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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 13, No. 4. March 23rd, 1950

The Blues Panel

The Blues Panel

The award of NZU Blues for individual merit in sport within the University this year, has been made by the permanent body, a sub-committee of NZUSA, the Blue Panel—not the tournament committee as in the past.

Until 1945 when the first post war Tournament was held (1846 also saw the inauguration of Winter Tournament) the award of Blues was automatic with the winning of events or selection for an NZU side. As from that first post war Tournament, the award was non-automatic in that it was withheld from those whose performances were poor. However the standard was not made uniform, nor was it high enough. Some members of the student population (past and present) were concerned about the number of Blues being awarded as one said "they are worth 1/6 a dozen")—so came into being the Blues Panel.


What is an NZU Blue? As said above it is an award for individual merit in sport and its rating according to the Panel is such as to place it second only to a New Zealand Blazer—i.e. slightly higher than that of a good provincial rating. To qualify for the award of an NZU Blue a person must at least be up to the standard expected of "a good provincial side." Circumstances make this guide fairly elastic, and it is the job of the Panel to compare the particular sport with the general level of that sport throughout the whole of New Zealand. No comparison can be made between one sport and another. The badge on the pocket denotes the sport, and we leave it at that. Other secondary factors besides Tournament competition come into consideration—past performances and sportsmanship—although the actual Tournament play must necessarily be the prime' determining factor.


In all sports there is a Blues selection Committee which makes the nominations to the Panel. In the majority of cases these committees are perfectly capable of judging a decent standard for all of New Zealand and not just for the centre in which they are situated. Once the Panel is convinced of their judgments, their recommendations are passed in toto. If, however, the standard recommended is too low or too high then the Panel must do the levelling with the co-operation of the Selection Committee or its representatives.

The Panel may ask the Selectors as to why some recommendations were made or some were not made and, if necessary, the Panel can ask the Sports Councils to make further, recommendations if it is felt that others should have been made. Anyone has the right to know whether he or she was recommended for a Blue, but the reasons for any awards, or the lack of same, are not public property. Any responsible body may appeal to the Panel for reconsideration of their verdict. This will be done either by correspondence, or at the following Tournament, or at other times if it is felt necessary to call a meeting.


The Panel, which ensures a continuity for each member of at least five years, has among its members an amazing variety of knowledge of practically all sports in the University, but an even greater factor is the ability to glean knowledge of the sports and to be able to judge the standard of the sport ln general and the individuals in particular. At least one member of the Panel, more if possible, attends each sport, so that the Panel has personal knowledge of the happenings of said sport.

Finally, three things are certain:—
1.No difficulty arises in selecting the first few people for Blues—it la the borderline cases that require the most attention.
2.The standard in most sport is capable of improvement.
3.The Blue is not awarded to bolster sport in the University, it is solely an award for individual merit.
The following is the maximum number of Blues that may be awarded in any particular year, although it is possible to award more it the standard is particularly high:—
Athletics 2
Basketball (Womens) 9
(Men's Indoor) 7
Cross-Country Running 8
Cricket 11
Fencing 6
Rugby 15
Hockey (both men's and women's 11 ea.
Rowing 8
Shooting 6
each Tournament
Skiing 8
Soccer 11
Swimming 15
Table Tennis 4
Tennis 8