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FIFA introducing World Cup Fan Fest events for Qatar 2022 and could see London bid to stage its own

FIFA has launched 'Fan Fests' for the 2022 Qatar World Cup this winter, which will be outside the host country for the first time, to make the tournament more accessible for football fans

FIFA has launched ‘Fan Fests’ around the world for the 2022 Qatar World Cup to make the tournament more accessible for football fans.

The competition, lasting a little less than a month from October-November this winter, will take place in the remote Middle Eastern peninsula. 

And global football’s governing body FIFA is introducing fan parks outside the host country for the first time, to allow supporters to drink in the World Cup experience outside Qatar – and London could bid to host its own.

FIFA has launched 'Fan Fests' for the 2022 Qatar World Cup this winter, which will be outside the host country for the first time, to make the tournament more accessible for football fans

FIFA has launched ‘Fan Fests’ for the 2022 Qatar World Cup this winter, which will be outside the host country for the first time, to make the tournament more accessible for football fans

If London does secure its own venue, it would be competing with the hugely popular Winter Wonderland in the city centre around the same time. 

Officially licensed Fan Fests began at the Germany World Cup in 2006 and have continued since then. 

There were 11 festival parks across each of the host cities in the competition’s last edition, in Russia in 2018, and the previous four World Cups have seen 40million visitors across five continents.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino said: ‘To support our mission to make football truly global, accessible and inclusive, we are thrilled to introduce a new vision for the entertainment experience surrounding future FIFA World Cup events.

Official Fan Fests began at the Germany World Cup in 2006 and have continued since then, with 11 festival parks across each of the host cities in the last edition, in Russia in 2018

Official Fan Fests began at the Germany World Cup in 2006 and have continued since then, with 11 festival parks across each of the host cities in the last edition, in Russia in 2018

‘The FIFA Fan Festival provides an incredible opportunity for fans to come together beyond the stadiums and the on-pitch action and experience football in new and unique ways. 

‘We are truly excited about the future of the FIFA Fan Festival and the enhanced entertainment offerings that will bring fans and partners alike closer to both men’s and women’s FIFA World Cups, as well as global football culture.’

The fan parks at the Euro 2020 tournament, held across 11 countries in Europe, were largely successful, and the demand for tickets to the fan park in Hyde Park, London for the 2018 World Cup semi-final between England and Croatia was massive.

Qatar, a smaller country by area than Vanuatu, the Falkland Islands and Moldova , will only host one fan park, a ‘reimagined’ space in Al Bidda Park in Doha, with the capital city’s skyline in the background.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino (pictured) called the fan parks a 'new vision for the entertainment experience' in order to 'make football truly global, accessible and inclusive'

FIFA President Gianni Infantino (pictured) called the fan parks a ‘new vision for the entertainment experience’ in order to ‘make football truly global, accessible and inclusive’

It will feature live broadcasts of every match on giant screen, concerts with top global music artists, a food court with ‘local cuisine and international delicacies’, matches with FIFA Legends, gaming stations and an official FIFA store.

The country is inaccessible compared to previous editions of the World Cup, with costs expected to be high.

If an England fan travels return from London, follow the Three Lions’ to the final (if they get there) and attend all eight matches along the way, sit in the cheapest seats and stay in the least expensive accommodation, the Football Supporters’ Association has calculated you will part with £5,000, before you pay for any food and drink.

However, this has to be caveated with the fact tickets sales have been strong, with nearly 2.5million sold so far.

FIFA will be offering fans a chance to camp at the World Cup in tents costing £350 per night

FIFA will be offering fans a chance to camp at the World Cup in tents costing £350 per night

Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy Secretary General H.E. Hassan Al Thawadi added: ‘It will be the centrepiece of our FIFA World Cup – the first to be held in the Middle East and the Arab world. 

‘When fans arrive in November, they should expect a warm welcome, amazing football and a large number of entertainment options. We look forward to welcoming the world in just over 70 days.’

