Guesstimating the Number of Active 42 Players in Texas
My definition of an active 42 player is someone who plays 42 at least once a year. In a recent Facebook posting, I asked this question: "How many active 42 players do you estimate reside in Texas?" Nobody ventured an estimate, so I decided to post this document to generate some discussion on the subject. My guesstimate is there are fewer than 50,000 to 100,000 active players in Texas. Here are my assumptions and rationale, with caveats, for these numbers.
Last year, after analyzing polling data and assuming a correlation between my 42 web site stats and the number of 42 players in Texas, I estimated there were approximately 10,000 active 42 players in the state. The median (middle) guesstimate by 23 other 42 players (from a previous e-mail poll) was about 108,000. Thinking my 10,000 guesstimate might be too low, I reexamined the polling data and site visitor stats at Google Analytics.
Polling results last year indicated 36% of 6,300+ participants were active 42 players in Texas. Applying that percentage to the number of unique visitors to my 42 web site since December 2006 (around 89,000), it indicated about 32,000 could have been active 42 players. Subtracting 25% returning visitors yielded about 24,000 who might have been active players.
Assuming only one-fourth of the active players in Texas visited my 42 web site in the last five years, that quadrupled the guesstimate to about 100,000 (96,000 rounded up). This is considerably higher than the 10,000 I originally estimated using a more conservative set of assumptions. (More than two-thirds of Texas residents use the internet.)
Most 42 players reside in the eastern half of Texas, from San Antonio eastward and northward. Not as many live in the western and southern parts of the state. If 100,000 players were evenly distributed throughout all 254 Texas counties, there would be an average of almost 400 active players per county. This average seems too high and makes me think an estimate of 100,000 active players in Texas might be overstated.
Estimating there were 150 unsanctioned and sanctioned 42 tournaments in Texas last year, each attended by an average of 30 different players, there would have been a total of 4,500 different participants. If 10% of all 42 players had competed in tournaments (from previous polling), that would indicate there were 45,000 active players in Texas. Rounding this up to 50,000 suggests a 100,000 estimate is still too high.
Perhaps a guesstimate between 50,000 and 100,000 might be reasonable for the number of active 42 players in Texas. Or maybe my original 10,000 estimate might have been in the ballpark. (Some pretty savvy and connected 42 players went with the lower numbers.)
There's really no practical way to determine an accurate count, but it would be interesting to read the rationale for other estimates, higher or lower, for the number of active 42 players in Texas. If you feel so inclined, send me an e-mail, and I'll show your estimate and comments as an anonymous posting below. (Remember, the key word is "active.")
21 June 2012
Other Guesstimates and Comments (Archived)
The following are representative sample extracts from the e-mail polling results last year (2011). It was a private survey of more than 300 experienced 42 players who might have had an opinion on the number of active 42 players in Texas. ("Active" was not defined.) Fewer than 30 of the addressees responded. The estimates received ranged from 800 to 1,000,000. The sampling was too small and the range too broad to yield meaningful statistical analysis.
"Texas population is 25,000,000. I think 2%, ... estimate of 500,000 is realistic, if not low."
"I would guess at least 150,000. There are 1208 cities in Texas. I would think it would average out to at least 100 per city. There has to be thousands in Houston and Dallas alone. Then, I would add 30,000 for the rural areas."
"I estimated by population in metropolitan areas as opposed to non-metropolitan. There are 25 million people in metro my guess is 200,000 are at least proficient enough to play. In non-metro 3 million people. I estimate at least 1% have a working knowledge , or about 15,000. However if you divide my great expections by 2 you would probably have a more accurate number. 100,000 and 7,500 = 107,500 total."
"It would be interesting to know how many people actually play 42 in Texas. I'd guess it wouldn't be over ten thousand. I'll put my estimate at 10,000 but suspect that may be a little on the high side."
"I'm not sure where they're all hiding, but my guesstimate would be in the 7,000+ range. I also feel that the greater percentage of players (because of age) are not computer savvy or more would surface."
"I would think more like 6-7000 that play on somewhat of a regular basis ...weekends with family and friends ...family reunions ...picnics ....any type of get togethers.....Plus look at all those that play online..."
"I probably know 10 or 12 people that can play 42 but don't play often enough to remember the rules. So if you mean Active as playing more than once a year I'd say 5000."