Severe Weather Preparedness

first_imgAs North Carolina is now in the time of year when severe weather occurs, it’s important to be ready.As part of severe weather preparedness week, people should remember these tips to stay safe when driving:•    State law requires that vehicle headlights be on when using windshield wipers;•    If a tornado hits while driving, drivers shouldn’t seek shelter under a highway overpass. Instead, they should move into a sturdy building nearby or stay in the car and bend low, covering their head with their hands; and•    Never drive through standing water – turn around. It’s difficult to know how deep the water is and a vehicle can be swept away in just one foot of water.Additional information on tornadoes, emergency kits and overall severe weather readiness is available at ReadyNC.org or in the ReadyNC mobile app.last_img read more

Exhibit Hall Insights from #SHRM14

first_imgI spent much of the day Monday roaming the HUGE exhibit hall at the 2014 SHRM Annual Conference. This was by design as my previous venture to SHRM in Chicago ended before I could make it all the way through. For those thinking that I missed out on educational opportunities by not attending sessions, you are mistaken as the 2014 exhibition hall has numerous educational opportunities.First, there are some “official” learning opportunities at stages set up by SHRM with a set schedule of demonstrations and short talks. These are focused on technology and can provide a good overview of a product’s features and usability. This doesn’t even count the new “SmartStage” that made its debut this year with 20 minute talks on a variety of subjects with some of the best minds in HR.Several large booths have their own presentation spaces and also schedule times with industry leading speakers providing information on a variety of topics. These provide great opportunities to ask questions in a more intimate setting than can be found in the concurrent sessions at such a large conference.Finally, many vendors provide great education just through conversation. While having fun and creating conversation is intended to generate leads, the vendors who attend this conference are frequently well informed and willing to engage in information exchange. Even when not necessarily interested in a product or offering, a few minutes chatting with a vendor can provide information to take back to our organizations or prompt new thinking on an old problem. Don’t be afraid to talk, even if there no use for a product or service. I learned about a recruiting strategy for a large public school system from an immigration assistance group. Although I do not intend to reach out to foreign teachers, the information shared started me thinking about an approach that I could use for harder to fill teaching positions.A few other random thoughts that occurred to me while roaming:  There are numerous companies offering to create employee engagement programs for your company. If you need an outside company to do this, you’re doing it wrong.  Creativity with booth themes attracts attention. I see this at every conference I attend yet so few vendors are willing to go outside the traditional banners and information on a table. While budget can certainly play a role, a little bit of outside the box thinking can be cheaply and attract attention.  Why was there a booth selling aloe cream?  Yes, many booths had giveaways of Coach or Michael Kors purses. The target audience is clear and in many cases, disappointed that they didn’t win.  Kudos to the SHRM booth for having extra padding under the carpet. Relief for the feet.  If you’re going to use the scanner to collect leads, please take a few moments to learn how to use it. I showed two different vendors how to use their scanner. You’re welcome!The nice person at CareerBuilder asked me if I wanted my picture on their roller coaster. I laughed, said of course, and waited for a real coaster. I did come up with the staged picture below before referring them to RollerCoasterHR.com. To read the original blog post, please click here.last_img read more