The Fan Fest will appear at the 2023 Women’s World Cup, held in Australia and New Zealand, for the first time.

In July, FIFA unveiled a ‘tent city’ offering accommodation for the World Cup, which will cost supporters £350 per night as part of a ‘fan village’ camping experience. The tournament, at the time of writing, will take place in 75 days. 

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Zhier Fan Zooms Under Olympic Trials Cuts in 3 Events at American LC Meet

Zhier Fan Zooms Under Olympic Trials Cuts in 3 Events at American LC Meet

2022 NT American Long Course Meet

  • July 20-23
  • Garland ISD Natatorium
  • LCM
  • Results on Meet Mobile: “2022 American Long Course”

A few incoming college freshmen posted fast times at the 2022 NT American Long Course Meet last month in one of their final competitive tune-ups before the NCAA season begins this fall. 

Leading the way was Zhier Fan of Metroplex Aquatics, who clocked three times that would qualify for Olympic Trials if he can repeat them in the qualifying period after November 30. The Stanford commit shaved nearly four seconds off his previous best in the 400-meter IM, swimming a 4:21.93 that ranks him sixth among 18-year-old boys this season. Fan also set a new personal best in the 200 IM, reaching the wall in 2:02.48 to remain the sixth-fastest performer this season for his age. He was under the Paris Olympic Trials cut in the 100 breast with a 1:02.10, but he was more than a second slower than his personal best from April’s International Team Trials. 

Sage Sungail tallied four wins, all in personal-best times, including some huge time drops by sprint event standards. The SMU commit took .44 seconds faster off his previous-best 50 freestyle time from prelims, in the process moving up to fifth this season among 18-year-old boys. In the 100 free, Sungail went more than half a second faster than his previous best from last month with a 50.83. He also dropped almost half a second in the 100 fly (54.99) and added a 1:51.69 in the 200 free to rise the ranks to No. 12 this season for his age.

Nova Southeastern University commit Luka Samsonov lost the 100 back title by .01 seconds to John Culver of Dallas Mustangs, but the 18-year-old Samsonov had already earned his first Junior Nationals cut during prelims with a personal-best 58.36. He may have also hit his stride prematurely in the 200 back, where he went slower than his personal best from prelims (2:07.81) on his way to taking third place in the final (2:08.05). 

On the girls side, Scarlet Aquatic Club’s Kathleen Turano chipped away at five personal bests, becoming a top-10 performer among 14-year-old girls this season in three events. She dropped nearly five seconds in two months in the 400 free, firing off a 4:23.76 that ranks No. 8 this season for her age. Turano took four seconds off her personal-best 800 free time of 9:03.32, moving up to No. 8 this season. She also posted a personal best in the 1500 free, improving by nearly seven seconds from just a couple months ago. 

Scarlet teammates Chloe Kim and Iris Kim had impressive meets, too. Chloe recorded five personal bests and three victories, including a 2:25.36 in the 200 breaststroke that ranks eighth this season among 15-year-old girls. Chloe also threw down a 2:17.46 in the 200 fly, moving up to 13th this season for her age.  Her other individual win came in the 100 fly (1:02.84).

Iris, 14, just missed a few personal bests in the 200, 400, and 800 free races, but she did make her mark with a record 100 free split of 58.03, which ranks 13th this season for her age. 

Fellow Scarlet swimmer Richard Poplawski broke the 52-second barrier for the first time in the 100 free (51.99), one of four personal bests for the 16-year-old. His 1:54.17 in the 200 free ranks ninth this season for his age while his runner-up effort in the 200 IM (2:06.27) leaves him as the No. 12 performer this season. Poplawski also cruised to a win in the 400 free (4:03.18). 

Jacob Turner achieved a Junior Nationals standard in the 100 breast with 1:05.35, finishing about three seconds behind Fan. Fellow Metroplex 16-year-old Grant Hu climbed into the top-20 rankings this season with a 4:31.17 in the 400 IM that sits at No. 20. 

