Wenger ‘sorry’ for failings amid Arsenal protests

first_imgLondon, United Kingdom | AFP |Arsenal 1 (Welbeck 59) Norwich 0Everton 2 (Cleverley 7, Baines 64) Bournemouth 1 (Pugh 9)Newcastle 1 (Townsend 58) Crystal Palace 0Stoke 1 (Arnautovic 50) Sunderland 1 (Defoe 90+4-pen)Watford 3 (Abdi 45+2, Deeney 90, 90+3) Aston Villa 2 (Clark 28, Ayew 48)West Brom 0 West Ham 3 (Kouyate 34, Noble 45+2, 79)Playing SundayManchester United v LeicesterSouthampton v Manchester CitySwansea v LiverpoolPlaying Monday Chelsea v TottenhamArsenal’s long-serving manager Arsene Wenger acknowledged the grievances of fans who protested against him during the north London club’s 1-0 Premier League win over Norwich City on Saturday.In a pre-planned protest, a smattering of fans held up A4 posters bearing the words “TIME FOR CHANGE” in the 12th and 78th minutes of the game at the Emirates Stadium, in a nod to Arsenal’s 12-year league title drought.But in response thousands of supporters chanted “There’s only one Arsene Wenger!”, with some holding aloft placards in support of the under-fire Frenchman.“We respect the opinion of everybody and we give absolutely the best,” Wenger told Sky Sports after the game, in which substitute Danny Welbeck scored a 59th-minute winner.“I think I have shown my commitment and care for this club, and for the fans. I’m really sorry if I cannot make them all happy, of course. We’ll continue to work hard to achieve it.”There were also reports of pro-Wenger and anti-Wenger factions being separated by stadium stewards.With Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool all toiling and Manchester City inconsistent, this season was seen as a prime opportunity for Arsenal to end their wait for the Premier League title.But instead they have been left behind by champions-elect Leicester City and now find themselves in a familiar battle to secure a top-four finish and a Champions League place.Speaking before Saturday’s game, Wenger said: “I can understand the frustration of our fans. But despite that, they want to support our team. The best chance they can give our team is to be behind them.“Some groups of people try to manipulate our fans and I believe apart from an agenda, a personal agenda, a big ego, there’s not a lot behind it.”Wenger, 66, became Arsenal manager in 1996 and led the club to three Premier League titles and four FA Cups in his first nine years at the helm. But they have only back-to-back FA Cup wins in 2014 and 2015 to show for their efforts since then and have gone out of the Champions League in the last 16 for the past six seasons running. TIME TO GO ROBERTOMeanwhile, Andros Townsend scored a stunning free-kick as Newcastle United edged Crystal Palace 1-0 to escape the relegation zone at the expense of northeast rivals Sunderland.“The victory means a lot. It gives us momentum, confidence and a connection with the fans,” said Benitez, who succeeded Steve McClaren as Newcastle manager last month.“We still have to play another two games. We will enjoy this weekend because we won and then we will focus on the next one against Aston Villa, which will be a tough one.”Townsend broke the deadlock in the 58th minute at St James’ Park, the one-time England winger sending a free-kick from wide on the right whistling into the top-left corner.Twelve minutes later, Cabaye had a chance to equalise, but the France international, who angered Newcastle fans by leaving for Paris Saint-Germain in 2014, saw his penalty brilliantly turned away by Darlow.Jermain Defoe scored a stoppage-time penalty to rescue a 1-1 draw at Stoke City for Sunderland.Although Sam Allardyce’s side were left a point behind Newcastle in the bottom three, they, like Norwich, have a game in hand.“Where would you be without Jermain Defoe? Relegated probably,” said Allardyce after Defoe scored his 17th goal of the season to cancel out Marko Arnautovic’s 50th-minute opener.“I am going home satisfied it is a point gained rather than two dropped.”West Ham United captain Mark Noble scored twice for the second game in succession as his side won 3-0 at West Bromwich Albion to replace Manchester United in fifth place, with Cheikhou Kouyate also on target.Leighton Baines scored the winner as Everton prevailed 2-1 at home to Bournemouth, after Tom Cleverley’s seventh-minute opener for the hosts had been swiftly cancelled out by Marc Pugh’s deflected strike.But it was an uncomfortable afternoon for Everton manager Roberto Martinez, with protesting supporters paying for a plane trailing the banner “TIME TO GO ROBERTO” to fly over Goodison Park during the game.Meanwhile, skipper Troy Deeney scored a last-gasp brace as Watford twice came from behind to inflict a 3-2 defeat on already-relegated Aston Villa at Villa Park.center_img Leaders Leicester City can become England’s first new top-flight title-winners since Nottingham Forest in 1978 if they win at Manchester United on Sunday.Should they fail to win, they will still be crowned champions on Monday if second-place Tottenham Hotspur cannot better their result when they visit Chelsea.Share on: WhatsApp Pages: 1 2 3last_img read more