HR Intel: Gig Economy Clashes with Traditional Labor

first_imgIs Uber’s recognition of the Independent Driver’s Guild (IDG) in New York a step in the right direction or an evil red herring? It depends, of course, on which lawyer you ask.One the one hand, lawyers for the IDG say the agreement with Uber will guarantee drivers monthly meetings to raise concerns, create an appeals process for driver termination decisions and provide legal services and benefits to drivers at discounted rates.Some view this agreement as a positive development – the forging of an unlikely and unsteady alliance. The agreement will provide some protection for drivers while also helping Uber stem the flow of litigation. Uber also gains an ally in its attempt to repeal a New York law taxing “black car” rides 9%, but which exempts traditional yellow taxi cabs.On the other side of the debate, we have Senator Elizabeth Warren, who says the “gig economy” is merely a symptom of the erosion of worker rights over time. Taking on-demand taxi gigs is a sort of last-ditch effort to create economic security and autonomy by workers who’ve been marginalized and squeezed by corporate America while all the wealth flowed to the top. She may have a point.To be fair to Uber, unionizing gig economy workers is really difficult. It starts with the mentality of such workers, having watched as their influence over wages at the corporate level dissipated steadily over the years and as traditional trade unions were pushed out. Union membership rates have been declining consistently for about 50 years. And during that time, wages for the vast majority of Americans remained stagnant while the C suite got paid. About that, Senator Warren is correct.Now, however, workers have the technology to fight back. They can use apps like Uber and Lyft to provide transportation, Miniluxe or Shortcut to provide onsite hairstyling and even source temporary staffing apps like Shiftgig and TaskRabbit to find short-term jobs. They can choose their own wages, essentially, by choosing how often they want to work. The catch, of course, is that workers who want both the flexibility and the money are hung out to dry when they have a medical or financial crisis because their “employer” doesn’t provide health insurance. Not to mention, the lack of a practical, portable retirement savings account (in the absence of employer-sponsored 401(k)s for contractors) means those workers may be left hanging in retirement as well.The other catch is that being a contractor (employee?) for one of these companies means your choices about work are going to be very personal. The amount of individual control workers have over these apps and their work schedules makes it very difficult to get them to agree on broad labor terms, let alone specifics like benefit plans or wages. That makes it extremely impractical and difficult to get them to band together and that is why the formation of the IDG and its recognition by Uber is a big development, albeit on a small scale.As usual, the solution is a compromise and perhaps a reimagining of some labor regulations to reflect modern working conditions. Uber drivers are not, after all, gathering at some shady parking lot in downtown San Francisco at 5 a.m. every day to wait for work. They’re scanning smartphones for gigs in their downtime between hipster beard trimming class and Yoga.Senator Warren says there should be three major objectives for policy makers, legislators and worker unions in trailblazing the gig economy’s path when it comes to labor regulations:         Improve the safety net by providing catastrophic insurance coverage,         Make healthcare benefits portable; and         Make retirement benefits portable.Those goals remain lofty and far off for now as the IDG won’t do much of that for Uber drivers in New York. But Uber’s recognition of the IDG is a small, tentative step in the right direction.Discrimination NationColleen Dominguez’s sex and age discrimination suit against Fox Sports 1 (FS1) will proceed to trial after the employer’s motion to dismiss the case on First Amendment grounds was denied. FS1 argued that it withheld assignments from Dominguez based on its right to craft its own programming message, but according to the court, that argument completely misses the point of the lawsuit. If crafting a corporate message results in the marginalization of individuals based on their sex or age, it’s still illegal.In this case, Dominguez claims she was asked to get an “Erin Andrews makeover” (complete with a facelift and hair extensions). This was in addition to numerous other comments and critiques about her physical appearance, issues which were not common with male or younger female colleagues. Now that the case can proceed, that will open up the “discovery” phase, during which time lawyers for Dominguez may get to see exactly what FS1 had to say about her when it chose not to let her cover big assignments like the 2015 Super Bowl, for example. Uh oh.Good news for employers that have faced frivolous or otherwise “unreasonable” EEOC lawsuits. In CRST Van Expedited v. EEOC, the Supreme Court held that the employer may recover up to $4 million in attorney’s fees from the EEOC after defending itself against a charge of systemic sexual harassment. During the investigation and resulting lawsuit, the EEOC (allegedly) failed to make witnesses available for depositions and otherwise allowed the statute of limitations on claims to expire in some cases.In these types of situations, attorney’s fees may be recoverable, but something tells me that pretty much every single employer that has ever been sued would view the lawsuit as “unreasonable.” Tread carefully when seeking attorney’s fees as it’s immensely difficult to prevail on those types of cases and you will accrue additional attorney’s fees in the process of trying to collect them. Gotta love lawyers!Compliance CarouselNew York State is suing Domino’s (corporate) together with several Domino’s franchisees, claiming that they collaborated to underpay workers by about $565,000 in 10 different stores. To bring corporate Domino’s into the case, the state will have to make the “joint employer” argument which means proving allegations that corporate Domino’s micromanaged employee relations issues at the franchisee level.The “ignorance of the law” defense rarely, if ever, works in court. In Craig v. Bridges Bros. Trucking, the 6th Circuit ruled that ignorance of FLSA regulations did not excuse an employer’s failure to pay proper overtime. The district court had ruled in the employer’s favor because the employee in question had failed to notify her employer about the missed overtime payments. The 6th Circuit found, however, that the employer likely knew about its overtime pay obligation to the employee because of some internal communications about capping her work hours.How is this song related to HR?In the last edition of HR Intel, we asked you how “Candidate” by Joy Division is related to HR. This song is very much about politics, but you don’t need much experience in the modern work setting to know that politics are hyper-relevant. Not only do people bring their political persuasions into the workplace, but office politics add a whole other layer of complexity.Candidate is about the struggles that go on between individuals or groups with different value systems and ultimately, a recognition that we’re all different and unique, yet we have similar objectives in that we need to work together. Sounds like something relatable to HR.We leave you with “Burn the Witch” by Radiohead from their new album: A Moon Shaped Pool.Tell us how you think this song is related to HR in the comments section below.Originally posted on the XpertHR blog.last_img read more

