Homebuyer Demand Cools Off

first_imgHome / Daily Dose / Homebuyer Demand Cools Off Homebuyer Demand Cools Off Scott Morgan is a multi-award-winning journalist and editor based out of Texas. During his 11 years as a newspaper journalist, he wrote more than 4,000 published pieces. He’s been recognized for his work since 2001, and his creative writing continues to win acclaim from readers and fellow writers alike. He is also a creative writing teacher and the author of several books, from short fiction to written works about writing. Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Subscribe Demand Homebuyers Homes HOUSING Housing Markets Inventory Listings Redfin 2018-08-01 Radhika Ojha Tagged with: Demand Homebuyers Homes HOUSING Housing Markets Inventory Listings Redfin Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Related Articles Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Inventory may be rising, but Redfin’s June Housing Demand Index had its worst year-over-year drop in two years. Year over year, the index posted its largest decline—9.6 percent—since April 2016.According to Redfin, the number of people requesting home tours fell 6.1 percent compared with a year earlier, and 15 percent fewer made offers on homes. That’s also the largest year-over-year decline since April 2016.Across the 15 metros covered by the Demand Index, the total number of homes for sale fell by 3.8 percent and the number of homes newly listed in June fell 1.6 percent year over year, the report stated. “Although these measures both posted declines, they reflect moderating decreases in the numbers of homes for sale, driven by large increases in some of the most supply-starved markets,” it stated. Month-over-month, the numbers are far less dramatic. The index ended June at 120, a 0.7 percent decline from May that was driven by a 2.2 percent decrease in the seasonally adjusted number of homebuyers requesting tours, the report stated. Another factor was a 12.2 percent decrease in the number making offers on homes from May to June.The drop in demand came with slight bumps in inventory in Seattle and Washington, D.C. Each metro posted double-digit year-over-year increases in homes for sale in June while month over month, homebuyer demand fell 3.4 percent and 3.7 percent, respectively. Year over year, demand fell by 14.8 percent and by 14 percent, respectively.Portland also experienced double-digit inventory increases, while local homebuyer demand stayed flat compared to May, the report stated. Year over year, demand in Portland increased 12.3 percent.”As much-needed large inventory increases finally arrive in some of the hottest markets, buyers are taking the opportunity to be choosy, offering only on well-priced homes,” said Pete Ziemkiewicz, head of analytics at Redfin. “Buyers in Seattle are even keeping offer contingencies like the inspection intact, something that has been increasingly rare in recent years. With more homes to go around, buyers don’t need to bid as aggressively to win bidding wars, so prices, while still growing, are growing a lower rate, and home sales are slowing.” Ziemkiewicz said the cooling trends are concentrated in the markets “that became the most uncomfortably hot” over the past few years.“It’s too soon to tell whether this is the start of a broader cooling or simply a return to something more like balance in places that had become extreme seller’s markets,” he said. “Plenty of large markets, like Chicago and Atlanta, are continuing to see increasing buyer demand and shrinking inventory.”According to the report, homebuyer demand In Chicago and Atlanta increased by 4.3 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively, month over month in June. These markets posted year-over-year inventory declines of 5.8 percent and 19.3 percent respectively. About Author: Scott Morgan Previous: A Snapshot of Economic and Housing Trends Next: Wells Fargo Settles Allegations of Fraud for $2.09B Sign up for DS News Daily Share Save August 1, 2018 2,583 Views Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago in Daily Dose, Featured, News  Print This Postlast_img read more

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Breastcheck to be extended in Inishowen until August

first_imgNews By News Highland – May 28, 2013 Google+ Main Evening News, Sport and Obituaries Tuesday May 25th Gardai continue to investigate Kilmacrennan fire Facebook Man arrested on suspicion of drugs and criminal property offences in Derry RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR WhatsApp Breast check has been extended into Inishowen for women aged between 50 and 64.The National Breast Screening Programme is currently inviting women living in Buncrana, Carndonagh, Straid, Ardmalin and Greencastle for a free mammogram in the BreastCheck mobile digital screening unit located at the Shorefront Car Park in Buncrana.If the appointment time or date doesn’t suit, the service efforts will be made to arrange a more suitable appointment, as Aoife O Sullivan from Breastcheck explains:[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/aoife.mp3[/podcast] Twitter Twittercenter_img WhatsApp Google+ Further drop in people receiving PUP in Donegal Breastcheck to be extended in Inishowen until August Previous articleNorthwest MEP says Government must take action to address regional disparitiesNext articlePSNI investigating aggravated burglary in Derry News Highland Pinterest Pinterest 75 positive cases of Covid confirmed in North Facebook 365 additional cases of Covid-19 in Republic last_img read more

