Archive | Paper Discussions RSS feed for this section

An interview with the 2018 SSAC Research Paper winner

Philip Maymin, “An open-sourced optical tracking and advanced eSports analytics platform for League of Legends”, presented at the 12th MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, Boston, MA, 2018. [PDF]eSports games should have lots of advanced data at their disposal, but the reality is that they don’t.  In fact, most of the statistics available in games are […]

Introducing pairwise Pythagorean expectations

Jay Heumann, “An improvement to the baseball statistic ‘Pythagorean Wins’”, Journal of Sports Analytics, 2(1): 49-59, 2016. [PDF]Abstract: This paper introduces a new version to the commonly used “Pythagorean wins” statistic, which improves on the traditional method by means of mathematical adjustment.  The new statistic is called the “pairwise” Pythagorean wins, and it is demonstrated, […]

What is a MLS draft position worth?

Tim Swartz, Adriano Arce, and Mohan Parameswaran, “Assessing Value of the Draft Positions in Major League Soccer’s SuperDraft”, The Sport Journal, 16(9): 2013. [PDF]In this paper, the authors create performance metrics based on minutes played and salary level of drafted Major League Soccer players in order to estimate the relative value of the SuperDraft positions. […]

How do we create models to predict or explain?

Shmueli, G., “To Explain or To Predict?”, Statistical Science, 25(3): 289-310, 2010. [PDF][Research Page]Summary: This publication examines the fundamental and practical differences between the use of statistical and other empirical methods for prediction and causal explanation.  The article’s thesis is that statistical modeling, from the early stages of study design and data collection, to choice of model […]

Sporting Efficiency and the English Premier League

Bill Gerrard, “Analysing Sporting Efficiency Using Standardised Win Cost: Evidence from the FA Premier League, 1995-2007”, International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching, 5(1): 13-35, 2010. [Citation]Summary: This study proposes the use of standardised win cost as a simple and transparent measure of sporting efficiency in professional team sports. Standardised win cost measures the ratio of […]

Financial Fair Play and its effect on European football

Thomas Peeters and Stefan Szymanski, “Financial fair play in European football”, Economic Policy, 29(78): 343-390, 2014. [Citation|Working Paper]Summary: This paper analyzes the financial and sporting impact of the UEFA Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations in four major European football leagues.  The authors claim that the effect of the break-even constraint embedded in FFP is to strengthen the […]

2013 SSAC Preview: A look at the Research Paper Competition

This is the first in a multiple-part series of posts that preview the 2013 MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference.  In this post, I will consider the finalists of the Research Paper Competition.The Sloan Sports Analytics Conference started a Research Paper session in 2010, coincidentally, my first year at the conference.  It’s been a very popular […]

What determines transfer values in football?

Erik van den Berg, “The Valuation of Human Capital in the Football Player Transfer Market: An investigation on transfer fees paid and received in the English Premier League”, M.Sc. Thesis, Erasmus School of Economics, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, July 2011. [Link] I was doing a search for something in preparation for my Advisory Board meeting and came […]

Statistical analysts and professional sports teams: a view from Bill Gerrard

I start off 2012 with a look at an article from 2011 — this piece in the Royal Statistical Society's Getstats campaign by Leeds University professor Bill Gerrard on his experiences as a statistical analyst with professional baseball, soccer, and rugby teams.  Gerrard had famously partnered with Billy Beane on some analytics work with the […]