations soared in Europe in August as companies unloaded noncompliant vehicles before the new standard came into force on Sept. 1 and made them unsellable, often in the form of fleet or rental sales.The company also cited costs for warranty actions. In August, it announced a recall of 324,000 due to a defect that could cause vehicle fires.BMW is facing some of the same headwinds that led competitor Daimler to issue a profit warning in June. Analysts at Sanford C. Bernstein said that the price pressure from competitors Audi and Daimler’s Mercedes selling off vehicles ahead of the emissions deadline should be temporary. “The fact that some German companies have screwed up WLTP testing and are now offering discounts on pre-registered cars is not a sign of the consumer rolling over,” they wrote in an email. If the testing issue passes “and 2019 demand remains intact, earnings should stabilize.”Shares in BMW dropped about 5 per cent after the announcement.last_img read more

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Lack of formal apology casts shadow over Jallianwala Bagh event in UK

first_imgLondon: The failure of the UK government to tender a formal apology on the centenary of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre was the overwhelming focus of a commemorative event held at the House of Lords complex in London on Saturday. The massacre took place at Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar during the Baisakhi festival on April 13, 1919, when troops of the British Indian Army under the command of Colonel Reginald Dyer opened fire at a crowd of people holding a pro-independence demonstration, leaving scores dead. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USIndian-origin peers Lord Raj Loomba and Lord Meghnad Desai were joined by fellow members of the Jallianwala Bagh Centenary Commemoration Committee (JBCCC) to wrap up a series of events and exhibitions held in the UK to mark the 100th anniversary of the British colonial era massacre. “The Jallianwala Bagh massacre of April 13, 1919, stands out as a very tragic event in history. Hundred years since then, India has come a long way and this why we have heard various mutterings of regret because ultimately India is now a power to reckon with,” said Lord Desai. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls”I do not understand why the British government has not to this day agreed to say sorry,” said Lord Loomba, who also called for an investigation into whether Colonel Dyer instigated the “huge atrocity” of his own accord or was following orders from higher authorities during the British Raj. The commemorative event included a screening of a short clip from Richard Attenborough’s 1982 epic ‘Gandhi’, re-enacting the fateful day. Unofficial estimates put the death toll into thousands, with the incident being described as a turning point in the Indian national movement. “The pain remains etched in the memory of Punjabi people. An apology will not bring back the dead or give any real comfort to their family and friends. However, it will help to mitigate the pain and bring closure to us all,” said Manjit Singh GK, Patron-in-Chief of the JBCCC. “An apology cannot undo what has been done but it would be a befitting tribute to the martyrs of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. We on behalf of the JBCCC, strongly demand that the British government tender an official apology,” said Vikramjit Singh Sahney, Patron of JBCC. “Pain and hurt do not have prescribed end dates. It is time to recognise that and for the British government to ask for forgiveness with an unreserved apology,” added JBCC chair Balbir Singh Kakar. Earlier this week, British Prime Minister Theresa May had expressed deep regret over the tragedy in a statement in the House of Commons to mark the 100th anniversary of the tragedy, which she described as a “shameful scar” on British Indian history. However, the government has been criticised for not going far enough to make a formal apology, with the Opposition Labour Party demanding a “full, clear and unequivocal apology”. “The Jallianwala Bagh massacre shook the very soul of a nation. It will be a long while before it fades away. History will keep reminding successive future generations about it,” Indian High Commissioner to the UK Ruchi Ghanashyam said in her address at the event. Indian-origin peer, Lord Jitesh Gadhia, stressed the importance of the tragedy forming part of a compulsory “warts and all” colonial history curriculum to be taught across all British schools. The programme in the House of Lords complex marked a culmination of events being held across the UK to mark the centenary of the massacre. The events included an exhibition titled ‘Jallianwala Bagh 1919: Punjab under Siege’ at Manchester Museum in partnership with Amritsar’s Partition Museum, and a number of book launches on the subject historian Kim Wagner’s Jallianwala Bagh’, Saurav Dutt’s Garden of Bullets’ and journalist Anita Anand’s The Patient Assassin’ tracing the lead up to the massacre as well as its aftermath. British Indian journalist Sathnam Sanghera also added to the widespread calls for an apology as part of a critically-acclaimed documentary, The Massacre that Shook the Empire’, aired in the UK on Saturday night. The issue also found prominence in the UK parliamentary agenda in recent months, as both the House of Lords and Commons held debates in the lead up to the anniversary.last_img read more