TFA 2012/13 Annual Report

first_imgThe Touch Football Australia (TFA) Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held on Saturday, 23 November 2013. TFA Chairman, Michael Rush, was reappointed as the Chairman of the Board of Management, while Directors Barry McNamara and Jane Russo were reappointed to the Board as well. Please find attached the 2012/13 Annual Report: 2012/13 Annual Report2012/13 Financial ReportRelated LinksTFA Annual Reportlast_img

11 days ago​Vlatko Andonovski poised to become new coach of US women’s team

first_img​Vlatko Andonovski poised to become new coach of US women’s teamby Ian Ferris11 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveVlatko Andonovski is set to become the new head coach of the United States women’s football team.The 43-year-old is currently in charge of National Women’s Soccer League side Reign FC in Seattle.Previous head coach Jill Ellis took charge of her final game on 6 October, having won two World Cups with the US. TagsMLS NewsAbout the authorIan FerrisShare the loveHave your saylast_img

Video: Mike Brey Flying Hip Bumped 2 Seniors In Post-Game Locker Room

first_imgA closeup of Notre Dame basketball coach Mike BreySOUTH BEND, IN – NOVEMBER 12: Head coach Mike Brey of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish watches the action on the floor against the Monmouth Hawks at Purcel Pavilion on November 12, 2012 in South Bend, Indiana. Notre Dame defeated Monmouth 84-57. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)Notre Dame closed out the regular season with an 89-75 win over NC State at home. After the game, head coach Mike Brey was in a celebratory mood. Brey asked the team’s two seniors, Austin Burgett and Zach Auguste, to give him a flying hip bump in the locker room. Brey didn’t get much hang time, but Auguste still almost knocked him over. INSIDE THE LOCKER ROOMTHE JUMP – SENIOR STYLESorry, Matt Gregory, but our Z.A. & Burg had to get a chance. pic.twitter.com/dvZgBeD4Oj— Notre Dame MBB (@NDmbb) March 5, 2016Always good to see a coach having fun with his players. If UNC beats Duke later on today, the Fighting Irish will clinch the No. 4 seed in the upcoming ACC Tournament and an automatic double-bye into the quarterfinals.last_img read more

OOCLs Volumes Drop Revenue Increases

first_imgzoom Hong Kong-based shipping company Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) saw its volumes decrease slightly in the fourth quarter of 2017, while revenues continued rising.Total volumes were at 1,612,733 TEUs, down by 3.3% from the same period last year when the company handled a total of 1,667,549 TEUs.The decrease was mainly due to the Intra-Asia / Australasia volumes, which plunged by 14.2% to 736,857 TEUs from 859,196 TEUs. The company’s other trades Trans-Pacific, Asia / Europe and Trans-Atlantic recorded a volume rise of  7.5%, 11% and  5.4%, respectively.OOCL’s total revenues for the quarter were up by 6% reaching USD 1.38 billion, against USD 1.3 billion reported in the same three-month period a year earlier, mostly driven by a 24.3% surge in revenue on the Asia / Europe trade.The company said that its loadable capacity increased by 1%, while the overall load factor was 3.7% lower than the same period in 2016. Overall average revenue per TEU increased by 9.6% compared to the fourth quarter of last year.For the full year of 2017, total volumes increased by 3.6% over 2016 and total revenues recorded a 15.4% growth. Total revenue stood at USD 5.42 billion, against USD 4.7 billion reported in 2016.last_img read more