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Formula E fan has ‘no faith’ in car race organizer, as city returns its $500K deposit for cancelled event | CBC News

Formula E fan has 'no faith' in car race organizer, as city returns its $500K deposit for cancelled event | CBC News

Vancouver is refunding the $500,000 deposit for a major international electric car race that was supposed to have happened earlier this month before organizers pulled out.

The two-day event was scheduled to start on July 2, and included a Nickelback concert, before being cancelled by its organizer, One Stop Strategy (OSS) Group, who have previously said it would be rescheduled to next year.

But four weeks after the cancelled event’s original date, ticket-holders have complained about not receiving refunds. The city said its repayment of the organizer’s performance security payment for the event is contingent on giving fans their money back.

It was to be the first Formula E event in the city, and promoted as an economic boon, selling thousands of tickets to the False Creek-area races.

One of those fans waiting for a refund is Andrew Chobaniuk, who said he could not get any response after repeated request from organizers and ended up reporting it to his credit card company.

It reimbursed him the $210 he paid for four tickets to see the Vancouver races.

“Absolutely no word from the Formula E organizers despite numerous emails to them,” he told CBC News in an email. “Received a refund from my credit card company pending an investigation.”

“It’s disappointing — you look forward to car racing finally making a return to Vancouver after all these years, and you’re left feeling swindled. Given the lack of communication from the organizers … I have no faith in OSS at all.”

One Stop Strategy Group did not respond to multiple requests for comment Friday.

Decision came ‘after intensive review’ with city

On Friday, the city said its deposit return would have “no financial impacts” on its budget, and was only made on the condition that “that the funds be used by OSS to pay its financial obligations” including refunding ticket-holders, suppliers, or event sponsors.

“Questions about funds being paid or refunded by OSS to ticket-holders, suppliers, sponsors, and/or other potential creditors should be directed to OSS,” the city said in a release.

An F1-style car sits in a showroom display.
An electric Formula E race car prototype is seen on a display stage at CeraWeek energy conference in Houston in this 2019 file photo. (Kyle Bakx/CBC)

On April 22, the city announced that the event’s organizers called off the event, exercising their rights under the Host City Agreement. At the time, the city said in a statement it hopes “to announce a new date in the near future.”

At the time of the cancellation, OSS said the “incredibly difficult” decision came “after intensive review” with the city.

“Delivery of a world-class event is of the utmost importance” to the group, it said, promising to communicate with ticket-holders “to inform [them of] their options.”

Coun. Michael Wiebe co-sponsored a motion last year that supported hosting the event the city.

“I know the management company didn’t work here, but I still believe it can be a great event,” he said in an interview Friday. “It was going to be a big weekend, I’m disappointed because it’s an opportunity for Vancouver.”

He stepped aside from voting on the city-issued deposit refund because he himself bought tickets to the cancelled event, and is now among the thousands who have not yet received a refund.

“I haven’t yet, but I’ll wait in the back of the line,” Wiebe said. “I want to make sure the people that really deserve the funding are getting it.

“We’re saying, ‘If you are going to take the $500,000 return, there are certain people that need to be paid, and the funding can only go to specific things … That includes ticket-holders, suppliers and others.”

Controversial races

The Formula E races have been controversial in other cities. 

In 2017, Montreal city officials announced they would pull the plug on a Formula E race that was set to take place in that city the following year.

The mayor said the event was “headed straight for a financial fiasco,” and that taxpayers would be on the hook for $35 million. 

But one year ago, the City of Montreal agreed to pay a settlement of $3 million to Formula E Operations, which puts on electric car races around the world. It had sued the city for $16 million after the city cancelled their events in 2018 and 2019.

Formula E isn’t the organizer of the Vancouver event, though it appears to have a degree of oversight with regard to the OSS Group-promoted race, which is part of the Formula E series.

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WNBA commissioner blames gun violence for lack of outdoor fan events during All-Star weekend

WNBA commissioner blames gun violence for lack of outdoor fan events during All-Star weekend

All weekend, the WNBA’s All-Stars talked about how the 18th annual game felt different. They described a higher level of attention surrounding the event, better player-thrown parties and an overall feeling of being treated like All-Stars.