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How Tennis Officials Are Trying to Make the Game Fair

Tennis pros, and dedicated amateurs, can control just about everything about their rackets. Rackets are measured for weight, stiffness, balance and head size and strung for peak force, deflection and tension loss. Yet the court players run and hit on will always behave unpredictably. Even at most pro tournaments, players don’t know precisely how “fast” or “slow” a given court is playing, an expression of how much speed and height the ball retains after it bounces. Court speed is a fixture of questions at press conferences during the first few days of Grand Slam tournaments such as the French Open, now unfolding in Paris.“It wasn’t bouncing as much as it had actually the last days on the outside courts,” Milos Raonic after winning his match on Sunday.One reason court speed is such a mystery is that it’s been so cumbersome to measure. The International Tennis Federation has helped develop and test machines that do the job, but the best ones are expensive, bulky and difficult to operate. (The equipment is so hard to transport that many court-surface manufacturers ship samples of their product, in half-meter (1.64-foot) squares of paint and sand, to the ITF’s testing laboratory in London.) For the most prominent ITF-organized events — the Davis Cup and Fed Cup — federation employees must fly with their testing devices, or ship them to sites weeks in advance, to keep hosts from giving players too big a home-court advantage.Now, the ITF is trying to find an easier way to ensure courts are fair. On a recent Thursday at a London tennis court,1I’m not disclosing the tennis court’s location at the ITF’s request, to protect client confidentiality. Jamie Capel-Davies, manager of ITF’s science and technical department, was testing a new device that the federation has helped develop. It’s known as SPRite,2Said like the soft drink; the SPR is short for Surface Pace Rating. The official name for the device measures is court-pace rating, though, as Capel-Davies noted, “‘CPRite’ didn’t have the same ring to it.” and this test was of model number 007.The device doesn’t take a vodka martini. Instead, a ball cannon powered by a bicycle pump propels a ball off the court and through the testing chamber. Seconds later, a display shows the court-speed measurement. The measurement device and ball cannon each weigh about 14 pounds and together cost $12,000, compared to the 110-pound, $45,000 behemoth that sets the standard now. The new devices can be carried by hand, and their dimensions fall within most airlines’ carry-on baggage limits. The motivation for the test, Capel-Davies said, was “democratizing court-pace rating.”3In tennis, democracy is relative: At this price the average hacker won’t be carrying the SPRite and cannon to her local public court.The ITF knows it’s traded some precision for lightness and mobility. The question is, how much? Is SPRite accurate enough to replace its forebears? Capel-Davies and his colleagues were testing it alongside the Sestée, which is the current benchmark. Court-speed rating typically runs between 20 and 70 — and must run between 24 and 50 for Davis Cup matches (a higher number means a faster court).4The court-pace rating, or CPR, is calculated based on the coefficient of restitution (COR), which is the ratio of a ball’s vertical velocity after bounce to its pre-bounce vertical velocity; the coefficient of friction (COF), which is the ratio of horizontal velocity lost after the bounce to pre-bounce vertical velocity multiplied by the sum of 1 and COR; and a temperature-adjusted COR, which is the sum of the COR and 0.003 multiplied by 23 minus the mean ball temperature, in Celsius. The formula is: CPR = 100(1-COF)+150(0.81-adjusted COR). The ITF calls courts with CPR of 29 and under slow, courts with CPR between 35 and 39 medium and courts with CPR of 45 and up fast. The ITF wants SPRite to run within two points of Sestée for the same court.Court speed matters in tennis. During a typical match, the ball will bounce off the court hundreds of times. If the ball typically retains much of its speed, it will be harder to play. That encourages more aggressive play — players will charge the net more often to avoid skidding balls and tricky bounces. A slower court lets players camp out behind the baseline and chase down most shots.Court-pace rating takes into account more than speed, though. The ITF tested the court speed perceptions of U.K. players who were good enough to play for their counties5It’s also tried surveying pros, and gotten similar results, but the response rate was poor. and found that the height of ball bounce mattered, too. The lower the bounce, the faster the court seemed. That’s why high-bouncing clay courts like the French Open’s seem slower than hard courts with the same coefficient of restitution, or ratio of the ball’s speed after impact to its speed before the bounce.6One theory for clay’s higher bounce: The ball pushes granules ahead of it as it collides with the surface, creating an incline to bounce off, a “ramp effect” that leads to a higher bounce. And grass courts, with their lower bounce, seem faster to players than similar hard courts. The ITF formula attempts to account for all this.Once a match is underway, players can’t do anything about the court speed. They play the bounces they get. But players can tailor their training and schedules around which courts best suit their games. For instance, clay makes Rafael Nadal’s heavily topspun forehand shots bounce even higher than on other surfaces. He has taken advantage of this throughout his career by playing more clay tournaments than some of his rivals.For the ITF team competitions, court speed is a crucial part of home-court advantage: Host countries get to choose the surface, which is why Andy Murray had to play on his least favorite surface — clay — in Great Britain’s two away Davis Cup ties this year. (Murray and his teammates won in the U.S. but lost in Italy.)With the currently approved devices, the ITF can’t test the courts at every Davis Cup site, especially on busy weekends when dozens of ties are happening around the world. Instead it audits, choosing to test just a few courts. And at tournaments it doesn’t oversee, including the French Open, there’s simply no official court-pace measurement. (Officials at the U.S. Open and Wimbledon said they test their courts for speed, but the results are confidential.)That makes it tough to assess whether court speeds have changed — one of the goals of Capel-Davies’s department. Tennis players and writers often say — or lament — that pro tournaments are using a narrower range of court speeds than they used to, so there’s less variation among them. Indirect indicators, such as rates of aces or