My question

Video of Barbados vs Grenada football game in 1994 Caribbean Cup Qualifier

was closed for being "not constructive". This is defined as

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or specific expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, see the FAQ for guidance.

I disagree with my question being closed for this reason. Either video of this games exists or it does not. If it does, then it is possible to provide a reference. Furthermore, I don't see any reason why this question may "solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion". If fact, the only comment my question got was a quote from the FAQ that is still under debate at this point for this beta SE site (see Reflect our actual scope in the FAQ).

I don't mind if my question is closed for being off topic for this site, but the reason for being off topic should be clearly stated in the FAQ. I am more interested in discussing the scope of this site and what is on topic.

Thus, speaking more generally, does this site really want to forbid questions about the visual recordings of individual and team sports? What about other forms of documenting sports? For example, would it be off topic to ask if anyone has a reference for the box score of the final game in the first baseball world series? I think such a question should be on topic.


Again, I emphasize that the reason for this meta question is to help this site clearly define its scope. If that scope excludes question like mine, that is fine with me. I think this site has the potential to become bigger than most of the other SE sites.

  • @wax (and edmastermind29) After reading your answers, it seems the fundamental difference in our opinions stems from your belief's that "anything that can be found can be via Google". As someone who pays the bills via research, I can tell you that this is far from the truth. However, I can think of no argument to convince you otherwise. Aug 9, 2012 at 23:17
  • @edmastermind29 see above. Aug 9, 2012 at 23:18
  • I closed the question as "not constructive" for two reasons: (1) this is a pure search question and (2) I really seriously doubt anybody else find any answer useful. The later could also warent a "too localized" reason, but that can be argued. Aug 10, 2012 at 10:20
  • @Tony So you are saying that pure search questions are out of scope for this SE site? Can you point to something in the FAQ to corroborate this? Aug 10, 2012 at 13:56
  • @TysonWilliams this should be the case network wide. It's certainly the case most places
    – wax eagle
    Aug 13, 2012 at 2:45
  • @wax if you cannot justify this with (at least) your own FAQ, then I suggest you update your FAQ. As I said in a comment to an answer below, pure search questions are on topic at TCS - SE because "not everything worth finding can be found by Google". Aug 13, 2012 at 11:18
  • @TysonWilliams a very late response, but the latest version of our FAQ reflects this justification.
    – user527
    Mar 28, 2013 at 18:08
  • Thats great. What section is this justification in? Mar 29, 2013 at 3:54

2 Answers 2


From the help center,

Answers that do not fundamentally answer the question may be removed. This includes answers that are...

  • barely more than a link to an external site

One, it is a yes or no question. Two, the reference you are looking for would fall under what is stated above for "answers that do not fundamentally answer the question." You admit both points below.

Either video of this game exists or it does not. If it does, then it is possible to provide a reference.

If it does exist, Google or Youtube will have it.

In terms of documenting sports, it would be on-topic to ask how stats (Earned Run Average, Slugging Percentage, etc.) are calculated. However, if you are merely asking for a link to the "box score of the final game in the first baseball world series," then it is not constructive. You can find such documentation by Googling it.

  • For comparison with another SE site, consider Theoretical Computer Science - SE, which I am active in. We have the exact same answer deletion policy yet questions that merely ask for a reference (as I have done here) are not only on topic, they are so common as to warrant their own tag, reference-request, which is currently the third most used tag. Aug 9, 2012 at 23:15
  • Understood. Each SE site will have its quirks. Back on topic, links standalone as answers on that site?
    – user527
    Aug 9, 2012 at 23:44
  • Here is a question of mine where I ask if something has been done, essentially a reference request. The one answer it got gave a link to a paper and two sentences summarizing the paper. As the OP, I would have been thankful with just the link. Then myself or someone else would have edited the answer to include a short summary to make the answer more useful and no longer eligible for deletion. Answers don't have to be perfect when first created. That is why anyone can edit them :) Aug 10, 2012 at 1:56
  • If you're on Stack Overflow and they see that your answer to a question just had a link, they would come after you like hounds. See this and the issue I had on SO. However, links do change. A given link may have immediate relevance, but it may not have relevance down the line. That's why our answers should be standalone, not just a link to a reference.
    – user527
    Aug 10, 2012 at 3:55
  • I see the reasoning in Mat's answer in your SO issue. I can agree with that. For my question about the video, I think the summary could contain enough information about the source to be able to find the video in another place if the link dies, which should be enough by Mat's standard. P.S. I thought your answer was excellent! Aug 10, 2012 at 13:52
  • Yes, he makes good points. See make it relevant to others in "How to Ask." Thanks!
    – user527
    Aug 10, 2012 at 14:59

That question was closed because we are not your research assistant.

The fact of the matter is that we are not here to do this kind of research for you. We are here to provide you answers to questions you have about sports, either playing in them, watching them, the rules, and sometimes some trivia surrounding them. Sports broadcasting is even on topic.

However, what you really want is someone to run a google search to find video of a long past sporting event. That's not constructive under any definition of the term. It's something you can easily do yourself. If you haven't found it yourself (and I'm assuming you've looked from the context of your question) then it's probably not findable by anyone on this site.

The other possibility is that your question could have been closed as too localized. That might actually be an even better close reason. The question and it's potential answer only helps you, it likely does not help anyone else who happens on this question.

  • 3
    "If you haven't found it yourself [...] then it's probably not findable by anyone on this site" This is totally wrong.
    – o0'.
    Feb 20, 2015 at 10:01

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