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08-09-2012, 11:15 AM
Czech Your Math
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Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
Absolutely, it's the pre-O6 players I'm mosly talking about. Whenever such players are discussed, the changes in forward passing rules are always used as a reason to exclude them as much as possible, since we don't know how good they would have been playing a game that they didn't play.
First, I'm not sure just how underrepresented the pre-O6 period is:

Section Pre-WW2 Original 6 post-expansion post-Iron Curtain prime in USSR/Europe

15/70 players from before WW2 seems like plenty of representation to me.

I'm not very knowledgeable about earlier eras, but there's very reasonable justification for having fewer players per season than in later eras:

- general population growth in Canada over time increases player pool
- sport becoming more popular in Canada over time increases player pool
- sport becoming more popular worldwide over time increases player pool
- much different rules affects data which increases uncertainty
- less data and information available increases uncertainty

Let's say Early Eddie played before WW2 and Later Larry played sometimes from the 50s to present. One might guess that Eddie's absolute rating was an 85 +/- 10 points, while guess that Larry was an 85 +/- 5 points. While it's possible Eddie was better Larry, it's equally possible Larry was better than Eddie. However, it's much more possible that Eddie wasn't of minimum quality for inclusion in the top X than for Larry. Even the avg. ranking of 85 for Eddie is much more in doubt, due to the much different conditions (rules, avg. quality of players, etc.) and there is less data to support his case.

I don't want to do a disservice to earlier eras, but I truly believe the 20th best player today is probably much better than the 10th, maybe even 5th best player from some random year before WW2. Honestly, I'd guess it's an even starker difference than that, although it's not easy to prove. Maybe I'm wrong, but that's what I believe.

Maybe someone who is more interested in pre-WW2 era can use the "league equivalency" type of approach and study how the quality of the league(s) changed from the inception of the league(s) through WW2. This would at least give us some evidence to use. Given the relatively small response to my post-WW2 study using such methods (Improving Adjusting Scoring on BTN), it's unlikely that it would be me. However, I'd be happy to help anyone with the methodology and/or mathematics involved in such a study.

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