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Devon’s Anna Tyson does the double as South West Steward of the Year

first_img16 Nov 2013 Devon’s Anna Tyson does the double as South West Steward of the Year Devon’s Anna Tyson of Dainton Park Golf Club has won the title of Fuller’s London Pride Steward of the Year for England Golf’s South West region – for the second time in a row. Anna received her 2013 trophy at the annual presentation lunch at The Counting House in London, when the national and regional winners were celebrated. She commented: “I am so chuffed, really proud and just so pleased that we can please the members. I’ve got great support at the club, fantastic people to work with.” The competition, to find and recognise England’s top golf club stewards, is run by Fuller’s and England Golf and is now in its seventh year. The 2013 edition attracted a record entry, with over 700 votes cast and more stewards nominated than ever before. Anna may have already won the 2012 South West title, but she’s not one to rest on her laurels and her continuing efforts at Dainton Park, near Newton Abbot, have helped raise this year’s profits considerably. Recent initiatives include working with the club’s management to launch a free, points-based social membership which has already attracted almost 300 people. One of the benefits is access to the restaurant which has newly opened on Friday evenings and is regularly full. Anna’s social events, such as acoustic nights, comedy nights and swing music nights are all sold out as soon as they’re advertised. They all feature acts provided by members, underlining the club’s community spirit and emphasis on team work. Anna has been at Dainton Park since it started and she’s made the club a way of life. She met her husband there, her eldest daughter regularly works the Sunday lunchtime shift – and she even went to work on her day off and birthday! She’s passionate about everything to do with the service at the club, from staff working effectively to taking ice creams on to the course on captain’s day! Anna, and the other three regional winners, were presented with their awards by England Golf chief executive David Joy and Mark Roberts, Fuller’s trade marketing manager. The other three were: national and Northern winners, Simon and Karen Ward of Wilmslow, Cheshire; Midlands winner David Guest of Halesowen, Worcestershire; and South East winner, Steve Warren of Eaton, Norwich. They were chosen after a rigorous judging process. The 2012 Steward of the Year, Yvonne James of Rugby Golf Club, joined the judges to whittle down the record entry to three finalists from each region. Each of these 12 were visited personally before the four regional winners were selected, having been judged on their commitment, innovation and standard of service and presentation, together with that extra special something which sets them apart. Caption: Anna is pictured with England Golf chief executive, David Joy (left), and Mark Roberts, Fuller’s trade marketing manager. Image © Gill Shawlast_img read more

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Winter Coat Drive At Secondhand Safari