service breaks adjusted for tournament fields, don’t corroborate that impression. The ITF hasn’t tested long enough or often enough to settle the debate. “We don’t have that kind of data,” Capel-Davies said. “I don’t know if anyone does.” The International Tennis Federation uses a bulky steel crate, top left, to ship heavy measuring devices to tournament sites. The outsized Sestée, top right, is difficult to transport, so manufacturers often send samples of their courts, bottom right, to the ITF. The latest-generation device is the SPRite, operated here by Jamie Capel-Davies, manager of ITF’s science and technical department. Its accuracy is still being studied. Carl Bialik Watching Capel-Davies test SPRite in London, it was easy to see the advantages of the new device. He easily carried it onto and around the court, to different testing spots. He also let me try, and within a few minutes I got each test down to under a minute: Take a ball out of a coat that’s lying next to the unit, put the coat back in place, put the ball into the cannon, give the bicycle pump a few cranks, prime the measurement unit, put my foot7We’d taken off our shoes to avoid scuffing the court. on it for stability and press the button to fire.Yes, a coat. Needing something to stop the balls after they had fired from the cannon, bounced off the court and gone through the SPRite, Capel-Davies offered up his jacket to science, taking care to first remove his phone. After each test, the ball nestled in the coat. As we conducted our experiment, Capel-Davies’s colleagues were testing the Sestée on another part of the court. At one point, a Sestée-measured ball got loose and whistled past us.Each court test covered a few different spots, always including ones near the baseline, the service line and the net. The speed can vary from one part of the court to the next. It’s often highest near the baseline because players’ shoes wear down the surface and make it slicker. This court was relatively new, though, so we weren’t expecting as much variation.The measurement process has other quirks. Fail to press the button firmly, and the cannon might not fire fast enough for a reliable measurement. This happened a couple of times to us, so we omitted those readings. Capel-Davies decided when to do that, and it wasn’t a double-blind procedure. He checked with the other group and knew what readings they’d gotten, and was following along as our parallel tests produced results. Still, the quest for an accurate reading seemed genuine. The ITF already had achieved its initial goal of agreement within five points between the devices, which is what a typical player can detect. Then it set its sights on even better agreement, of within two points.Capel-Davies and his team have their own testing lab at ITF headquarters in the southwest London neighborhood of Roehampton, in a converted squash court with the original wood floor now scuffed by equipment. Tennis scientists test balls in a wind tunnel and rackets in a serving machine, nicknamed Goran after 2001 Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanišević, in homage to his rocket serves. The apparatus gripping the racket occasionally slips, and there are marks to prove it on the side of the machine. “We have had casualties” — of rackets, not people, Capel-Davies said.The ITF is surrounded by tennis courts. The Bank of England Sports Centre, which hosts next month’s Wimbledon qualifying tournament, is on one side. On the other is the National Tennis Centre. Many ITF employees play tennis during their lunch breaks. But they don’t have their own dedicated full-sized court for testing. So when they get a gig testing a court, like this one, they often take the opportunity to test SPRite.If SPRite passes the test, the ITF, as its seller, will benefit through increased sales, though that’s not the primary motivation, Capel-Davies said. “We’ve had interest, but everyone is waiting” to see what the results are “before putting their hands in their wallets,” he said.Mainly, the organization would like to enable more facilities, including tennis clubs, to test court speed. Having a device on site would allow clubs to measure the effect of temperature and also to track changes in the courts, to know when it’s time to resurface. A manufacturer’s rating, based on a test of a half-meter-long square patch, isn’t good enough because it doesn’t take into account what’s under the surface, how it was attached and how the court has weathered and worn.At tournaments, organizers could test how the speed of a court changes as players play on it — for instance, at grass-court tournaments, as players’ shoes and shots turn the turf near the baseline into dirt. And they could compare speed across different courts; players often say some courts at the same venue play faster than others, something that affects them if they play consecutive matches on different courts.These possibilities haven’t yet arrived. Our test found the SPRite and the Sestée agreed to within 2.7 points — good but not within the desired range of 2.0 points.8The ITF is aiming for agreement at 95 percent confidence of within 2.0 points. The average absolute value of the difference between readings by each device was 1 point for our test. One location, near the service line, was the source of the troubles: The two devices agreed to within 3.2 points, whereas everywhere else was within the limit.“It suggests something odd happened at that location,” Capel-Davies said. “Hopefully, additional testing will determine whether it was an anomaly.” He hopes that the SPRite model we tested, which was first produced last fall, will meet the target by the end of this year.Even if players at every level knew the speed of the courts they were playing on, they’d still have to deal with unpredictable bounces. Court speed can depend on how long the ball your opponent just served was sitting in his pocket: The warmer the ball, the slower the court appears to be. And standard measurements don’t apply when the ball collides with a hill or valley, common on clay courts.Still, broadening access to the court-speed numbers would help further the mission of Capel-Davies’s department, which is, as he articulated it, “to balance technology and tradition in tennis,” and to “make sure the player won because of ability” — and not faulty equipment or a finicky court.CORRECTION (June 2, 4:00 p.m.): An earlier version of this article said the average agreement of the SPRite and the Sestée in a recent test was 2.7 points in court-pace rating, or CPR, and that the two devices’ average agreement was 3.2 points in one location. Those figures were the agreement between the two devices at 95 percent confidence. The average of the absolute value of the differences between the two devices’ measurements was 1 point of CPR. read more

