Wolmer's Boys' cries foul

Director of sports challenges SportsMax sports ranking system

Friday, November 03, 2017

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Director of sports at Wolmer's Boys' s chool Ryan Foster believes the school should have been the top boys' school in the recently published SportsMax High School Sports Ranking.

Both Kingston College and Excelsior Girls were crowned King and Queen of high school sports and walked away with $100,000 each.

Foster had high praise for the concept, but thought the system used to select the winners was flawed, which resulted in Wolmer's Boys' placing second, and not first.

The high school ranking consist of a points system for the nine disciplines the Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) coordinates islandwide, coming up with a score for each school, separated by gender. The points were tallied with additional marks allocated for being crowned all-island champions in any sport.

The disciplines tallied are track & field (six competitions), football (11 competitions), cricket (nine competitions), basketball (seven), netball (seven), volleyball (two), swimming (one), hockey (three) and table tennis (six).

“When I looked at how SportsMax tabulated the points and how they arrived at the top schools, I believed it is a little bit skewed and would have done some level of injustice to Wolmer's performance in other sports if added into the tabulation would have, I presumed, made Wolmer's the number one school,” said Foster.

But Tanya Lee, SportsMax's Caribbean marketing manager, in response, said that the ranking is simple and based only on ISSA sports.

“The Sportsmax High School Rankings tabulates only ISSA-sanctioned sports. It has been met with overwhelming support. We have had an informal request from one institution for the inclusion of other sporting disciplines such as fencing, badmington and water polo,” Lee told the Jamaica Observer.

“For the purposes of our ranking, the inclusion of these sports will only be considered if they fall under the umbrella of ISSA,” she reiterated.

Despite his concerns, Foster joins those who have lauded the new ranking system.

“I just want to say on record, though I laud Sportsmax for initiatives likes these and it's the first year of such an initiative and though I commend them, I believe for the next awards that these other sports that schools participate in that are non-ISSA sports must be added into the tabulation to arrive at a true picture,” said Foster, who is also Group CEO of Tastee Limited.

“[Among] the sports that haven't been added that Wolmer's have been very dominant in, for example, is water polo, [for] which we are the Under-16 and Under-19 defending champions. [Also] lawn tennis would not have been added, and we would have won lawn tennis 2014, 2015 and 2016. Badminton would not have been added as well, because I did not see it in the tabulation and we are the under-15 all-island champion and runner up in the under-19,” Foster noted.

North Street sporting powerhouse KC emerged the most successful and consistent school across all sporting disciplines and as a result, topped the JN School Savers table with 64 points. Wolmer's Boys' were second with 54 points, with Calabar High nine points further back on 45. St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) with 44 and Manchester High 43 completed the top five.

The girls' table saw mixed-gender institution Excelsior High atop the standings with 42 points, 10 ahead of second-placed Camperdown High with 32. The rural-based Edwin Allen were third on the list with 27 points, while Wolmer's High for Girls accumulated 24 points and were fourth. St Jago with 22 points rounded out the top five.

— Howard Walker




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