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Frozen desserts’ popularity rises

first_imgFrozen desserts have been experiencing a revival, according to the latest research unveiled by Mintel. Sales increased 4% in 2008 and are set to increase by a further 5% over the next year, said the market analysts. This could potentially mean a market worth £284m by the end of 2009. Hot-eating desserts and gateaux are the frozen desserts of choice, accounting for 40% of all sales.However, Mintel said that while chilled desserts continued to account for 70% of the sector’s sales, as many as a third of British consumers admitted to cutting back on them due to financial reasons.“Around 16% of all Brits have switched from buying chilled desserts to the frozen variety in an effort to reduce their grocery shopping bill,” said Mintel.“There is no doubt that sales of frozen desserts have benefitted from consumers looking for cheaper desserts during the recession,” commented Emmanuelle Bouvier, senior consumer analyst. “Birds Eye re-introduced its famous Artic Roll in late 2008 to take advantage of the return to frozen foods and the current popularity of nostalgic brands.”last_img read more

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EXCLUSIVE: The Disco Biscuits’ Marc Brownstein Talks Brooklyn Comes Alive And City Bisco

first_img***Tickets Are On Sale Now!***To find out more about ticketing, VIP options, and lodging, head to the festival website. Bassist Marc Brownstein is one of the masterminds behind jamtronica juggernaut The Disco Biscuits. This weekend will be a busy one for the bassist, who has scheduled performances at the Biscuits’ own City Bisco in addition to multiple sets at Brooklyn Comes Alive, a two-day multi-venue festival featuring over 100 individual musicians arranged into dozens of unique collaborations, tributes, and dream lineups. We got the chance to catch up with Marc Brownstein ahead of his Brooklyn Comes Alive performances to chat and get a better idea of what to expect from the weekend.Purchase tickets to Brooklyn Comes Alive here! Late-night on Saturday, September 23rd (technically, the wee hours of Sunday, September 24th), Marc Brownstein will play one of his special DJ sets at Music Hall of Williamsburg from 2 to 3:30 am following the Disco Biscuits’ own run-closing performance at Ford Amphitheater. Brownstein will perform a special supergroup set on Sunday, September 24th, along with Biscuits brother and keys player Aron Magner, Umphrey’s McGee keyboardist Joel Cummins, Lotus drummer Mike Greenfield, Motet guitarist Ryan Jalbert, and Trey Anastasio Band horn section and vocalists Jennifer Hartswick and Natalie Cressman.Gary Mellini is a music lover in Denver by way of Chicago and is one of the creative forces behind the Noise Behind The Sound Podcastand events like J2G Live’s Dance Party Time Machine concerts.L4LM: You’ve played on all three Brooklyn Comes Alive events. What do you love about the event that keeps you coming back?Marc Brownstein: It’s just such an interesting and unique idea to have so many musicians doing rare collaborations, you know, outside of, say, Jazz Fest. Brooklyn Comes Alive has also been really supportive of my DJ project. To me, I love to get out of my comfort zone but only in special places.L4LM: You’re playing with Magner, Mike Greenfield, Joel Cummins, Ryan Jalbert, Jennifer Hartswick, and Natalie Cressman for a supergroup set on Sunday. Obviously, you have a lot of history with Aron and Mike, but what can fans expect with the others getting thrown into the mix?Marc Brownstein: I guess we are all going to have to check it out to figure that out, though we do have some great surprises going on for the Sunday Fun(k)day set. You know, Ryan and I have played together once or twice, and I specifically felt like we had really good chemistry. I’ve been looking forward to collaborating with Jals again for a while. Super funky. Deep in the pocket.L4LM: You’re also doing a DJ set at Brooklyn Comes Alive. How do you approach your DJ sets, and is it different than how you