first_imgWHAT: Warm Winter Wear and Coat Drive at Secondhand SafariWHEN: Saturday, Oct. 6 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.WHERE:  Thurston County Fairgrounds               3054 Carpenter Rd in Lacey Did your kids outgrow last year’s winter coats? Now you can bring those coats and other gently used or new winter gear to the new Warm Winter Wear and Coat Drive booth at the October 6 Secondhand Safari event at the county fairgrounds. Winter clothing donations are tax deductible and benefit needy Thurston County kids served by Community Youth Services.“We are really excited about adding this winter clothing drive to the Secondhand Safari,” said Thurston County Fair Manager Rick Storvick. “We had such an outpouring of support this summer at the fair’s annual food drive, we wanted to do something to give back to the community once again at the Secondhand Safari. I think this winter clothing drive is a perfect fit for our annual garage sale and re-use fair, and it will really help a lot of people in Thurston County as fall and winter set in.”The Community Youth Services booth will be staffed from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Secondhand Safari, and winter clothing donations will still be accepted from 1-3 p.m. in a collection box at the Community Youth Services booth.The fair’s annual Secondhand Safari will be on Saturday, October 6 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., where people can buy, sell and trade their secondhand treasures. There will be plenty of treasure seekers and bargain hunters, with over 1,500 visitors and about 100 vendors on average in recent years.Covered and outdoor booths are still available to groups or individuals looking to clean out the clutter and make a tidy sum. The 10×10 foot booths are $25 for an uncovered slot and $40 for a covered slot. Set up for sellers will be on Friday, October 5 from noon to 10 p.m. The doors will be locked after set up Friday evening and security will be on-site until the event opens Saturday.Representatives from community groups, non-profits, businesses, agencies and individuals working on sustainability issues are invited to sign up for an educational booth or display. Contact the Fair Office at (360) 786-5453 for details. Facebook0Tweet0Pin0 Representatives from Goodwill Industries will be on hand throughout the day to accept donations (at their discretion), giving sellers the chance to donate any of their unsold items at the end of the day. For more information on the October 6 Secondhand Safari’s Warm Winter Wear and Coat Drive, or to reserve your booth, contact the Thurston County Fair Office at (360) 786-5453 or visit www.co.thurston.wa.us/fair.last_img read more

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Free screenings of

first_img7 July 2014South Africans will be able to watch a free morning screening of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom at selected cinemas across the country on 18 July, Nelson Mandela International Day.The Nelson Mandela Foundation and Ster Kinekor have partnered for the screenings, enabling members of the public to watch the 9.45am show of the award-winning biopic at any of 31 selected cinemas, on a first come, first served basis.The film, which covers Mandela’s extraordinary life journey from his childhood in a rural village through to his election as president of South Africa, pays tribute to the revered world statesman who dedicated his life to the struggle against apartheid and the fight for freedom.“We are delighted to host South Africans for free in our cinemas to be inspired by this magnificent film based on our Madiba’s magnificent legacy,” Ster Kinekor CEO Fiaz Mohamed said. “We hope that many will leave our cinemas motivated more readily to serve others and serve our country.”Producer Anant Singh said his company had partnered with the Nelson Mandela Foundation on Mandela Day activities since its inception, and was delighted to continue the association.“We hope that the audience watching the film will be inspired to give back to their communities by following Madiba’s example,” Singh said.Nelson Mandela Foundation CEO Sello Hatang said Madiba’s value system “rests on three pillars: free yourself, free others and serve every day. Let us all emulate the servant leader we loved by all becoming servant leaders ourselves.”The film will be screened at the following cinemas: Blueroute; Bridge; Brooklyn; Carlton; Carnival City; Cavendish; Cresta; Eastgate; Festival Mall; Gateway; Greenstone; Mall Of The North; Maponya; Mimosa; Mooi Rivier; Musgrave; N1 City; Northgate; Northmead; Parow; Promenade Mall; Riversquare; Rustenburg; Sandton; Secunda; Shelly Beach; Southgate; Sterland; Westgate; Wonderpark; and [email protected] Mandela International Day was officially adopted as an annual international day by the United Nations in November 2009.The idea is to do something of benefit to those around you on the day, which was inspired by Mandela himself when he said, at his 90th birthday celebration in London’s Hyde Park in 2008: “It is time for new hands to lift the burdens. It is in your hands now.”Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

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FFA membership continues to grow heading into National Convention

