WikiProject report

WikiProject Report: Football

This week, we interviewed Nanonic (talk · contribs) about his views on the Football (soccer) WikiProject. The project is one of the largest on Wikipedia, with over 400 active participants. Nanonic has been a member of the project for quite a while now, so we thought it best placed to ask him first. The scope and involvement of the project is, according to the project homepage " establish and organise standards for football related articles resulting in well-structured and well-written articles, and possibly also in featured articles, and also making all articles related to football easy to find". It is also one of the most acclaimed projects on Wikipedia with thirty-four featured articles, two featured topics, a featured picture, fifty-six GAs and over one hundred DYKs.

  1. What does WikiProject Football do?
    WikiProject Football supports the creation, editing and improvement of articles related to association football (generally known as football or soccer). Called the "most popular team sport in the world" by some, WikiProjects on Football exist on Wikipedias in 15 other languages. The project on en.wikipedia was created by User:Johan Elisson on 9 June 2005 and acts as a collaboration point for all interested contributors. We currently have over 350 active members working to improve entries on all aspects of the sport, from biographies and team profiles to competitions, rules and cultural issues. Our long-term goals include - writing an overview on football in every country and writing articles on every notable national team (both male and female), football club, player, stadium and competition in the world.
  2. How is the project organised?
    A descendant project of WikiProject Sports; WikiProject Football currently supports over 23,000 articles. As such, we have a number of task forces and related sub-projects to help share the workload. These focus on areas of the game (such as Women's football), countries (such as Argentina, Australia, England and Italy amongst others), individual leagues (English non-league football and A-League players) and even teams (such as Liverpool F.C., Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday).
    The main project has its own Manual of Style for articles, categories and templates, a repository of reference material held by members and a library of links to reference websites. We also have our own Article improvement drive, assessment department and our members can be regularly seen on Peer Review and at the various Featured Content reviews submitting their work and passing on their knowledge and experience to others.
    To help readers navigate around the subject there are currently three portals available as entry points - Portal:Association football, Portal:English football and Portal:A-League for Australia.
  3. What are some of the problems you've faced?
    Articles are generally written by fans of a particular team or player, so we've learned to be quite ruthless in applying NPOV when reviewing. The task of writing an encyclopaedia article about a subject you are passionate about from a detached viewpoint is quite difficult, as such we have many members who try to find the time to collaborate with other editors and help them to polish up their entries.
    Because of the emotional attachment many people have to their countries and teams - regular vandalism of some articles is an unfortunate occurrence (particularly during competitions or post-game) so we have a suggested watchlist displayed on the projects main page and warnings of ongoing vandalism and edit warring are regularly posted on the talk page.
    Wider issues where the game on Wikipedia has resulted in heated debate include the naming of the sport in this encyclopaedia. After five years of discussion on the subject, a consensus was recently reached to use the overall name of "association football". This, of course, does not preclude the usage of "soccer" or "football" in articles where that would be more recognisable to readers, but was chosen as the previous compromise, "football (soccer)", was seen as confusing to some and contentious to others.
    Historically, in 2006 there was an issue where the addition of score updates for the 2006 FIFA World Cup on In the news resulted in edit-warring on Wikipedia's Main Page (see Template talk:In the news/Archive 7). To halt the dispute, score and game information was moved to the Portal before being archived after the competition ended. The issue is however a perennial one, scores for games during competitions are frequently updated whilst the teams are still playing. This is a practice which we actively discourage with the reasoning that Wikipedia is not a news source and also that readers of the page may have no idea that that particular score is not the final result.
  4. What are your achievements?
    See also - Wikipedia:WikiProject Football/Milestones
    As of 3 March 2008 we have 34 Featured articles, 42 Featured lists, one Featured picture, two Featured topics and over 50 Good Articles in our showcase. We use these as benchmarks when reviewing other articles as we find that a lot of football articles are similar in structure and style. On average, two items are promoted to featured status each month and twelve FAs have appeared on the Main page as the Featured article of the day. Seven articles were included in the Wikipedia:Version 0.5 DVD release and 18 articles were placed on the 2007 Wikipedia Selection for schools including FIFA World Cup, Arsenal F.C., Pele and Diego Maradona.
    Over 100 entries on football related topics have appeared in Did you know? on the Main page, these extracts from newly created articles are frequently added to our DYK archive for posterity and future placement on the Portal.
  5. How can others help?
    You don't have to be a fan of the sport (or even understand it) to help create, edit, review or assess articles and anyone who has free images or sounds that could be added to articles would also be welcome to do so. You could even help clean up some of our needy articles.
    If you're interested in the subject, why not join the project or one of its child projects?

Also this week:
  • Wales' relationship with journalist
  • Bureaucratship candidacies
  • Domas Mituzas interview
  • Hidden Categories
  • Book review
  • WikiProject elections
  • WikiWorld
  • News and notes
  • Dispatches
  • WikiProject report
  • Tutorial
  • Features and admins
  • Technology report
  • Arbitration report

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