admin September 28, 2019 xqxwhaopwbpb Leave a Comment

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Softball No 22 Ohio State finishes 31 in Big TenACC Challenge

Niki Carver throws the ball to first in hopes of tagging out a Wright State runner. Credit:Gretchen Rudolph | For The LanternThe No. 22 Ohio State softball team came into the Big Ten/ ACC Challenge on Friday with plenty of momentum, having began the season with five wins in its opening weekend. However, its early five-game win streak ended Friday in the first game of the challenge after suffering a 5-4 loss to North Carolina State in Raleigh, North Carolina.North Carolina StateThe Buckeyes took an early lead on Saturday when junior infielder Lilli Piper his a two-run home run in the first inning. Ohio State maintained that lead for five innings.North Carolina State responded to Piper’s home run with four runs in one at-bat in the bottom of the sixth inning. Freshman infielder Timberlyn Shurbutt smashed a grand slam to center field to pull ahead 4-2.Ohio State freshman corner infielder Niki Carver hit a two-run home run to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh inning.  North Carolina State took the lead in the top of the eighth inning, however, when senior pinch runner Macauley Prickett scored on an obstruction of home call to give the Wolfpack the 5-4 lead.LouisvilleOhio State bounced back from a disappointing loss in the first game of the weekend with a 6-5 win against Louisville on Saturday.Junior catcher Emily Clark and senior infielder Ashley Goodwin each hit solo home runs in the first inning to give the Buckeyes an early 2-0 lead. Louisville junior pitcher Megan Hensley hit a home run for two RBIs to tie the game at two. With the game tied at five and deep into extra innings, freshman utility Niki Carver laced a single up the middle to score senior Becca Gavin from second to win the game 6-5 for Ohio State.North Carolina StateThe Buckeyes picked up their second win of the day when they defeated North Carolina State 5-4 in their third extra-inning game in two days.After four scoreless innings, North Carolina State got on the board with two runs in the top of the fifth coming from a run-scoring fielder’s choice and a sacrifice flyThe seventh inning brought even more action when North Carolina State freshman outfielder Sam Russ scored off freshman catcher Lily Bishop’s RBI to go up 3-0. Ohio State responded with three runs in the next half-inning to send the game into extra innings once again. Freshman infielder Kallie Boren’s double to left field brought in sophomore outfielder Spencer Sansom and senior Becca Gavin, then Piper’s right-field single brought in sophomore Amy Balich to tie the game. North Carolina State scored a run in the top of the eighth, but Ohio State answered with a two-run, walk-off home run by senior pitcher Shelby McCombs that brought in Clark to seal the win for the Buckeyes.LouisvilleOhio State capped off the weekend by beating Louisville 4-0 on Sunday. This was its first shutout of the 2018 season.The Buckeyes scored first in the top of the third inning when Clark hit a solo home run to center. Then with the bases loaded in the top of the sixth, Clark scored when Louisville third baseman Alison Szydlowski committed a throwing error.In the top of the seventh, the Buckeyes extended their lead to 4-0 to give them a comfortable cushion with only half an inning left to play. Piper and Clark reached base and after a fielding error, a bunt by Goodwin and a single by McCombs, two runs went up on the board for Ohio State.The Buckeyes will take on Virginia Tech, Wichita State and Texas in the Texas Invitational on Feb. 23 and 24. read more

