Ulverstone titles attract national interest

Ulverstone titles attract national interest

Interest in this week's Australian under 16 basketball championships at Ulverstone is spread far and wide.

In addition to the several thousand spectators who will attend the eight-day tournament, which concludes on Saturday, Basketball Australia officials estimate more than one million visitors will access its website for results, statistics and details, writes Martin Agatyn for The Advocate.

Not surprisingly a virtual army of 43 statisticians are on duty this week, keeping everyone up to date on the 110 matches being played.

Statistician coordinator Felicty Mainwaring, of Ulverstone, said it took 14 volunteers to conduct a game, including three statisticians.

With three games being played simultaneously at Ulverstone and Penguin, this means 48 volunteers are involved at any given time.

"A lot of them have taken the week off work," she said.

Students from Penguin and Ulverstone High Schools are also assisting with court announcing, preparing game summaries for a daily newsletter and court-wiping duties.

On the stats bench, the majority of the statisticians are local or from other parts of Tasmania, but a handful have travelled from interstate, using the championships to up-skill their qualifications.

Championship organising committee chair Trudy Pearce said Basketball Australia had established a recognised pathway for statisticians, similar to players, coaches and referees, which could see them progress right through to world championship and Olympic level.

Pearce said the statistics and results provided on the website were second to none.

Using LIVESTATS, visitors can receive updates every 30 seconds - almost as they happen.

"The detail they go into is fantastic," Pearson said.

The software is the same package used all over the world by FIBA (the world controlling body for the sport) and provides everything from scores, fouls, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks for every player, plus minute by minute game reports, scoring graphs, and even court diagrams showing where a player has shot from and whether or not the shots were successful.

"It's quite amazing to see it change before your eyes," Pearson said.

To access the LIVESTATS click here.

Photo courtesy of Kangaroo Photos