approach the Disco Biscuits or your other side projects?Marc Brownstein: Well, for one, I’m not playing bass. That’s a pretty huge difference. Maybe I should start bringing my bass to my DJ sets! I bring a drummer—Jeremy Salken of Big Gigantic—along from time to time. When we do that, it’s called Tennis Jacket. But, ya know, I’m just trying to explore music and learn new ways of performing. If the perfect opportunity presents itself, I’ll get myself out there and start mixing tracks together.L4LM: The Disco Biscuits have City Bisco going on the same week as Brooklyn Comes Alive with two nights at Irving Plaza the 21st and 22nd and then two nights on Coney Island at the Ford Amphitheater the 23rd and 24th. Coming off of some pretty amazing runs like Colorado and Camp Bisco, how excited are you to get back out and play some more shows?Marc Brownstein: We have gotten into the groove. It took some time to figure out how to stay fresh always without being constantly in the midst of long tours, and it all comes down to discipline. Do we have the discipline to stay on top of our game during the four or five weeks that we don’t play? I can only speak for myself, but I was always the least disciplined member of the band. Now that I’ve stepped up my game in terms of keeping on a really strict routine, I feel like the band is consistently at a higher level than a few years ago when I would let myself fall out of shape for a few weeks at a time. Staying ready on an instrument is the same as in sport and with exercise, you know? It’s just all about consistency.L4LM: As a New Yorker, what’s your favorite thing about doing multiple-night runs like this in NYC?Marc Brownstein: That’s kind of a loaded question! Irving is a few blocks from where I grew up. We went to shows there as kids. It’s fun to come back to the hood. And Coney is in my blood. As a Brooklyn native, Coney Island is that iconic spot that holds the dearest of places in my heart.L4LM: The last time I got to see you guys play was for the Biscuits’ Colorado run in June, and that Red Rocks performance was easily my favorite show you guys have played up there. The Ogden shows had some pretty rave reviews as well. Do you share the feeling that a lot of fans have right now that the band is sounding as good as it has in a really long time?Marc Brownstein: It’s definitely nice to have the fans feeling so good about the way the band sounds. I’ve been getting a lot of messages from new fans too. People who tell me our set at Summer Camp blew them away, or how they came to Camp Bisco for the first time, or how LOCKN’ was their first show and it was surprisingly their favorite set of the weekend. That only happens if your band is playing at the top of their game. Otherwise, you get swallowed up by the overwhelming amount of other great talents out there. So, I’ll let you speak for the fans, and from the band I’ll say, we appreciate the kind words.Inspired by the vibrant musical communities of Brooklyn and New Orleans, Brooklyn Comes Alive is set to take place across three venues in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (Brooklyn Bowl, Schimanski, Music Hall of Williamsburg) on September 23rd and 24th. The unique homegrown event puts the focus on the musicians, curating dream team collaborations, tributes, and artist passion projects for two full days of incredible music both new and old.The 2017 lineup is set to include hand-selected band lineups featuring all-star musicians like John Scofield, George Porter Jr. (The Meters), Vinnie Amico and Al Schnier (moe.), Bernard Purdie, Joel Cummins, Ryan Stasik, and Kris Myers (Umphrey’s McGee), Aron Magner and Marc Brownstein (The Disco Biscuits), Mike Greenfield and Jesse Miller (Lotus), Jason Hann (String Cheese Incident), Alan Evans (Soulive), Cyril Neville (Neville Brothers), Henry Butler, Reed Mathis (Electric Beethoven), Michael League, Nate Werth, Chris Bullock, Robert “Sput” Searight, and Bob Lanzetti (Snarky Puppy), Jennifer Hartswick and Natalie Cressman (Trey Anastasio Band), and scores of others!last_img read more

