For the uninitiated "pwnd" is gamer/web-speak for completely and utterly outclassing the competition. My use of that term today is in reference to a great article posted on a Siouxsports.com blog by Jim Dahl. The article delves into an attempt by USCHO to trademark the term "Pairwise" with regard to College Hockey Ranking systems. I won't begin to try to detail any of that here but encourage you to read the whole post. Dahl has done the college hockey community on the Internet a great service with this article. It is an awesome look at some goings-on "behind the scenes" that most of us would otherwise not be aware.
Back in March of last year USCHO filed it's initial application for the trademark and from there Dahl picks up the story:
Apr. 17, 2006Again, for the rest of the information go to Dahl's blog and read the article. And when you're done with that, start visiting College Hockey News more often. Regular readers here will note that they've long been a preference of mine both because of the quality of their writing as well as my own disassociation with the USCHO fan forum (for being such a bad poster on their fan forum). And it helps CHN that they complimented me a couple of times. Or that USCHO editors want stupid shootouts and CHN is against them.
The next action in the file, described as “Paper Correspondence Incoming”, came from a bunch of names you might recognize as formerly associated with USCHO: Mike Machnik (founder of HOCKEY-L, now affiliated with CollegeHockeyNews), Adam Wodon (founder of CollegeHockeyNews), John Whelan (developer of some pretty neat hockey ranking analysis tools, wrote USCHO’s Pairwise analysis tools, now with CollegeHockeyNews) and Keith Instone (long-time HOCKEY-L ranking guru, first devised the pairwise technique to mimic the selection process). Their letter raised quite a few objections to USCHO’s application, including the following:
- Pairwise is a generic mathematical term that describes how the comparison is performed
- The algorithm, in relation to college hockey, was developed by Keith Instone before USCHO existed
- USCHO doesn’t use the term “pairwise” in commerce, as they claimed
- The sample of “advertising” submitted by USCHO was not, indeed, advertising, but a page of hockey rankings
- Lots of other sites cover college hockey and publish pairwise rankings of teams