Measuring Spatial Variations in Sports Talent Development: the approach, methods and measures of 'Talent Tracker'
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Knowing where sports talent is produced is fundamental to identifying spatial factors in talent production and to assist with talent identification. This research develops spatial analysis methods*the 'Talent Tracker'*to harness geographical information systems and identify regions that are over- and under-producing sports talent. The approach focuses on the professional Australian Football League (AFL), using data sourced from the AFL itself and other sources, to identify differences in regional 'talent yield' based on junior participation. Data from AFL draft records, informants and secondary sources identified the place of junior talent development or the 1290 players who were drafted and played at least one game of senior AFL football in the period 1997 2010. AFL national census data identified junior participation for 94 specified regions for the period 2002 09. AFL talent was assigned to these regions by using ArcGIS procedures, and the datasets synthesised to produce tables and maps of talent yield by participation for each of the 94 AFL regions. The results demonstrate the power of contemporary spatial analysis to open up new research methods for studies into sports talent production and identification. Clear spatial patterns emerge in talent yield at both the national and metropolitan scales. The results provide numerous avenues for further research to explore determining factors for the spatial patterns identified.
Copyright 2013 Geographical Society of New South Wales Inc. Published by Taylor & Francis. This is the author-manuscript version of the paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal link for access to the definitive, published version.
Regional Analysis and Development