Oilsands technology alliance aims for cuts in industrys need for steam

first_imgCALGARY – An oilsands research alliance says it is entering its sixth year focused on finding new ways to reduce the sector’s need for steam, the generation of which leads to almost 80 per cent of its greenhouse gas emissions.Dan Wicklum, CEO of Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance or COSIA, says generating steam to separate heavy sticky bitumen from the northern Alberta sands in which it’s trapped is responsible for about 56 million tonnes per year of the total of 71 million tonnes of GHGs emitted from the oilsands.Wicklum says COSIA members hope to cut GHG intensity by 10 to 30 per cent over the next five years, while also sharing technologies to lessen the industry’s impacts on land and water and deal with tailings ponds.Canada generates about 1.8 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions and the oilsands contribute about 9.3 per cent of that total — the Alberta government has set a hard cap of 100 million tonnes per year, which could limit growth in the oilsands unless GHG emissions can be reduced.Stephen Kaufman, general manager for external innovation and regional development for Suncor Energy Inc., says some “game-changing” innovations like the less-GHG-intensive extraction technology in use at its newly opened Fort Hills oilsands mine are only practical to use in a new project.But the company is actively pursuing new technologies including radiofrequency electromagnetic heating and the use of solvents with steam that offer “incremental” environmental benefits as it pursues a goal of reducing GHG emissions per barrel by 30 per cent by 2030.“Steam for us is a huge operating cost,” he said. “It’s often said that an in situ (oilsands) project is really a water treatment and steam generation plant more than an oil-producing plant, in terms of the size of the kit that you need and the ongoing cost to buy natural gas.”last_img read more

100 Woman Who Care Fundraising Gala

first_imgDAWSON CREEK, B.C. – The 6th Semi-Annual Gala hosted by the 100 Woman Who Care Dawson Creek Chapter will be held on March 4th, 2019 at the George Dawson Inn.The 100 Woman Who Care, is a group of local woman who has come together for one evening to help infuse financial help into local charities. At the event, the woman come together to listen to three nominated charities who present their stories to the woman. By sharing who they are, what they are doing in the community, and why they deserve the support.Each attending woman brings $100 to the event, and casts her vote towards the charity she feels deserves the donation. When you multiply $100 by 100 woman there is a quick infusion of funding for the chosen charity. Since 2016, members have given approximately $85,000 to local charities.To contact the Dawson Creek Chapter, email: 100womendawsoncreek@gmail.comFB Page; CLICK HEREThe Fort St. John Chapter will be holding their event, March 12, 2019, at the Lido TheatreTo contact the Fort St. John Chapter, email: 100wwcfsj@gmail.comFB Event Page; CLICK HERElast_img read more

