A thousand words
Compare these two stories:
- NFL (US football) players are getting taller and heavier, with animated graph, by Noah Veltman
- Rugby players are getting bigger, by Peter Milburn
The second story actually gives more context and explanation, but the first one is (to me) more effective. It also shows something surprising: the size distribution splits into separate modes in recent years, perhaps reflecting specialisation in playing positions.
The second story actually argues that there isn’t a similar divergence in builds of rugby players, so I went to look at the data (which involved scraping it off the NZ Rugby Museum website). The pattern over time I get is (click to embiggen)
which suggests that rugby players aren’t just getting bigger, they are showing a little of the same separation into big and very big seen in the NFL players
Thomas Lumley (@tslumley) is Professor of Biostatistics at the University of Auckland. His research interests include semiparametric models, survey sampling, statistical computing, foundations of statistics, and whatever methodological problems his medical collaborators come up with. He also blogs at Biased and Inefficient See all posts by Thomas Lumley »