Wikipedia:Notability (sports)/FAQ

Relation to general notability guideline
Q1: How is this guideline related to the general notability guideline?
A1: The topic-specific notability guidelines described on this page do not replace the general notability guideline. They are intended only to stop an article from being quickly deleted when there is very strong reason to believe that significant, independent, non-routine, non-promotional secondary coverage from multiple reliable sources is available, given sufficient time to locate it.[1][2][3][4] Wikipedia's standard for including an article about a given person is not based on whether or not he/she has attained certain achievements, but on whether or not the person has received appropriate coverage in reliable sources, in accordance with the general notability guideline. Also refer to Wikipedia's basic guidance on the notability of people for additional information on evaluating notability.
Q2: If a sports figure meets the criteria specified in a sports-specific notability guideline, does this mean he/she does not have to meet the general notability guideline?
A2: No, the article must still eventually provide sources indicating that the subject meets the general notability guideline. Although the criteria for a given sport should be chosen to be a very reliable predictor of the availability of appropriate secondary coverage from reliable sources, there can be exceptions. For contemporary persons, given a reasonable amount of time to locate appropriate sources, the general notability guideline should be met in order for an article to meet Wikipedia's standards for inclusion. (For subjects in the past where it is more difficult to locate sources, it may be necessary to evaluate the subject's likely notability based on other persons of the same time period with similar characteristics.)
Q3: If a sports figure does not meet the criteria specified in a sports-specific notability guideline, does this mean he/she does not meet Wikipedia's notability standards?
A3: No, it does not mean this—if the subject meets the general notability guideline, then he/she meets Wikipedia's standards for having an article in Wikipedia, even if he/she does not meet the criteria for the appropriate sports-specific notability guideline. The sports-specific notability guidelines are not intended to set a higher bar for inclusion in Wikipedia: they are meant to provide some buffer time to locate appropriate reliable sources when, based on rules of thumb, it is highly likely that these sources exist.
Q4: What is considered a "reasonable amount of time" to uncover appropriate sources?
A4: There is no fixed rule, as it may differ in each specific case. Generally, though, since there is no fixed schedule to complete Wikipedia articles, given a reasonable expectation that sources can be found, Wikipedia editors have been very liberal in allowing for adequate time, particularly for cases where English language sources are difficult to find. For a contemporary sports figure in a sport that is regularly covered by national media in English, less leeway may be given.
Q5: The second sentence in the guideline says "The article must provide reliable sources showing that the subject meets the general notability guideline or the sport specific criteria set forth below." Does this mean that the general notability guideline doesn't have to be met?
A5: No; as per Q1 and Q2, eventually sources must be provided showing that the general notability guideline is met. This sentence is just emphasizing that the article must always cite reliable sources to support a claim of meeting Wikipedia's notability standards, whether it is the criteria set by the sports-specific notability guidelines, or the general notability guideline.[5]
Proposing revisions to Notability (sports)
Q6: I want to create a new sports-specific notability guideline or revise an existing one. What approach should I take?
A6: Consider what criteria that, if met, means that the sports figure is highly likely to have significant, independent, non-routine, non-promotional secondary coverage from reliable sources. Test your proposed criteria by trying to find persons who meet them but do not have appropriate secondary coverage. It's best to keep your criteria fairly conservative, since for most contemporary persons, establishing notability via the general notability guideline is straightforward enough and the additional buffer time provided by a sports-specific notability guideline isn't needed, so trying to draw a more liberal line isn't worth the effort.

Many discussions on rules of thumb start with, "This league/championship is important," or "This sport is popular in country X." While these arguments provide indirect evidence, a much better way to reach an agreement is to double-check if everyone meeting the proposed criteria has appropriate sources meeting the general notability guideline. For example, for an individual championship, you can list everyone who has won the championship and, for each person, the corresponding sources that show he/she meets Wikipedia's standards for inclusion.

Note the "nutshell summary" and the "Basic criteria" section are high-level descriptions of the type of criteria used by each sport. This does not mean that any criteria that fit these descriptions are suitable. You must demonstrate that the proposed criteria are effective as a way to determine if a subject meets the general notability guideline.

Q7: What constitutes "non-routine" secondary coverage for sports?
A7: Routine news coverage of sporting events, such as descriptions of what occurred, is not considered to be sufficient basis for an article, following Wikipedia's policy of not being a place for routine news coverage. There should be significant coverage directly related to the subject. In addition to Wikipedia's guidance on reliable sources, also see Wikipedia's guidance on biographies of living persons for more information.
Q8: But these athletes have won championship X; surely that makes them notable?
A8: For better or worse, discussions in Wikipedia use the term "notable" as a shorthand for "meets Wikipedia's standards for inclusion in the encyclopedia". As a result, there are many subjects that can meet the everyday meaning of notable, yet fail to meet Wikipedia's standards for having an article.
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