September 29, 2023

Sports Politics – “Ridiculousness”: Controversy over grades for top-tier sports – Sports

Frankfurt/Main (dpa) – The language monster’s potential analysis system, known as Bottas for short, is the worst word in major German sport. Over a period of six years, the Bottas Commission evaluated the associations and perspectives of its athletes in Olympic disciplines.

Since then, cash has not decreased, because analysis determines the distribution of financing. Now criticism has become harmful. How can German basketball players become world champions when they are last in the Bottas rating, and athletes with the best scores remain without World Cup medals? The stark contradiction fuels the debate and culminates in the question: Do we still need potash?

“After this summer, we finally had to understand that there is no universal formula for sporting success,” says Andreas Michelmann, spokesman for Teamsport Germany. Evaluation must be carried out according to criteria appropriate to the sport, and the distinction between team and individual sports is just one of many necessities. Basketball president Ingo Weiss put it more radically after the World Cup win: “For me, it’s ridiculous that we have Bottas.”

The head of the committee rejects criticism of the Bottas regime

This angers Bottas boss Urs Granacher. “What Mr. Weiss is doing is a watered-down representation of the facts,” says the head of the professorship of exercise and movement sciences at the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg. Weiss tries to present his association “in the best light”: “I am also happy with the success. But what he is doing is not effective because he was also very involved in the system.”

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The last sporting reform including the Bottas system was approved by the DOSB General Meeting in 2016 with 98.6 percent approval. “The essence of the system has not changed since then. This was not the result of the foolishness of the Commission, but rather the leading unions were deeply involved in it,” Granacher emphasizes.

In top-tier sport, there will always be outcomes that cannot be immediately explained. He also points to the national football team: in 2014 they became world champions, and in 2018 and 2022 they were eliminated in the preliminary round: “We will never find the perfect system. But I think Bottas has a good system.” Athletic success cannot be predicted with a 100 percent success rate.

DOSB sticks with Bottas

The German Olympic Sports Federation wants Bottas to continue despite the “clear failures” in the basketball and athletics cases. “It’s very easy to say we had two bad results and now everything has turned into absurdity,” says Olaf Tabor, DOSB’s director of competitive sport.

Bottas will be integrated into the new sports agency in a revised form as part of the reform of elite sport. The already rebuked Athletics Association has suggestions on how to do things better. “The system must become more differentiated and tailored to the sport, and no longer be applied in the sense of a one-size-fits-all solution,” explains DLV CEO Idris Gonceńska. “It would also be beneficial to focus more on direct exchange with associations.”

Certainly, simply focusing on medals is not the cure for promoting sports. “In addition to medals, the importance of sport should also be reflected more from a social and political perspective in terms of the number of members and the potential of sport to motivate people to lead a more active lifestyle,” says Gonszyńska.

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From DLV’s point of view, sport in Germany is fundamentally underfunded if we take international comparison into account. Top-level sport currently receives more than €300 million in funding.

It’s hard to compare sports

The German Fencing Federation, which ranks second-to-last in the summer sports rankings, considers it “extremely difficult” to compare different sports with completely different requirements, given Bottas’ ratings for basketball and athletics, according to sports director Tobias Kirsch. At the same time, it is clear that good concepts are only the foundation; Implementation is crucial. If you don’t have enough full-time coaches, you can achieve fewer top results.

Can high-level sporting reform and better Bottas analysis create the basis for more medals and successes without neglecting the great breadth and diversity of disciplines? “It’s not going to work together in the future,” Granacher says. “If you want to scale and excel, you’re going to have to put money into the sport.” “You can only have one thing: we want to maintain breadth, but we will continue to fall in the medal table. This is the result of that.”

British umbrella organization UK Sport focused on uncompromising focus and extreme sports during the 2012 Summer Games in London. “We will need to strengthen the areas in which we excel, as well as improve sports that are no longer among the best in the world,” says Tabor.

However, the necessary measures should not lead to an “obvious radical cut”: “UK sport is currently seeing ‘no leveling’ also result in part of its sporting landscape being reduced to a minimum.”

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