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Bolstering the will to fight terror

first_imgThe power to name an individual as a terrorist conferred on the government under the amended UAPA Bill has raised the hackles of some. This is understandable as those opposed to this particular section of the Bill have also often been at the forefront of pushing the narrative of talks with terrorists, have argued for the need to reach out to separatists and have always negatively portrayed Indian investigating agencies and armed forces. While speaking on the UAPA in Lok Sabha, Union Home Minister Amit Shah was very clear on why the amended Bill made provision for designating individuals as terrorists. Terrorism, Shah reminded the House, is a mindset, you cannot tackle it effectively by simply banning an organisation, banning an organisation leads the concerned terrorists to immediately open another front in another name and at another location and continue operating with impunity. It was, therefore, necessary for the mindset be encountered, and to effectively do that it is necessary to also be able to designate individuals as terrorists. The fronts will not be able to act as covers anymore. Also Read – A special kind of bondAmit Shah’s stand on terrorism has been consistently uncompromising. We shall come to that but who are those who have a problem with the amended UAPA and NIA Bill? Who are those who protest that the NIA should not be conferred the power to attach property, to investigate crimes “including those committed outside India against the Indian citizens or affecting the interest of India” abroad? Who are these people who say that extending the NIA’s investigative powers to investigate human trafficking, cyber-crimes and counterfeit currency rackets will be impinging on the federal spirit? Why should these networks and interest groups be concerned, why should they ask what the definition of Indian interests abroad is? Is it difficult to understand what that is? Is the memory of blasts at the Indian Embassy in Kabul in 2008 already begun to fade away from the minds of these people? Why should they oppose this will to investigate crimes committed against Indian citizens abroad? After all, should not a power aspiring to great power status and emerging as a civilizational state be, both keen and capable, of protecting its assets and citizens beyond its shores? Should it also not have agencies that are empowered to investigate crimes aimed at it and committed beyond its shores? Also Read – Insider threat managementThe answers to the above questions are simple, these are elements who have, in the past, supported or kept silent when the demand for India’s dismemberment was made, who had jumped to defend the cries of “Bharat tere Tukde Tukde” and pass these off as callow or legitimate expressions of freedom of expression and dissent, these are those elements who had called any attempt to counter these demands of India’s disintegration as fascistic attempts to muzzle dissent. These are those elements who tried to justify these cries despite knowing well that these originated from the stable of terrorists who have declared war against India. These are people who have comprehensively and systematically carried out a campaign in support of Naxals and Naxalism, have tried to justify the Naxal ideology of trying to overthrow the Indian state, to defile and desecrate India’s democratic structures, and to destroy the Constitution. Since the UAPA and NIA pose a challenge, among other things, to the spread of the Naxal ideology and will especially make it difficult for Urban Naxals to operate and to camouflage their acts, the hackles have been raised. The argument that the federal spirit will be impinged upon, is simply an alibi. When did those who are opposing the expansion of these powers really believe in the federal spirit? MPS from the Muslim League, the AIMIM led by Osaduddin Owaisi, Muslim members of BSP, National Conference and AUDF’s Badruddin Ajmal opposed both the NIA and UAPA Bills. Since their politics thrives on generating the victimhood narrative this was expected of them, the communist parties also opposed the Bills and walked out, they have a long record of pandering to separatism and to insurgents. This has gradually shrunk them and is increasingly making them irrelevant electorally. Amit Shah has always been firm and consistent in his approach to tackling terrorism. The intensification of the drive to expose terror and terror funding networks in the Valley, in the past few weeks, the attaching of properties of separatists such Asiya Andrabi and others is proof of Shah’s will to fight terror. For those who thrive on external resources channelised in order to generate a false narrative of India, who work to light flashpoints and to subvert India’s unity these are naturally difficult times. As Home Minister of Gujarat in the past, Shah had a similar approach to tackling terror. He always argued that the effort of counter-terrorism must never be held hostage to the narrative of human rights. For him it was essential that in this fight one had to ensure that the morale of the security agencies was never adversely affected, it was thus necessary that the fear of the security agencies was instilled in the minds of terrorists. In our newly released political study “Amit Shah and the March of the BJP”, we have looked at how as Home Minister of Gujarat, Shah had also argued that the repealing of POTA would prove detrimental to our will and capabilities of fighting terror. That stand of his continues to be undiluted. In fact, we have recorded how in the immediate aftermath of the Ahmedabad serial blasts in 2008, Shah had “called for a larger debate on how terrorism needed to be tackled and eventually eliminated. “Shah had then made” very poignant but bold suggestions. He had argued that there was a need to have a legal provision to limit the debate on terrorism by non-governmental organisations and that the police’s zero-tolerance against terrorism–a line that Shah had taken then and continues to take now–should not be viewed from the premise of human rights. The police’s zero-tolerance against terrorism itself is people’s human rights. Ultimately, the police is acting to protect innocent peoples’ human rights, Shah had then said. He had cautioned that if this was not done, then in order to gain “popularity–in the absence of understanding and sometimes deliberately – NGOs were helping the motives of terrorists”. He had called for stronger laws to “punish terrorists” and had opposed “any debates that would demoralise the approach of security agencies to fight them”. It was this uncompromising stand of his that made Amit Shah unpopular among those separatism-championing NGOs and a section of the political class especially among the communists and the Congress party. But Shah has himself always made it clear, that when it comes to India’s national security, unity and sovereignty it is going to be a tough and undiluted approach. His approach now as Union Home Minister continues to be the same. His positions, arguments and articulations on the NIA and UAPA Bill have come across as deeply deliberated and meant to protect these fundamentals of India. There is nothing roughshod about them. (Dr. Anirban Ganguly is Director, Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation, New Delhi. The views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