Severely lacking, though, were planned fan activities and even the ability to purchase tickets to events such as the skills competition and three-point contest, which were held at McCormick Place, not Wintrust Arena. One event specifically, a concert thrown by Chance the Rapper, seemed like a great opportunity to engage Chicago fans.

But WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert didn’t see it that way.

“We would have loved to have opened that up to the public,” she said Sunday. “Because of security concerns dating way back to Mandalay Bay, dating back to other things that have happened here in Chicago, Uvalde and Buffalo, there’s a lot of concern about outdoor events right now unfortunately in our country. So we were just trying to do the best we could.”

Meanwhile, the Taste of Chicago was taking place less than two miles from McCormick Place, where the WNBA’s limited outdoor events were being held.

The general public was unable to attend most major All-Star events outside of the game Sunday. Nike Nationals participants, their families, All-Star players’ families and friends and select Sky season-ticket holders were able to secure tickets to the skills and three-point competitions Saturday. Youth players, corporate partners and players were admitted into the Chance the Rapper concert.

Despite Engelbert expressing concerns about outdoor events, the league’s lone event open to the public, WNBA Live, was held outdoors. The league had been planning the All-Star Game in Chicago since last fall. Engelbert said consultations with security experts, including the Chicago Police Department, led to the league’s decision to limit fan attendance.

Wintrust Arena wasn’t available to the WNBA on Saturday because of a Pampered Chef event, which is a better explanation as to why there were so few fan activities.

“Cobbling together everything that’s going on, coming off two tough COVID years and not having Wintrust available yesterday, it just wasn’t possible to have a fan event,” Engelbert said. “We didn’t have an arena to have it in here in the city of Chicago.”

Championship feelings

The All-Star Game at Wintrust Arena was played in front of a near sold-out crowd of 9,572. Last year during the WNBA Finals, the arena was at maximum capacity with 10,897.

Sky players weren’t on the same team in the game. Kahleah Copper and Emma Meesseman played for Team Stewart, coached by the Sky’s, James Wade, and Candace Parker and Courtney Vandersloot played for the victorious Team Wilson, coached by the Aces’ Becky Hammon.

“Just had Finals feels all over again,” Copper said. “I think the atmosphere was incredible. Especially when Chicago Sky players were being announced. It just felt so amazing to be a part of something so special.”

Copper added that the only thing that will help ease the pain of losing to her teammates is winning another championship.

Changes coming

Engelbert opened her news conference announcing changes on the horizon for the WNBA, beginning with chartered flights for both teams in the WNBA Finals this year and a 50% increase to the postseason bonus pool.

Also, the regular-season schedule will expand from 36 games to 40 next year, and two teams will be added by 2025.

“I’d say probably 10 or 15 cities are very interested in hosting a WNBA team,” Engelbert said. “We’re meeting here and there, I’ll call it with interested ownership groups. We’re looking for the right ownership groups with the right commitment, the right arena situation, the right city to support a WNBA franchise.”

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Phoenix Fan Fusion doesn’t stop after dark: Your list of the top after parties, events

Phoenix Fan Fusion doesn't stop after dark: Your list of the top after parties, events

Just in case you thought that Phoenix Fan Fusion at the Phoenix Convention Center ended once the sun went down, think again. 

This year’s Fan Fusion will offer several events including after-parties and evening events that might be worth staying up for. 

Several events are back from previous years, including comedy shows, “Queen Lantern Corps Dragstravaganza” and “Masquerade” Costume Contest are back. There are new events as well.

Here are some of the top Friday and Saturday evening events and after parties connected with Phoenix Fan Fusion 2022. Events take place at the Phoenix Convention Center.

For a full schedule of events see this list

Make sure you check the programming schedule to see which events are for adults 18 and older.