In Cooperstown a Crowded Waiting Room

Jessie Schwartz for The New York Times Baseball writers elected no one to the Hall of Fame on Wednesday, despite what might have been the deepest ballot in years.The failure of the writers to pick Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens was not a surprise given the low vote totals received in the past by Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro, other players associated with the use performance-enhancing drugs. But the vote totals for Bonds and Clemens, just 36 and 38 percent, were lower than expected.Craig Biggio, who received 68.2 percent of the vote in his first year of eligibility, will almost certainly make it into the Hall of Fame someday. Still, his profile is quite similar to Robin Yount and Roberto Alomar, two players who did better in their first year on the ballot. (Yount got 77.5 percent of the vote in his first year on the ballot in 1999, while Alomar got 73.7 percent of the vote in 2010 and made it in the next year.)Perhaps the clearest effect of the crowded ballot, however, was realized among candidates who were returning to the ballot from last year. Of the 13 players who carried over from the 2012 ballot, nine received a lower share of the vote, including Lee Smith, Alan Trammell, Fred McGriff, Don Mattingly and Bernie Williams.This is atypical; instead, players usually add votes with each additional year they spend on the ballot. Since 1967, when the Hall of Fame adopted balloting rules similar to the ones it uses now, about two-thirds of holdover players gained ground from their prior year’s vote percentage.It is possible to be a bit more precise about this pattern. Based on an analysis of Hall of Fame voting between 1967 and 2011, I found that the increase in a player’s vote total is typically proportional to his percentage from the previous year. In his second year on the ballot, for example, the typical player’s vote share increases by a multiple of about 1.1.Thus, a player who received 10 percent of the vote in his first year would be expected to receive about 11 percent on his second try, while a player who got 50 percent of the vote would go up to 55 percent.The pace of improvement is typically highest in the first several years that a player spends on the ballot, slowing down once he has been eligible five or six times. (The exception is in a player’s 15 and final year of eligibility, when he may receive a fairly large boost.) But these small percentage gains can add up, something like the way in which interest compounds over time. For example, as shown in the chart below, a player who gets just 30 percent of the vote in his first year on the ballot would be projected to make it in on his 14th year of eligibility if he follows the formula each year.In practice, the growth in a player’s vote share is rarely this smooth — and you should not necessarily expect the pattern to hold for Bonds and Clemens. (Instructively, the vote shares for McGwire and Palmeiro have actually been declining.) Nonetheless, Hall of Fame candidates typically have a tailwind as time passes.This year, however, veterans on the Hall of Fame ballot faced a headwind instead. The next chart compares the actual vote that each player received against that projected by the historical formula. Actual results in 2013 compared to projections based on historical patterns.Twelve of the 13 players underperformed their projection; the exception was Dale Murphy, who got a larger-than-average boost in his final year of eligibility, but still came nowhere close to winning election.Even some players who gained ground did not necessarily help their chances. Jack Morris went from 66.7 percent of the vote to 67.7 percent, below his projection of 69.4 percent. The small difference could be important because next year will be Morris’s final year of eligibility, and he projects to be very close to the 75 percent threshold for election. (Perhaps the player who had the best year, instead, was Tim Raines, whose vote share grew to 52.2 percent from 48.7 percent, and who is now a clear favorite to be elected someday by the writers.)Most other players lost ground outright. Trammell, in his 12th year of eligibility, declined to 33.6 percent from 36.8 percent of the vote. He was an underdog to make it in before, but now he seems to have very little chance. The same also holds for Smith, who lost most of what he gained last year after years of stagnant vote totals.McGriff, as Joe Posnanski writes, seemed to be a plausible candidate to gain ground this year as writers sought out players who were perceived as clean, as opposed to known or suspected of steroid use. Instead, his vote share declined to 20.7 percent from 23.9 percent. Williams had received just under 10 percent of the vote in his first year of eligibility, but his case was not entirely hopeless; players like Bob Lemon and Carl Hubbell were eventually selected by the writers with a similar vote total in their first year.Instead, Williams fell below the 5 percent threshold required for a player to stay on the ballot.The crowded and confusing ballot may be affecting these players in several ways. The most obvious is that the writers are limited to voting for a maximum of 10 players. This year, according to the sample of ballots collected by the Twitter user @leokitty, 24 percent of writers used all 10 of their picks. That compares with 12 percent in 2011, and just 4 percent in 2012.Did the 10-vote limit keep Biggio and Morris out of the Hall of Fame, perhaps along with other players?Actually, it was almost certainly not responsible all by itself. Of the 24 percent of writers who used all 10 ballot slots, 90 percent did name Biggio, meaning 10 percent did not. At