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Mens Volleyball Ohio State splits weekend with McKendree after fiveset loss

Redshirt sophomore Jake Hanes (16) jumps up to an incoming ball at the game against George Mason on Jan. 18 at St. John Arena in Columbus. Credit: Ethan Clewell | Senior ReporterThe Ohio State men’s volleyball team took on McKendree on Sunday, the second of a two-match home series, hoping to build on its Friday victory against the Bearcats. But the Buckeyes came up short, falling in five sets, 25-23, 19-25, 22-25, 25-22 and 10-15. The Buckeyes (6-12, 2-6 MIVA) struggled to keep the ball in play for much of the night, totalling 47 combined errors to McKendree’s 36. Of the five sets, only the first and the third had lead changes, while the final two sets saw just a single tied score. Two aces gave McKendree an early 3-1 advantage in the fifth set, but kills by freshman outside hitter Sean Ryan and sophomore outside hitter Jake Hanes brought the Buckeyes within one, 4-3. The Bearcats responded with a resounding five-point run, featuring an ace and three Ohio State errors, giving McKendree a 9-3 advantage. The Buckeyes used an error and an ace by Hanes to bring the score to 9-5, but the Bearcats wouldn’t relinquish their lead, killing the next two points and adding another ace en-route to a 15-10 set victory and taking the match, 3-2. The Bearcats totalled seven aces on the night, four of which came in the final set. Head coach Pete Hanson said errors kept the Buckeyes from challenging McKendree. “It’s a game of managing your errors as much as anything,” Hanson said. “We just didn’t do a good job of that at times when we needed to.” Not taking errors into account, the Buckeyes performed on par offensively with their performance on Friday, killing 58 balls and serving up six aces. Hanes led the Buckeyes with 22 kills and 10 digs, adding an ace and four block assists. The Bearcats were led by junior opposite hitter Zach Schnittker, who racked up 14 kills, two aces, five digs and four block assists. Ohio State opened the fourth set with an ace by junior setter Andrew Hillman as well as a kill and an ace by Ryan for a 5-1 advantage. Ohio State’s lead ballooned to as many as seven, but a late push by the Bearcats featuring back-to-back kills by sophomore outside hitter Patrick Ross cut the lead to 23-21. Attempting to force a fifth set, the Buckeyes would not be denied, using a kill by redshirt senior Blake Leeson and a block by Hillman and sophomore middle blocker Austin Gerwig to put the set away, 25-22. Hillman finished with 26 assists, two kills and two aces. Hillman spent the beginning of this season out with an injury he sustained in December during training, and he said he felt comfortable in his first match of the season. “The guys were very accepting of me being on the court, especially after being out for two months,” Hillman said. “They definitely picked me up and gave me a lot of energy.” Ohio State jumps back into nonconference play against No. 6 UCLA at 8 p.m. on Friday and USC at 11 p.m. on Saturday in Los Angeles. read more

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