What to know about Fan Fusion: Your complete guide to Phoenix Fan Fusion 2022 guests, weapon policy, costs and more


Queen Lantern Corps Dragstravaganza 

Join several drag queens and kings from across the Valley for a geek-themed drag show, hosted by Barbra Seville. This after dark event is free. Guests must be 18 years and older to attend. Panelists include Marcus Leathem, Jessica Bechhoever, Gigi DeMilo, Na-il Emmert, Patrick Jervis Jr., Delores Latcher, Hanna Maher, Andi Norton, Elijah Palles, Christopher Rapinz-Kesler, Cierra Ruiz, Jace Ryden, Barbra Seville and Jacqueline Stevenson. 

Details: 7-8:30 p.m., West 301BCD,

‘Kids Need To Read’ Charity Poker Tournament 

This 18 and older event — presented by Lupine Entertainment — will open doors for registration at 7 p.m. Games start at 8 p.m. Guests must pay a $20 donation to participate. All guests are invited to watch the tournament for free. 

Details: 7 p.m.-2 a.m. West 106 ABC,

Horror Trivia

The evening event will include a discussion on cult classic horror films and its history, in addition to a jeopardy style game that invites guests to distinguish all the different genres of horror.

Details: 9-10 p.m., North 230,

Wizarding Game Night

This event features several fun, interactive games from watching Harry Potter characters play Cards Against Muggles and Harry Potter 20 questions. The event is for ages 18 and older. 

Details: 9-10 p.m., West 105BC.

A Comedy Show with Fan Fusion

The event will feature a range of local comedians who focus on their two passions: Comic books and video games. The event is for people 18 years and older. 

Details: Friday 9-10pm, Saturday 7:30-8:30 p.m, and Saturday 9-11:30 p.m,

Anime Rave with DJ HeavyGrinder 

It’s a dance party that’s free but includes one of the best DJ’s in town. This event is for ages 18 and older. 

Details: 9 p.m.-1 a.m., North 120CD,

Burlesque at Phoenix Fan Fusion

Burlesque is back at Phoenix Fan Fusion — it’s free to attend, too. It’s a blend of geeky, nerdy and hot. Guests must be 18 and older to attend the event. General admission seating is free. 

Details: 9-11:30 p.m.,

The stars are out: Chuck Norris, Kate Mulgrew among headliners for Phoenix Fan Fusion


Comedy Show with Fan Fusion

The event will feature a range of local comedians who focus on their two passions: Comic books and video games. The event is for people 18 years and older. 

Details: 7:30-8:30 p.m, and 9-11:30 p.m,

P.U.G.S. (Phoenix Ultimate Geek Smackdown)

This event features eight fans as they debate comic-fest related topics. Sign up for the P.U.G.S. Friday panel event for a chance to make it to the top eight contestants. 

Details: 7:30-8:30 p.m., North 132ABC,

Grogu’s 51st Birthday Party 

It’s baby Yoda’s first birthday. Join Din Djarin to celebrate the birth of his son — the event will feature a full cast of Star Wars friends, too. The evening will be complete with music and a dance party filled with all your favorite Star Wars characters. 

Details: 8 p.m.-1 a.m., North 120CD,

Masquerade Costume Contest: 

This annual event welcomes anyone to see costume creators on the big stage of the Phoenix Convention Center. It will feature cosplayers who have submitted their costume designs prior to the event. Winners will be announced. 

Details: 8-11:55 p.m., West 301BCD,

Drinks with Authors 

Join authors and other creators for a drink. The event will include door prizes, giveaways and raffles to support Kids Need to Read. 

Details: 8-11:30 p.m. West 106ABC,

‘Strut your Stuff’ dance contest  

Doors open at 8:30 p.m. for individuals and groups to sign-up and dance on stage for a panel of judges. If you don’t feel like dancing, you can sign up to be a guest judge.  The show will begin at 9 p.m. where superheroes, furries, zombies, anime otaku, sci-fi fans, video game characters or guests in casual attire can dance and strut on stage. Prizes will be awarded. 

