Some weeks ago, we were sitting in a bar somewhere when Colin “Biggg Boss” Ross said that next season he wanted to play at the bottom of the side for the Second Team in Division 3, rather than Board 1 for the Arms Third Team in Division 5. I said that I thought there probably wasn’t much difference in the playing strength. When challenged on this, I said that when Littlethorpe had a growing number of sides and we had to decide where to ask for them to be placed in the League Sean Hewitt would analyse the playing strengths of each Board in each Division based on the prior season. As I recalled it, it was normally the case that the top board in any Division was markedly stronger than the bottom board in the next division up, and I thought that certainly lower down the league this effect extended to two divisions apart. (I was going to say I thought that this analysis was probably the only use Sean has ever made of his Statistics Degree, but that would ignore the work he did on grading of weaker players, which meant after the ECF regrading exercise, for one glorious season I was graded in three figures!)
I’ve carried out a rather more limited exercise of looking at the opposition which HA2 (Boards 3 & 4) and HA3 (Board 1) faced last season in the League. The sorted data is as follows:
HA3 Board 1: 133, 130, 126, 111, 110, 108, 107, 105, 105, 101, 101, 93 (12 matches)
HA2 Board 4: 127, 120, 120, 113, 113, 113, 106, 80, 80, 77, 76, 76, Default (13 matches)
HA2 Board 3: 134, 127, 126, 124, 123, 113, 113, 113, 112, 96, 80, 80, 76 (13 matches)
Thus the average strength was
HA3 Board 1 111 HA2 Board 3 109 HA2 Board 4 100.
I didn’t use toes & fingers, but rather EXCEL, so these averages should be correct.
If I didn’t know the Biggg Boss so well, I would think he was running and hiding…