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Gasoline prices in most of Canada set to rise this weekend from

first_imgCALGARY, A.B. – Plunging world oil prices have delivered a Christmas miracle of lower gasoline prices across most of Canada but a fuel price expert says motorists should fill up now ahead of an expected increase this weekend.Dan McTeague, a senior petroleum analyst at GasBuddy.com, says gasoline prices are at near-18-month lows because of global oil prices that have tumbled over the past two months on worries of an economic downturn, a U.S.-China trading tiff and concerns that members of the OPEC oil cartel won’t live up to production cuts.Despite a brief oil price rally on Wednesday, average regular gasoline prices remain about 17 cents lower per litre than a year ago in Alberta and Ontario, 12 cents lower in Manitoba, six cents lower in Quebec, 11 cents lower in Nova Scotia and three cents lower in Newfoundland and Labrador. McTeague says prices in B.C. are up two to six cents per litre compared with the same time last year but would be lower if not for the effect of interruptions in fuel imports from Washington due to the outage of that state’s Olympic Pipeline in mid-December.U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate oil prices plunged to US$42.53 on Christmas Eve, down 44 per cent from US$76.41 per barrel on Oct. 3. They rallied to US$46.22 on Wednesday but trended lower Thursday.McTeague says “extreme volatility” in oil markets are expected to continue to wreak havoc on gasoline prices in Canada in the early part of 2019.“I think what we’re seeing here where oil prices _ and pump prices as a corollary _ are going up and down five and 10 per cent in a given week, much of this is really a harbinger of what we’re likely to see in 2019, extreme price movements,” he said.last_img read more

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Sensex rebounds 490 points to close above 39k Nifty reclaims 11700 mark

first_imgMumbai: Snapping its three-session losing streak, benchmark BSE Sensex surged 490 points Wednesday as investors piled into finance, energy and IT stocks ahead of expiry of derivatives contracts. Index heavyweight Reliance Industries, HDFC and HDFC Bank accounted for almost half of the Sensex’s gains. Markets were propelled by short covering ahead of expiry of April futures and options contracts Thursday amid positive global cues, analysts said. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalAfter starting on a positive note, indices were boosted by a burst of buying towards the fag-end. The BSE Sensex soared 489.80 points, or 1.27 per cent, to close at 39,054.68. The broader NSE Nifty climbed 150.20 points, or 1.30 per cent, to 11,726.15. In the Sensex pack, HCL Tech spurted 3.40 per cent, followed by ONGC, IndusInd Bank, Yes Bank, Bharti Airtel, HDFC, RIL, Bajaj Finance, SBI, HDFC Bank and TCS. On the other hand, Tata Motors, Hero MotoCorp, Coal India, PowerGrid, Maruti, Axis Bank and NTPC fell up to 3.33 per cent. “Despite mixed signals from global markets, and worries domestically on growth and elections, Indian markets rallied almost 1.3 per cent. After three straight days of losses in the Nifty, the headline index delivered strong gains led by financials and tech, while autos continued to drag.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

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Juventus plot a late swoop for PSGs Adrien Rabiot

first_imgJuventus are reportedly plotting a late move for Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Adrien RabiotThe Frenchman has under 12 months remaining on his current deal at PSG and has yet to agree on a new contract extension.The likes of Barcelona and Liverpool have been keeping tabs of Rabiot’s situation at the Parc des Princes.But the Daily Mirror reports that Juventus plan to beat both of their European rivals to Rabiot’s signature before today’s Italian transfer deadline.Maurizio Sarri, JuventusMaurizio Sarri satisfied despite Juventus’ draw at Fiorentina Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Maurizio Sarri was satisfied with Juventus’ performance on Saturday afternoon after finishing a tough game at Fiorentina 0-0.With midfielder Claudio Marchisio having left the club after 25-years earlier this morning, Juventus have now view Rabiot as an option to replace the Italian.Previously, PSG boss Thomas Tuchel had admitted that Rabiot could leave the club before the end of the French transfer window.Although the German does hope to retain him ahead of his debut campaign in charge of the Ligue 1 giants.Rabiot has made 209 appearances for PSG in his eight years at the club.last_img read more

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Allan revels in important Napoli victory

first_imgAllan claims the comeback victory Genoa 2-1 at Marassi is worth more than three points for Napoli in the pouring rain.Napoli were behind courtesy of a Christian Kouame header when play was halted at the 59th minute for a waterlogged pitch.When it resumed, Goals from Fabian Ruiz and Davide Biraschi(O.G) completely turned the tie around to secure victory for the Naples side.“Considering how the victory arrived, it’s worth even more than three points,” Allan told Football Italia.Top 5 Serie A players to watch for next weekend’s activity Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 11, 2019 With the international activity cooling down for the next month, we go back to the Top 5 players to watch in Serie A next…“It was a hard-fought win in a really difficult arena, even more difficult to play in today with the atmospheric conditions.“We won and that’s the important thing, we can go into the break for international duty with more confidence.”Juventus visit Milan tomorrow evening, while Inter have a tricky trip to Atalanta, so it could be a very positive round for Napoli.“I’m sure Milan-Juve will be entertaining to watch, but we mustn’t think about it too much. There’s a long way to go, we must focus on ourselves and look forward.”last_img read more

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