Details: 8:30 p.m. to 12 a.m., North 232ABC,

Star Trek Universal Mixer

This year’s Star Trek Universal Mixer will feature  “What’s Old is New Again – Star Trek: Strange New Worlds” panel guests including the United Federation of Phoenix, as well as local Star Trek clubs for a casual mixer. 

Details: 9-11:55 p.m., North 224 AB,

Doctor Who ‘Smash or Pass’ 

This 18 and older event answers questions like “I wonder if anybody else agrees that Daleks are hot?” or “How bad is a Slitheen in bed?” The group event will invite guests to answer which Doctor Who characters they would “Smash or Pass.” 

Details: 9-10 p.m., North 125AB,

‘Strip a Goddess’ 

This event blends Jeopardy, Whose Line is it Anyway and strip poker into a game show that tests guests on erotic mythological knowledge — by the end, you may be one of the audience members who helps strip a goddess. This event is for adults 18 years and older. 

Details: 9-10 p.m., North 223,

Reach the reporter at Follow her on Instagram @sofia.krusmark 

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Weather Journal: Imperfect scales for rating weather events and basketball teams

Weather Journal: Imperfect scales for rating weather events and basketball teams

Many basketball fans have been caught up in power rankings and now NCAA Tournament seedings, scratching their heads at how their favorite team can be rated so low.

I’m similarly perplexed at how this winter ranks so low on an intensity scale that I created.

It all underscores the inherent imperfections and inevitable subjectiveness of multifactor scales, be it for weather or sports or something else entirely.

Back in November, I rated the first 21 winters of the 21st century to date in the Roanoke area according to a formula I developed to assess each season’s severity based on several factors.

A sleigh ride down memory lane, with a new index to rank the 21 Roanoke-area winters of the 21st century.

Those factors included total snowfall in inches, the number of days of measurable snowfall, the lowest temperature of the season subtracted from the freezing mark of 32, and the number of days with highs 60 or above subtracted from the days with lows at or below 20, all based on Roanoke official weather statistics.

Using that scale, which I didn’t publicly name but have toyed with calling RAWSI (Roanoke Area Winter Severity Index), the constantly cold and deeply snowy 2009-10 winter rates as the most severe winter of the 21st century to date with 84 points, quite unsurprisingly, while the very mild 2011-12 winter and minimal-snow 2019-20 winter are tied for last place with two points.

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Based on this formula, the 2021-22 winter ranks 15th most severe of the now 22 winters in the century to date with a score of 26. It rates seven points behind its predecessor in 2020-21.

That strikes me as odd, even illogical. There is no way I would consider last winter to be more severe than this one.

Last winter had lots of borderline wintry precipitation events but nothing really lasting or all that impactful, at least in the immediate Roanoke area. This winter, by contrast, had a thick icy snowpack that lasted two to three weeks for many, 11 straight days officially, Roanoke’s longest lasting snowpack in seven years.

I heard from people who were stuck in their homes for several days by the unrelenting, difficult-to-remove icy snow cover on their driveways and rural roads, resulting from an 8-inch Jan. 16 storm that included about 2 inches of sleet, followed by days of only partial melting and hard re-freezes.

I left the region for an entire week and returned to find the snow cover on my yard looking basically the same as when I left.

The 2021-22 winter edged 2020-21 for more total snow by a 12-10 margin, rounded to the nearest inch, and had a colder lowest temperature of the season, 10 degrees compared to 15.

This winter’s rating took a hit, however, in having 29 days with highs reaching 60 or more, tied for third most on record going back to 1912, compared to only 15 days with a low 20 or below. While the middle part in January was quite wintry, the bookends in December and the latter half of February were mild. The result in my formula is that it lost 14 points for having that many more 60s highs than sub-20 lows.

Also, last winter had 13 days of measurable snow, though most of those had very minor amounts, compared to only six such days this winter.

In basketball terms, you can think of this winter as having had more bad losses, mild days, than it did quality wins, cold and snowy days. (Your personal perception may be the opposite, that mild days are wins and cold and snow are losses, but that’s not the point of the rating scale.)

