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Archive for the ‘sports, recreation, leisure’ Category

NCAA releases new handbook addressing sexual assault

September 5, 2014 Comments off

NCAA releases new handbook addressing sexual assault
Source: National Collegiate Athletic Association

NCAA members are now better equipped as campus partners to influence change in an issue facing college campuses nationwide: sexual assault and interpersonal violence.

Today, the NCAA issued to its members a new handbook that illustrates the responsibility athletics departments have in collaborating with other campus leaders to fight sexual assault and interpersonal violence. Titled “Addressing Sexual Assault and Interpersonal Violence: Athletics’ Role in Support of Healthy and Safe Campuses,” the handbook was created to assist athletics departments in being valued campus partners in an effort to change the culture surrounding this issue.

Hat tip: PW

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Terrorism, homeland safety and event management

August 25, 2014 Comments off

Terrorism, homeland safety and event management (PDF)
Source: International Journal of Hospitality Management

As the last attacks on Boston showed terrorism is based not only on speculation but also on surprise. Terrorists do not want to destroy or to kill everybody, their goal is aimed to inflict and administrate fear to the witnesses. The fact is that tourism and mega-events represented a fertile source to perpetrate terrorist attacks, not only for the casualties but also by the psychological effects on citizenry. This paper explores the nature of terrorism in the context of leisure as well as proposing a valid model to understand the connection among tourism, event management and terrorism.

Overwhelmed America: Why Don’t We Use Our Paid Time Off?

August 25, 2014 Comments off

Overwhelmed America: Why Don’t We Use Our Paid Time Off?
Source: U.S. Travel Association

Americans are overwhelmed—but they aren’t taking the breaks they’ve earned. Nearly three-quarters of workers say they are stressed at work, with one-in-four reporting they are either “very” or “extremely” stressed.

It’s no surprise that Americans feel this way. Many workers leave their paid time off (PTO) unused, despite near-universal recognition of the importance and benefits of using PTO, from reducing stress to improving productivity when we return to work.

But when the U.S. Travel Association asked GfK Public Affairs and Corporate Communications to examine the attitudes and beliefs underlying America’s hard-charging work culture, GfK discovered that the benefits of PTO were no match for the fears that are keeping them at work.

In a survey of more than 1,300 employees and senior business leaders across the United States, it was revealed that workers construct many of their own biggest barriers to taking time off. Returning to a mountain of work and the feeling that nobody else could do their job were cited as the top reasons for not using PTO. The effects of a tough economy still linger with one-third of respondents, who said they cannot afford to use their time off, and roughly a fifth of workers expressed concern that they would be seen as replaceable if they used their PTO.

According to the survey, employees’ fears about using PTO are reinforced by their companies, where the silence can be deafening. While senior business leaders may support their employees in taking time off, they aren’t communicating it. In fact, two-thirds of employees are hearing nothing, negative or mixed messages from their employers about using PTO.

New economic study shows marine debris costs California residents millions of dollars

August 16, 2014 Comments off

New economic study shows marine debris costs California residents millions of dollars
Source: NOAA

Marine debris has many impacts on the ocean, wildlife, and coastal communities. A NOAA Marine Debris Program economic study released today shows that it can also have considerable economic costs to residents who use their local beaches.

The study found that Orange County, California residents lose millions of dollars each year avoiding littered, local beaches in favor of choosing cleaner beaches that are farther away and may cost more to reach. Reducing marine debris even by 25 percent at beaches in and near Orange County could save residents roughly $32 million during three months in the summer.

CRS — Hunting and Fishing: Issues and Legislation in the 113th Congress (July 7, 2013)

August 14, 2014 Comments off

Hunting and Fishing: Issues and Legislation in the 113th Congress (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via National Agricultural Law Center)

For several years, the House and Senate have been considering various approaches to improve hunting and recreational fishing opportunities both on and off of federal lands. The Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2014 (S. 2363) is pending in the Senate, and addresses many of the same topics considered by recent Congresses.

Hunting, fishing, and conservation have been linked since the advent of federal wildlife legislation. Among early examples are the Lacey Act of 1900, the first federal wildlife law, which made it a federal crime to ship game killed in violation of one state’s laws to another state, and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, which regulated the killing, hunting, buying, or selling of migratory birds. Today’s controversies concern, among other things, exactly what hunting, fishing, or shooting sports should be allowed on federal land, and when. S. 2363 seeks to increase the priority of hunting, trapping, fishing, and recreational shooting on federal lands.

A Data-driven Method for In-game Decision Making in MLB

August 11, 2014 Comments off

A Data-driven Method for In-game Decision Making in MLB (PDF)
Source: MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference

In this paper we show how machine learning can be applied to generate a model that could lead to better on-field decisions by predicting a pitcher’s performance in the next inning. Specifically we show how to use regularized linear regression to learn pitcher-specific predictive models that can be used to estimate whether a starting pitcher will surrender a run if allowed to start the next inning.

For each season we trained on the first 80% of the games, and tested on the rest. The results suggest that using our model would frequently lead to different decisions late in games than those made by major league managers. There is no way to evaluate would have happened when a manager lifted a pitcher that our model would have allowed to continue. From the 5th inning on in close games, for those games in which a manager left a pitcher in that our model would have removed, the pitcher ended up surrendering at least one run in that inning 60% (compared to 43% overall) of the time.

The Three Dimensions of Rebounding

August 8, 2014 Comments off

The Three Dimensions of Rebounding (PDF)
Source: MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference

The recent spread of tracking technology in sports is bringing about a new era in analytics where we can deconstruct things we previously understood as one thing. We consider rebounding in basketball. Until recently we would get at most one piece of information after a missed shot: the name of a player that got the rebound. In this paper, we (1) describe the full timeline of a rebound, (2) develop metrics for the various dimensions of this timeline using novel techniques and (3) apply them to calculate individual player abilities in these dimensions.

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