best, therefore, if all writers who exhausted their ballots would also have named Biggio if they had unlimited votes, he would have gotten only 10 percent of the 24 percent, adding only 2.4 percentage points to his overall vote total.The logic here is that it’s hard to make a case that Biggio was only the 11th or 12th best player on the ballot. Instead, most of the writers who left him out were probably more like Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Heyman wrote that he saw Biggio as the eighth best player on the ballot — but he also thought that only six were worthy of inclusion. Most of the writers who left Biggio out, in other words, were those who take a conservative overall approach to how many players they want in the Hall of Fame, and not those who ran out of ballot positions.Morris is a more debatable case. If all writers who maxed out their ballot slots had included him, he would have come very close to 75 percent of the vote. However, Morris is also a highly polarizing candidate. Those writers who included him often thought he was among the very best players on the ballot; on several ballots, in fact, Morris was the only player named. But other writers think he falls fall short of Hall of Fame standards and would not have picked him no matter how many votes they had to spare.Nor, obviously, were Bonds’s and Clemens’s totals affected to any material degree by the 10-player limit. Nobody left Bonds off their ballots because they thought he had only the 11th-best statistical record; they did so because they don’t think steroids users should be in the Hall of Fame. (In fact, most of the writers who maxed out their ballot slots included Bonds and Clemens; the writers who are willing to consider performance-enhancing drug users have much more crowded ballots than those who are not.)Instead, players like McGriff, Trammell, Williams and Edgar Martinez were probably most affected by the 10-player limit. The logic for McGriff, for example, is very close of the opposite of that which might be applied to Biggio. It’s fairly hard to sustain a case that McGriff was one of the best six or seven players on the ballot this year. But you might credibly argue that there is a glut of a dozen or so qualified players, McGriff among them, and you had to leave McGriff out because of the ballot limit.However, the players are not only being affected by those writers who ran out of ballot slots. There were a higher-than-average number of writers this year who listed very few players, or even none at all. Some 10 percent of voters named two or fewer players this year, according to Leokitty’s spreadsheet. That is lower than in 2012, an underwhelming year on the ballot, when 16 percent of voters did so.But it is less than 2009, 2010 or 2011, when between 3 and 8 percent of writers listed so few players. Some writers are deliberately listing very few players as a protest vote, whether against the steroids era or the Hall of Fame balloting process.Between the protest voters on the one hand, and the maxed-out voters on the other, the players are being squeezed at both ends.Finally, some players may be harmed by the psychology of the ballot. If Clemens were not on the ballot, for example, then you could credibly make a case that Curt Schilling was the best pitcher on the ballot (if you don’t think that Morris is). But Schilling’s accomplishments look poor by comparison to Clemens’s, as do those of almost any pitcher — even if you aren’t willing to vote for Clemens because of his steroids use. The same holds for outfielders whose statistics might be compared with Barry Bonds’s.There is even something to be said for the so-called “paradox of choice”: that when presented with too many options, we may be overwhelmed with information and have trouble making any decisions at all.Hall of Fame voting is ultimately designed to be a consensus process. One reason that players tend to gain votes over time is because the writers are looking at what their peers are doing and value the endorsements of their colleagues. Moreover, because they have as many as 15 chances to elect a player, many writers tend toward conservatism initially. There is no way to remove a player from the Hall of Fame once he has been elected, but you can change your mind to include him later. When a writer initially votes “no” on a player, it really means “wait and see” in many cases.But consensus is harder to achieve when members of a group have divergent values and ideologies. Instead of the typical friendly arguments about how a player’s lifetime accomplishments might be weighed against how dominant he was in his best seasons, or how to compare players at different positions, the writers are now spending most of their time arguing about who used steroids and when, and how this should affect Hall of Fame consideration. Many have passionate beliefs about this, whichever side of the argument they take. An increasing number of writers would like to elect a dozen or more players; an increasing number would like to lose the whole “steroids era” to history. Good-natured debates may be replaced by tactical considerations, as voters make guesses about who everyone else might vote for, or where their ballots might be wasted.Next year will place even more pressure on the voters, when Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Frank Thomas and Mike Mussina are added to the list of candidates. Those who apply little discount for steroids use may credibly claim to identify 15 or more qualified candidates, and even those who do not may have to drop one or two names that they otherwise see as worthy. The New York Times will probably not have to publish a blank page again, but no one but Maddux seems sure