Friday, December 15, 2017

The Case for a Lessons-Learned Review of WADA & Russia

As we move toward the denouement of the IOC's sanctioning of Russia leading up to the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, I'd like to raise a broader, and arguably even more significant issue. That is the role that WADA (and IOC, IAAF and other IFs) has played over the past decade with respect to the allegations of institutionalized, systemic or even state-sponsored doping in Russia.

WADA and sport will be improved by an independent look back at what went right, what went wrong and what can be learned.

Consider this partial timeline:
The focus of the Russian doping scandal has been, understandably, on Russia. After the 2018 Olympics it is time to take a step back and take a look at WADA and the sports organizations that it supports. There are lessons to be learned here ... if we actually want to learn them.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Update on NGB Evaluation Project: SGO Criteria and Next Steps

Earlier posts on this project can be found here and here. Now some updates . . .

We employed 36 criteria from the Sports Governance Observer (2015) framework (available here in PDF), to an initial set of 22 US Olympic national governing bodies to arrive at a preliminary governance scorecard for these organizations. You can find our aggregate rankings here and a detailed breakdown by criteria here.

To facilitate understanding the methods and criteria, below please find a summary set of images with the 36 criteria briefly listed (please consult the full SGO 2015 report for considerably more details on the criteria and their application). Each organization is given a score of 1 (poor) to 5 (state of the art) for each of the criteria, which are then aggregated. Each dimension is equally weighted under the SGO scoring methodology.

To get a sense of the magnitude of the evaluation task, consider that there are 72 US NGBs (39 summer, 8 winter and 25 Paralympic federations). Thus, evaluating all of them requires assigning a score across 72 * 36 categories, or 2,592 individual scores. Our methodology requires that two people independently score an organization, and a third performs a final check.

If that process takes, conservatively, an hour of effort, then creation of our overall scorecard is the result of about 2,600 hours of work - or 1.2 years of people-effort. It is a huge task. In the spring will will roll out a website and a mechanism for people (including NGBs to) contribute to or scoring by proposing scoring changes based on evolution in governance. COnsequently, any such scorecard is a snapshot and governance is fluid. So score will (and should) change over time -- ideally towards better governance.

We've been really encouraged by the positive reactions to our project from across the NBGs. In coming weeks we will be announcing additions to the research team, more scores and the dedicated website.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Full Preliminary SGO Rankings: US NGBs

There has been a tremendous amount of interest in our scorecard of the governance of national governing bodies for Olympic sports. This interest has been overwhelmingly positive.

To share further details of our rankings, below is a figure showing the full set of preliminary rankings of 22 national governing bodies for Olympic sports. You can read more about the details of our methods and see my presentation at the Play the Game conference at this post.
You can click on the figure above to obtain a higher resolution image. If you'd like the spreadsheet with those data, that can be found here in XLS. To interpret the rankings, you will need to cross-reference the 36 criteria under the 4 diemnsions (listed by number in the left-most column) developed in the Sports Governance Observer, available here in PDF.

Do note that these are preliminary rankings. In 2018, we expect to complete rankings for all NGBs and develop a comprehensive website with all of the details. It is our hope to produce such rankings periodically to aid in evaluation of governance.

Please share questions, comments, suggestions in the comments below.