Daughter went to a party in town yesterday so I popped to the [url=http://troutmarkbooks.com/]second hand bookstore[/url] in one of the arcades. I suffer a kind of book blindness when I go into second hand bookshops, suddenly I can’t think of an author or book I want, and spend ages looking at the titles. I was quite pleased with this random selection, none of which I would have said I was looking for before I went in.

If we played equal games

There was some talk at the end of last year that the EIHL would do away with the conference structure, and all teams would play each other an equal number of times, 3 home and 3 away, giving a total of 54 games. There is a lot to be said for this – the conference structure makes sense in the NHL where there are lots of teams, and 1000s of miles between them, but in a small league like the UK, it doesn’t really work. But, there is also an argument that in such a precarious league, the conference structure helps boost crowds by making more games based on a rivalry and easier to travel to. A few hundred extra supporters at a game here and there can make the difference when budgets are this tight. So, I’m not arguing for it one way or the other, but those in the Erhardt conference often bemoan the fact that they are playing more difficult opposition more often than would be the case in the¬†Gardiner. I thought I’d see what the¬†league would look like, based on this year’s results, if we did opt for the 54 games in total, 6 games each formula.

My method was to calculate the average points per game for each team in both the Erhardt and Gardiner conferences (points/ 32 games). Then I calculated the average per game against teams from the other conference (total points – conference points/20 games). For each team I could then calculate the points total in the hypothetical unified league (24 games x average within conference + 30 x average across conference). Here’s an example:

Edinburgh got 32 points from 32 games in the Gardiner, giving them an average of 1 point per game in their own league.

They got 46 points in total, which means they got 14 points against Erhardt teams over 20 games: 14/20 = 0.7 per game

In the unified league they would get a total of 24 x 1 (they can’t play themselves) + (30 x 0.7) = 45 points

Now, of course there are lots of flaws with this approach. Things wouldn’t work out this way in reality, but over a season it gives a pretty good indication. If we do this for every team, the league would have looked like this:

  1. Sheff – 82
  2. Cardiff – 80
  3. Braehead – 79
  4. Notts – 68
  5. Belfast – 65
  6. Cov – 59
  7. Hull – 49
  8. Edinburgh – 45
  9. Fife – 44
  10. Dundee – 33

Cardiff and Braehead swap and so do Caps and Flyers, but actually I was surprised at how little difference it made. Sheffield still win by 2 points, Dundee are still very bottom, and most teams retain the same spot. There still might be a case for unifying the league (if that Cardiff – Braehead swap had meant the league title I might not be so sanguine), but it might not be as big a factor as we sometimes suppose.

I haven’t had my working out checked by teacher so it could be wrong, if so, let me know.

Awards ceremony

Not a good photo, forgot to take my camera. We went to the awards ceremony for the Cardiff Devils last night at a hotel in Cardiff. It was a fun event, well managed and flowed very quickly. I think the non-conformist in me slightly pushes against the crowd participation element but having been to the meet the owners meeting last July this bookended the season.


Last home game of the season last night for Cardiff Devils. We needed to beat Belfast in order to go to the playoffs next weekend in Nottingham, but couldn’t manage it in the end. It’s been a long, entertaining and rewarding season, so players and fans were disappointed to fall at this final hurdle. But compared with last season, we won a trophy, challenged for the league and played really good stuff. So no need to feel downbeat about the end. It’s now 5 months before we start again. I don’t know what daughter will do – she should get one of those signs similar to the ‘wake me for food’ one on aeroplanes “wake me for ice hockey”.

Desert island discs

I don’t have a record player anymore, and I gave away all my vinyl. But I saw The Clash’s Sandinista on ebay and bought it. I will put the Armigideon Times booklet up on the wall I think. But it was nice to hold a record again. My daughter doesn’t remember my vinyl collection and so this was the first time she’d really seen a record. “How did you skip to the next track?” she asked. I explained lifting the needle up and down and how you mustn’t touch the disc. It was like explaining gas lighting. She looked at me incredulously, and demonstrated the speed of getting a track on Spotify (as if all digital music was alien to me). She went off shaking her head at the deprivation we had to endure.

Plotting world domination

Today we went for a hike in the Muir Woods. It was fantastic scenery, with old Redwoods, and we picnicked at Camp Alice, where the first UN meeting had dedicated a memorial to FDR. Some of us went on a longer hike afterwards, to the top of the ridge then down into [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mill_Valley]Mill Valley[/url], which is a funky little Californian town. Here, David Wiley contemplates how OER can change the world (or maybe just has a rest)

Meeting view

although the conference didn’t start until 4 this afternoon, I spent all day in meetings (very productive ones – I could go home before the conference started and it would be worthwhile). This was the view from one meeting room.