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Salient: An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 12, No. 3, April 6th, 1949.

Sports Panel Reports Change NZU Blues

page 8

Sports Panel Reports Change NZU Blues

One of the main reasons for setting up the Panel, was that in the past, there has been considerable discrepancies in the standard of the NZ Blue awarded in different sports, and even in the same sport in different years, so a more permanent body, each member of which supervises the award of NZ Blues for several years in succession would be the biggest factor in maintaining an even standard of Blues in all sports from year to year.

Subcommittee composed of A. D. MacKenzie (ex-CUC), D. Symon (CUC), J. Burton (CAC), J. Beard (ex-AUC), L. B. Piper (VUC), K. Gatfield (AUC), and R. Hunt (OU, convener). This committee met for two days during Winter Tournament, 1948, and has carried on by correspondence since.

1. Birth of Panel

There shall be a standing committee of the NZUSA to consider all nominations for NZU blues forwarded by recognised NZU Sports Councils and any other claims for the awards, and to make the final recommendation to NZUSA as to who is worthy to receive the award of an NZU Blue. This standing committee or NZU Blues Panel shall consist of five members, each well conversant with the wide range of sports played by the University, this Panel having functions similar to that of a College Blues Committee.

2. Standard of NZU Blue

NZU Blues be awarded only to persons considered by the panel up to the standard required of a good NZU team, this standard being described as equal to that of a good provincial team.

3. Period of Performance

The merit of any person for the award shall be judged primarily on his performance in the main Inter-'Varsity contests of the season for the particular sport, except that when a person has been prevented from achieving his best standard during the above contests, or when it is impossible to judge fairly the merit of the person solely by his performance in the above contests, then the merit of the person shall be judged on his performance during the rest of the season.

4. Athletics, Swimming, and Shooting

A guiding standard shall be declined in co-operation with the appropriate Sports Councils; if conditions are ideal, this should be attained by competitors before they are recommended for a Blue, but in no case shall the award be automatic when this standard is obtained.

5. Maximum Number of Blues

Full number of Blues which may be awarded in each sport are:—
Athletic 20
Boxing 7
Association Football 11
Harriers 6
Defence Rifles 6
Ski-ing 8
Women's Basketball 9
Cricket 11
Rugby Football 15
Women's Hockey 11
Miniature Rifles 4
Swimming 15
Men's Basketball 7
Fencing 6
Men's Hockey 11
Rowing 8
Tennis 8
Table Tennis 4

It being maintained by Committee that unless the standard is high the full number shall not be awarded. However, it is possible for non-winners as well as winners in non-team sports, and more than one player from the same position in team Sports to be recommended.

How it will work

Panel would need to control the general standard set up by the Selection Committees of all sports, largely by inspiring the Selection Committees with the panel's own outlook, by comparing performances of teams and individuals with those of outside groups and other sports, and by sifting accordingly the nominations received by each Selection Committee. The panel would not be responsible for making its own judgment in the relative merits of individuals in each sport, and would not lightly substitute its own judgment on the relative merits of individuals within any sport, for that of a more specialised selection committee.


Hence it is not necessary for each sport to be represented on the panel by someone having expert knowledge of it. More important qualities for membership are:—
1.General familiarity with sport.
2.A knowledge and sense of standards in some sports, and the capacity to develop a good appreciation of them in all University sports.
3.A keen sense of discrimination and proportion for judging relative merits in different sports on the evidence and reports presented.


In some sports the "good provincial standard" would almost be impossible to obtain, although it is certain they have measured up to the standard in Rugby, Cricket, Athletics and Swimming. However, a comparison could still be made with the best players in the various provinces. The definition of the NZU Blue standard happens to be a very controversial subject among students, at the present time.

University Sports Councils were circularised on the sub-committee's finding and unfortunately little attention was paid to them.

An unfavourable reply was received from the Rugby Council which desired no change and was not prepared to co-operate with the proposed panel.


By postal ballot of sub-committee the following were recommended for membership to panel.

A. D. MacKenzie. (Christchurch), R. M. Daniell. (Masterton). R. G. Pilling. (Dunedin), C. Walters, (Christchurch). D. K. Neal. (Auckland).

Final Criticism

To help the success of the whole scheme it is essential that all University Sports Clubs consider the points raised here, and forward any suggestions or objections to the Chairman of the NZU Blues Panel. C/o NZUSA. BOX 3023. Wellington before Easter Tournament.

The Panel would then be able to carefully consider them, so the final definition of the nature of NZU Blues and the procedure for their award shall incorporate all valuable ideas on the subject and be as widely acceptable as possible.

The newly constructed Varsity Tramping Club hut situated in the Tawharenikau Valley will be opened with great celebrations on Saturday, April 30. Come all!

The screening of "The Search" immediately following "Les Enfants du Paradis" gave Wellington its second notable, film in as many weeks.

"The Search" was directed by Fred Zinneman, and produced by Lazar Wechsler (well-known as producer of "The Last Chance") and Praes Film, Zurich, for Metro-Goldwyn Mayer.

It tells simply and sensitively something of the story of the thousands of orphaned and displaced children in Europe at the end of World War II. The camera follows them as, without talk or laughter, and with the slow painful walk of the utterly weary, they enter an Unrra children's camp in a ruined town in Western Germany.