Copyright 2008 John Clements.
The Importance of Graphs.
Graphs are important. They show us what is happening over time, whether amounts are going up or going down, increasing or decreasing, getting hotter or cooler. In the pigeon sport we tend not to use graphs but in the world of finance, science, industrial production and house prices - graphs are common.
One graph that would be useful in the pigeon world would be one that brought to the attention of members the amount of money the club earned from pools. All clubs deduct a percentage from pools - this is an income for the club. Is this amount going up or going down? I don?t know but we could also ask a question about the total mount of prizes paid. Is this going up or down? Again I don't know but I would guess the amount earned from pools is going down while the amount paid out in prizes is going up. After all most clubs measure their success by prizes paid out rather than income earned. (This usually means prize money likely to be won or lost by strong mined individuals who live in good positions and who also serve on club committees - serving perhaps for that self interested reason.)
Nevertheless prize money is still a pure expense, a cost to the club that has to be met before it can be paid out, whereas pool money is potential income rather than a cost. If clubs judged the success of their club by the amount of pool money they paid out it would immediately reverse their fortunes. They might even come to the view that prize money - as it is non earning - should be done away with altogether for not only is it a net expense it also has the effect of reducing the amount likely to be pooled, thus reducing the clubs income.
There is also another aspect worth looking at. As prize money has to be earned before it can be paid out and earnings usually comes from entry money. The effect of reversing the priority from prizes to optional pools would at the same time also reduce the entry fee per bird - (where prize money comes from). If entry fee per bird was reduced the total send could well go up as a consequence of reduced entry costs. That is worth knowing if like me you tend to race whole teams as a means of judging the quality of your entire loft. Reduced entry money may well encourage team performance. Reduced entry money might change the whole way we look at pigeons and the pigeon sport. We might begin to look at new ways of looking at results. First prizes may suddenly be seen be as not being the best indication of the overall quality of a loft.