This page is for discussion about some of the issues in developing Para-Sport.Es.
One of the major issues is names, and potential for duplication of individuals because of issues with their names. These tend to fall into several categories:
- Non-Latin script names being translated in multiple ways, leading to inconsistencies in dealing with different record sets.
- Diatrics appearing in names sometimes and not in others.
- Name order differing from culture to culture, and lack of consistency.
- Multiple first names or last names, with inconsistency with inclusion of these names.
- No first name or last name.
Example: María Carmen Muñoz Ortíz. This could appear in records as: Maria Carmen Munoz Ortiz, Maria Munoz, Carmen Ortiz, María Muñoz. This is a known problem, with no standardization across disability sport records leading to potential replication. This is combined with issues around foreign non-Latin character names and names from Asia with different orders, and cultures where there is only a first name or last name.
While there is every goal to avoid this replication, it will take time and care to get these normalized.
There is an issue across records for how times are dealt with. 3:15.47 could mean 3 hours, 15 minutes, 47 seconds. It could also mean 3 minutes, 15 seconds and 47 hundredths of a second. Ideally, this would not make much of a difference, except researchers may need to normalize data to get standardized formats when looking at times for the same event.
Also, currently, these times need to be entered as a string as WikiBase appears unable to accept 3:30.47 as a quantity.
Classification names are not always consistent. Some names have historically been used but are no longer in use. Some of these have changed names. Some old names are currently being used for a completely different type or class of disability.
The complete record of every transition period of when these names were used is not always available. Attempting to identify when T10 was used in Para-Athletics and what T10, T11 and T12 meant is important as T11 and T12 overlap with current blind athletics classes. Long term, people doing research on time differentials in T11, T12 and T13 performance may run into problems unless some way is figured out how to make these clear. (This may actually become dependent on dates, using specific time periods and then looking for matching / similar classes in other time periods.)
Sometimes, domestic classes are different than international classes. This is another issue to be looked at.
Still yet another issue is many sources for information about a person's specific class do not include it. Rather, they include information based on event classification. If there are not enough T11 athletes, they may group T11 and T12 together. The available classification information then says T11/T12 when the runner is actually one or the other. Better sources of classification need to be checked.
In a few other cases, sports people move between one class and another. This could be by choice, or it could be because they have a degenerative condition so their disability worsens over time. It could be they were re-classified.
In still more cases, people of a certain disability types may be grouped together for some events but at special events for only people of their disability type, they compete in disability severity specific classes. They then legitimately have two different classes, where they may only have one listed.
Overall data is not consistent, and it may be difficult to explain exactly what is going on from raw data alone. If there is just one class listed, then it is problematic. It is when there are multiple classes listed that more investigation should be done.
Disability sports can have different names depending on who is organizing them and their level of inclusion. A wheelchair track event in the USA might be "wheelchair racing", "para-athletics" or "track and field" depending on the context. This can be things difficult to understand what sport is which for certain purposes.
All attempts have been made to unify names for IPC and Deaflympics directly sanctioned sporting events. When they are governed by other organizations, it can get more tricky as INAS events, IWAS events and IBSA events. This is because the competitions could be internal only, for sports trying to get on the Paralympic program, or some other situation. When possible, dual listing of sport name variants is used to make finding and comparing easier. This likely needs to be supplemented in many cases by classification information to understand disability type participation.