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The National FFA Organization heads into the 2015 National Convention with a record number of members and the strong organization continues to grows stronger.FFA membership now stands at 629,367 students, up from 610,240 in 2014, an increase of 3%. The number of chapters grew from 7,665 in 2014 to 7,757 in 2015. The top five membership states are Texas, California, Georgia, Oklahoma and Missouri. Interest in FFA and agricultural education continues to grow, as membership has increased more than 20% since 2009-10.“FFA, through agricultural education, is preparing our youth to ensure the security of our country’s food, fiber and natural resources for years to come,” said National FFA Organization CEO Dwight Armstrong, Ph.D. “Through real-world experiences, the nation’s agricultural educators are helping students develop the technical knowledge, skills and problem-solving capabilities to be the industry’s leaders of tomorrow. FFA continues to grow leaders, build communities and strengthen agriculture.”Student membership was not the only thing that grew in 2015. National FFA Alumni membership also continued to grow, with 62,705 members this year, growing from 57,832 in 2014. FFA alumni play an important role in keeping agricultural education and FFA programs in local schools by providing both volunteers and financial support to local teachers.last_img read more

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Rockets could be without Paul for four weeks — reports

first_imgStronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion He along with newcomers Luc Mbah a Moute and PJ Tucker were brought in to give superstar James Harden more support as the Rockets seek to challenge the Golden State Warriors’ hegemony in the Western Conference.Paul, who was hurt when he banged knees with Memphis Grizzlies guard Mario Chalmers in a pre-season game, was hampered by the knee in Tuesday’s season-opening triumph over the Warriors.He scored just four points and handed out 11 assists and sat out the Rockets’ game at Sacramento the following night.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Read Next Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games MOST READ Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 LATEST STORIES Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMCcenter_img Kin of Misamis Oriental hero cop to get death benefits, award — PNP QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort “It’s not a tear or something like that. It’s a bruise. We just have to make sure he’s 100 percent the next time he plays.“I don’t think there’s (concern). All indications are he should be OK.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutBut the New York Times and ESPN were among the outlets reporting that Paul could be sidelined for a month. ESPN, citing unnamed sources, said the team had been making inquiries about acquiring a fill-in point guard.Nine-time All-Star Paul joined the Rockets in the off-season via a trade from the Los Angeles Clippers. Chris Paul #3 of the Houston Rockets checks on referee Tre Maddox #73 after he fell during their NBA game against the Golden State Warriors at ORACLE Arena on October 17, 2017 in Oakland, California. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images/AFPHouston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni downplayed the seriousness of point guard Chris Paul’s knee injury, but US media reported Friday he could miss up to four weeks.“It’s only a bump,” D’Antoni told reporters as he revealed Paul would sit out Saturday’s home opener against the Dallas Mavericks.ADVERTISEMENT Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Back to square one View comments CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPAlast_img read more

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Go easy, Tiger, Day urges ahead of comeback

first_imgView comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa MOST READ Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH The 14-time major champion has not played since February after undergoing surgery following a recurrence of back problems which forced him to miss the 2015-2016 season.“There’s no pressure. I think it’s a 17- or 18-man field, there’s no cut, he’s playing at a tournament where last year I think he had the most birdies at,” Day said at the Australian Open in Sydney.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“From what I see on Instagram and what he’s been telling me, he says he’s ready and I’m hoping that he is, because from what I hear, he’s hitting it very long.“And if he’s hitting it long and straight, then that’s going to be tough for us because it is Tiger Woods. He’s always been a clutch putter and in amongst the best and it will be interesting to see.” Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games LATEST STORIES Kris Aquino ‘pretty chill about becoming irrelevant’ Woods is included in an 18-man field which features many of world golf’s elite, including world number one Dustin Johnson and world number two Jordan Spieth.“I have no idea where his game’s at because the last time I spent time with him he wasn’t even hitting full swings yet,” Spieth said in Sydney.“But he was confident coming off of this last surgery to get back into it and to be able to have the time necessary and strength to practise as much injury free as possible.”‘Best he’s felt in years’Woods has not played competitively since February, when he withdrew from the Dubai Desert Classic.ADVERTISEMENT Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC He underwent surgery in April, his fourth operation on his troublesome back, and has been posting videos of himself in practice.He announced he would be making his comeback at the Hero World Challenge, an invitational event to benefit his charity foundation.“I did talk to him and he did say it’s the best he’s ever felt in three years,” said Day, a friend and confidant of Woods.“He doesn’t wake up with pain anymore, which is great. I said to him, ‘Look, it’s great to be one of the best players ever to live, but health is one thing that we all take for granted and if you can’t live a happy, healthy life, then that’s difficult’.“I totally understand where he’s coming from, because sometimes I wake up in the morning and it takes me 10 minutes to get out of bed, and for him to be in pain for three years is very frustrating.”Woods, who last won a major in 2008, has also battled personal demons. In May, he was arrested for driving under the influence after being found asleep in his Mercedes-Benz by a roadside.Woods, who was found to have five drugs including the powerful opioid hydrocodone in his system, later revealed he underwent professional treatment to help him manage his medications.Under a plea agreement reached in Palm Beach County, north of Miami, Woods will avoid jail time unless he commits major violations of his probation. Read Next Late rally pushes Lakers past Bulls Jason Day of Australia reacts to his tee shot during the second round of the WGC-HSBC Champions at the Sheshan International golf club in Shanghai on October 27, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / GOH CHAI HINJason Day assured Tiger Woods on Wednesday that he’s under “no pressure” ahead of his long-awaited comeback at an exclusive invitational tournament next week.Day, a former world number one, said Woods had told him he feels ready for his return at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

