Thursday, December 29, 2005

How Many Lightweight Programs Are There? (cont.)

(Continuing with my last post, below)
Of the 71 schools racing lightweight boats in 2005, 20 did not race lightweights in 2004. Conversely, 23 schools did not race lightweights in 2005, but did in 2004. Among those racing eights, 15 schools dropped off after 2004 and 9 started in 2005, while among fours 18 dropped after 2004 and 23 picked up in 2005. I also wondered about the movement between eights and fours. Of the 9 additional schools racing eights in 2005, 6 raced fours in 2004. Among fours, of the 23 adds in 2005, 17 raced eights in 2004.

Assuming that these two years are typical years (which I cannot support statistically), there seems to be about 50 schools that consistently race lightweights, with another 40 (roughly 20 drops and 20 adds from ’04 to ’05) moving in and out over the years. This totals up to 90, which is similar to the 85 to 90 I got from adding the CRCA schools to either the 2004 or 2005 totals. By the way, the CRCA list totaled 53 schools which is, of course, darn close to the 50 consistent lightweight schools I’ve just calculated. So, although I really can’t say that this result is statistically sound, it sure feels pretty good. My conclusion, then, is that there are about 85 to 90 schools racing women’s lightweight boats at least every few years.

A few interesting points about these drops and adds. Purdue, winner of the lightweight eight at the 2004 Dad Vail, didn’t even race an eight in 2005. They did race a heavyweight eight, finishing fourth. Meanwhile Dayton, winner of the Dad Vail lightweight eight in 2005, didn’t race an eight in 2004 (although it did race the eight elsewhere in ’04). Dayton did not race any women’s boats at the ’04 Dad Vail. Perhaps Dayton saw the light in ’05 and concentrated on lightweights, believing (correctly) that they had a better chance there. The Purdue coach, though, needs to answer the truthteller question, “Which were you happier with – the lightweight gold medal in 2004 or a heavyweight fourth place in 2005?” I wonder how many lightweights were in that Purdue boat?

Next post, some conclusions.


Anonymous said...

Dayton did not race at Vails in '04 due to getting out of school early in May and a majority of the LW8 had other summer jobs/plans that conflicted with a constant practice schedule once school was let out.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Dayton went to ECAC in '04. (same weekend as Vails) Since they are non-scholarship, ECAC is a better fit for programs like them.

Its been smart of the ECAC and Vails organizers to split up which weekends they have their races. Since that is graduation season, there are some programs that can make one race but not the other. Thats probably why they were at Vails last year instead of ECAC.

JW Burk said...

Yes, Dayton raced heavy boats at ECACs, but did not race lightweight. ECAC and Vails do seem to be a better fit for programs like Dayton, but I don't think scholarships are the reason. I don't believe that any of the top lightweight schools offer scholarships for lightweights. The Ivies certainly don't and although I thought that Wisconsin might, a reader informed me that they no longer do. Rather, I think the difference is one of emphasis and recruiting, which is why I think the lightweight field is wide open to anyone who cares to really compete there. This idea, though, is worth a post and I'll see if anyone knows for sure about scholarships or has a different idea.

As for the ECACs, I seem to recall (but I could be thinking of a different race) that the ECAC regatta, or its forerunner, was started by a group of schools, led by Georgetown, in protest of Temple's continuous wins at Dad Vails. The complaint was that Temple should move up to IRAs rather than race against non-scholarship programs at Vails. Temple, of course, declared the renegades "chickens." Originally they were the same weekend so that schools had to choose one or the other. You're right, of course, best to have them different weekends.