to make it in.,Jessie Schwartz for The New York Times Baseball writers elected no one to the Hall of Fame on Wednesday, despite what might have been the deepest ballot in years.The failure of the writers to pick Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens was not a surprise given the low vote totals received in the past by Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro, other players associated with the use performance-enhancing drugs. But the vote totals for Bonds and Clemens, just 36 and 38 percent, were lower than expected.Craig Biggio, who received 68.2 percent of the vote in his first year of eligibility, will almost certainly make it into the Hall of Fame someday. Still, his profile is quite similar to Robin Yount and Roberto Alomar, two players who did better in their first year on the ballot. (Yount got 77.5 percent of the vote in his first year on the ballot in 1999, while Alomar got 73.7 percent of the vote in 2010 and made it in the next year.)Perhaps the clearest effect of the crowded ballot, however, was realized among candidates who were returning to the ballot from last year. Of the 13 players who carried over from the 2012 ballot, nine received a lower share of the vote, including Lee Smith, Alan Trammell, Fred McGriff, Don Mattingly and Bernie Williams.This is atypical; instead, players usually add votes with each additional year they spend on the ballot. Since 1967, when the Hall of Fame adopted balloting rules similar to the ones it uses now, about two-thirds of holdover players gained ground from their prior year’s vote percentage.It is possible to be a bit more precise about this pattern. Based on an analysis of Hall of Fame voting between 1967 and 2011, I found that the increase in a player’s vote total is typically proportional to his percentage from the previous year. In his second year on the ballot, for example, the typical player’s vote share increases by a multiple of about 1.1.Thus, a player who received 10 percent of the vote in his first year would be expected to receive about 11 percent on his second try, while a player who got 50 percent of the vote would go up to 55 percent.The pace of improvement is typically highest in the first several years that a player spends on the ballot, slowing down once he has been eligible five or six times. (The exception is in a player’s 15 and final year of eligibility, when he may receive a fairly large boost.) But these small percentage gains can add up, something like the way in which interest compounds over time. For example, as shown in the chart below, a player who gets just 30 percent of the vote in his first year on the ballot would be projected to make it in on his 14th year of eligibility if he follows the formula each year.In practice, the growth in a player’s vote share is rarely this smooth — and you should not necessarily expect the pattern to hold for Bonds and Clemens. (Instructively, the vote shares for McGwire and Palmeiro have actually been declining.) Nonetheless, Hall of Fame candidates typically have a tailwind as time passes.This year, however, veterans on the Hall of Fame ballot faced a headwind instead. The next chart compares the actual vote that each player received against that projected by the historical formula. Actual results in 2013 compared to projections based on historical patterns.Twelve of the 13 players underperformed their projection; the exception was Dale Murphy, who got a larger-than-average boost in his final year of eligibility, but still came nowhere close to winning election.Even some players who gained ground did not necessarily help their chances. Jack Morris went from 66.7 percent of the vote to 67.7 percent, below his projection of 69.4 percent. The small difference could be important because next year will be Morris’s final year of eligibility, and he projects to be very close to the 75 percent threshold for election. (Perhaps the player who had the best year, instead, was Tim Raines, whose vote share grew to 52.2 percent from 48.7 percent, and who is now a clear favorite to be elected someday by the writers.)Most other players lost ground outright. Trammell, in his 12th year of eligibility, declined to 33.6 percent from 36.8 percent of the vote. He was an underdog to make it in before, but now he seems to have very little chance. The same also holds for Smith, who lost most of what he gained last year after years of stagnant vote totals.McGriff, as Joe Posnanski writes, seemed to be a plausible candidate to gain ground this year as writers sought out players who were perceived as clean, as opposed to known or suspected of steroid use. Instead, his vote share declined to 20.7 percent from 23.9 percent. Williams had received just under 10 percent of the vote in his first year of eligibility, but his case was not entirely hopeless; players like Bob Lemon and Carl Hubbell were eventually selected by the writers with a similar vote total in their first year.Instead, Williams fell below the 5 percent threshold required for a player to stay on the ballot.The crowded and confusing ballot may be affecting these players in several ways. The most obvious is that the writers are limited to voting for a maximum of 10 players. This year, according to the sample of ballots collected by the Twitter user @leokitty, 24 percent of writers used all 10 of their picks. That compares with 12 percent in 2011, and just 4 percent in 2012.Did the 10-vote limit keep Biggio and Morris out of the Hall of Fame, perhaps along with other players?Actually, it was almost certainly not responsible all by itself. Of the 24 percent of writers who used all 10 ballot slots, 90 percent did name Biggio, meaning 10 percent did not. At best, therefore, if all