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Mike Tysons Visa Cancelled New Zealand Show Off

Mike Tyson, the former heavyweight boxing champion-turned-actor, had his visa cancelled after the organization that invited him to New Zealand withdrew its support for his visit.Kate Wilkinson, the nation’s associate immigration minister, made the decision to cancel Tyson’s visa after it had been issued so he could fulfill a speaking engagement in September, according to the Associated Press.Wilkinson, said she overruled the decision an immigration officer had made a day earlier when the charitable group changed its mind about Tyson’s visit, ordering Tyson’s visa canceled.The charity, Life Education Trust, originally supported the trip, which Wilkinson said helped tipped the scales in Tyson’s favor to get a visa. Tyson is a convicted rapist who spent three years in prison, and who disgusted the masses by biting off a piece of Evander Holyfield’s ear, among other ignoble acts, originally was OK with Tyson coming in,  despite his hard-to-fathom past. But Wilkinson saw it differently, and called the decision to revoke Tyson a visa “a finely balanced call.”Aside from his scheduled talk to the Life Education Trust, the boxer-turned-actor had another ulterior motive to his trip to New Zealand. He was scheduled to perform his one-man show called Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth.Tyson has actually become somewhat of a theater buff, telling The Telegraphthat his next career move would be on the stage rather than in the ring. He said he is ready to cast aside his tough public persona and instead chase another recently discovered passion..“I want to dance and sing. I want to do some dancing and singing musicals,” Tyson said during a visit to Hong Kong. Interesting for a boxer who did little dancing in the ring.In any case, the people of New Zealand will have to wait at least a little longer to meet Mike Tyson, thespian. 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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Track and Field Ohio State wins 2018 Mens Outdoor Big Ten Championship

Senior Zack Bazile competes in the long jump during a meet in the French Field House. Bazile has a chance to win the NCAA indoor national championship when Ohio State travels to the NCAA indoor national championships. Credit: Ethan Clewell | Lantern ReporterAfter finishing fourth overall in last year’s Big Ten championships, head coach Karen Dennis, named as the 2018 Big Ten Men’s Indoor Coach of the Year, brought home another championship on Sunday. The Ohio State men’s track team won the 2018 Big Ten Outdoor Championship, recording 109 points ahead of Indiana and Nebraska.The men’s track team ended its championship drought in February, winning the Big Ten Indoor Championships for the first time in 25 years. With top- five finishes in five different events, Ohio State recorded first-place finishes in two events. Freshman sprinter Eric Harrison, junior sprinter Duan Asemota, senior sprinter Drelan Bramwell and senior jumper Zach Bazile recorded a first place finish in the 4×100-meter relay, finishing in 38.93 seconds. Harrison added a first-place finish of his own, running the 200-meter dash in 20.39 seconds. Junior sprinter Nick Gray came in second place, finishing in 20.55 seconds. The Ohio State women’s team tied for fifth place with Michigan, Wisconsin and Nebraska with 60 points. Despite not winning any single event, the women’s team recorded seven top-five finishes including second-place finishes in the 200-meter dash and the 4×400-meter relay read more

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