How more high-profile and important scales for rating weather events fall short in various ways engenders much discussion in weather social media circles, and the arguments can rage as hotly and last far longer than do those for how various teams are seeded in a basketball bracket.

The Enhanced Fujita Scale used for tornadoes is often criticized because it is based solely on damage markers, which means the happenstance of what a tornado hits can be more important than the strength of its winds.

A tornado with 200 mph winds that only flips a portable outhouse and hits nothing else is an EF-0, when it could be an EF-5 if it swept the foundation clean on just one well-constructed home. There is no radar or instrument observation that can raise a tornado rating if there is no observed tornado damage to support that rating.

The Saffir-Simpson Scale for hurricanes is considered lacking by some because it doesn’t include storm surge as a factor.

The inherent problem is that coastal geography plays a major role in storm surges, so hurricanes of similar size and strength could cause widely varying storm surge levels on different coastlines. But there is no doubt about the important role storm surge plays in damage and death toll with landfalling hurricanes, and the scale does seem to be missing something overlooking storm surge.

Three factors I didn’t include in my RAWSI were days of snow cover, the size of the season’s largest snowstorm, and anything related to freezing rain.

Adding just the total days of snow cover, 13 compared to eight a year ago, plus the size of the season’s largest snowfall, 8 inches compared to 5 a year ago, would have been just enough to move this winter ahead of the last one by one point.

I didn’t include days of snow cover for the simple reason that I have hopes of extending this rating system eventually to the entire period of record going back to 1912, and there is a point several decades back where this data becomes spotty or unavailable.

I didn’t include the size of the largest snow mainly because two of the four factors already emphasize snowfall and having more than half of the scale based only on snow statistics seemed a bit much.

Overlooking ice storms in a local winter rating scale is similar to overlooking storm surge in a hurricane scale, but I could find no consistently recorded, readily available data point related to freezing rain to add to this formula.

And, frankly, for what I was trying to accomplish with the article in November, I didn’t want the trouble of tracking down and adding together six or seven factors.

So the 2021-22 winter will have to live with its 15th seed, which would put it in a first-round bracket pairing with the second-seeded 2013-14 winter, that winter’s fans fuming that having the biggest snowstorm of the young century should somehow be weighted more and get it seeded first ahead of the New England-style winter we had in 2009-10.

Weather Journal appears on Wednesdays.

Contact Kevin Myatt at Follow him on Twitter @kevinmyattwx.


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UConn changes fan policy for athletics events: Masks optional, proof of vaccination removed

UConn changes fan policy for athletics events: Masks optional, proof of vaccination removed

Fans attending UConn home athletic events, including games at the XL Center in Hartford and Gampel Pavilion on campus, no longer must show proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test results for entry, according to a shift in policy announced Thursday by the university.

Also, fans at home athletic events at all facilities are no longer required to wear masks.

The changes go into effect Friday.

UConn began requiring fans attending home athletic events to show proof of vaccination or a negative test, performed within 72 hours, on Jan. 15.

As part of the reasoning for changes announced Thursday, the university cited low positive rates and high vaccination rates on campus, low state positivity rates, and seven of eight counties in Connecticut being classified as “low risk” by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Also, the state no longer requires masks to enter state buildings.

UConn’s policy on mask wearing has changed from required to recommended in most campus settings. Masking will remain required in all instructional settings (classrooms, labs, studios, rehearsal rooms, clinics) through at least April 1, at which point the policy will be reevaluated.

“While this change means masks will not be required in most settings, the university still recommends wearing them on our campuses,” UConn’s announcement read. “We also strongly encourage each member of the UConn community to continue to be flexible and courteous when it comes to masking. Please always carry a mask with you in the event you are asked to wear it in certain close settings, such as individual or small group meetings. Members of the community will be at varying stages of comfort with mask wearing and we want to be respectful of others.”

The UConn men’s basketball team plays its final regular Saturday at Gampel Pavilion against DePaul.