writers who exhausted their ballots would also have named Biggio if they had unlimited votes, he would have gotten only 10 percent of the 24 percent, adding only 2.4 percentage points to his overall vote total.The logic here is that it’s hard to make a case that Biggio was only the 11th or 12th best player on the ballot. Instead, most of the writers who left him out were probably more like Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Heyman wrote that he saw Biggio as the eighth best player on the ballot — but he also thought that only six were worthy of inclusion. Most of the writers who left Biggio out, in other words, were those who take a conservative overall approach to how many players they want in the Hall of Fame, and not those who ran out of ballot positions.Morris is a more debatable case. If all writers who maxed out their ballot slots had included him, he would have come very close to 75 percent of the vote. However, Morris is also a highly polarizing candidate. Those writers who included him often thought he was among the very best players on the ballot; on several ballots, in fact, Morris was the only player named. But other writers think he falls fall short of Hall of Fame standards and would not have picked him no matter how many votes they had to spare.Nor, obviously, were Bonds’s and Clemens’s totals affected to any material degree by the 10-player limit. Nobody left Bonds off their ballots because they thought he had only the 11th-best statistical record; they did so because they don’t think steroids users should be in the Hall of Fame. (In fact, most of the writers who maxed out their ballot slots included Bonds and Clemens; the writers who are willing to consider performance-enhancing drug users have much more crowded ballots than those who are not.)Instead, players like McGriff, Trammell, Williams and Edgar Martinez were probably most affected by the 10-player limit. The logic for McGriff, for example, is very close of the opposite of that which might be applied to Biggio. It’s fairly hard to sustain a case that McGriff was one of the best six or seven players on the ballot this year. But you might credibly argue that there is a glut of a dozen or so qualified players, McGriff among them, and you had to leave McGriff out because of the ballot limit.However, the players are not only being affected by those writers who ran out of ballot slots. There were a higher-than-average number of writers this year who listed very few players, or even none at all. Some 10 percent of voters named two or fewer players this year, according to Leokitty’s spreadsheet. That is lower than in 2012, an underwhelming year on the ballot, when 16 percent of voters did so.But it is less than 2009, 2010 or 2011, when between 3 and 8 percent of writers listed so few players. Some writers are deliberately listing very few players as a protest vote, whether against the steroids era or the Hall of Fame balloting process.Between the protest voters on the one hand, and the maxed-out voters on the other, the players are being squeezed at both ends.Finally, some players may be harmed by the psychology of the ballot. If Clemens were not on the ballot, for example, then you could credibly make a case that Curt Schilling was the best pitcher on the ballot (if you don’t think that Morris is). But Schilling’s accomplishments look poor by comparison to Clemens’s, as do those of almost any pitcher — even if you aren’t willing to vote for Clemens because of his steroids use. The same holds for outfielders whose statistics might be compared with Barry Bonds’s.There is even something to be said for the so-called “paradox of choice”: that when presented with too many options, we may be overwhelmed with information and have trouble making any decisions at all.Hall of Fame voting is ultimately designed to be a consensus process. One reason that players tend to gain votes over time is because the writers are looking at what their peers are doing and value the endorsements of their colleagues. Moreover, because they have as many as 15 chances to elect a player, many writers tend toward conservatism initially. There is no way to remove a player from the Hall of Fame once he has been elected, but you can change your mind to include him later. When a writer initially votes “no” on a player, it really means “wait and see” in many cases.But consensus is harder to achieve when members of a group have divergent values and ideologies. Instead of the typical friendly arguments about how a player’s lifetime accomplishments might be weighed against how dominant he was in his best seasons, or how to compare players at different positions, the writers are now spending most of their time arguing about who used steroids and when, and how this should affect Hall of Fame consideration. Many have passionate beliefs about this, whichever side of the argument they take. An increasing number of writers would like to elect a dozen or more players; an increasing number would like to lose the whole “steroids era” to history. Good-natured debates may be replaced by tactical considerations, as voters make guesses about who everyone else might vote for, or where their ballots might be wasted.Next year will place even more pressure on the voters, when Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Frank Thomas and Mike Mussina are added to the list of candidates. Those who apply little discount for steroids use may credibly claim to identify 15 or more qualified candidates, and even those who do not may have to drop one or two names that they otherwise see as worthy. The New York Times will probably not have to publish a blank page again, but no one but Maddux seems sure to make it in. read more