I announced this last week on my Twitter feed, but in case you aren’t aware, I will be one of the oral presenters at the Cascadia Symposium on Statistics in Sports (CASSIS) in late September in Vancouver. CASSIS is being organized by Luke Bornn and Tim Swartz at Simon Fraser University and is the new West Coast counterpart to the NESSIS conferences that have been going strong for almost a decade.
My talk is tentatively titled, “Precision Guesswork: A History of Draft Value in Major League Soccer“. I plan on presenting an analysis of career longevity and utilization of drafted players, controlled for draft selection and field position, and show how these two trends have changed over the history of MLS. I’ll also discuss the differences between empirical draft value (the value of draft selections given historical on-field performance) and perceived draft value (the relative value MLS clubs attach to draft selections by their transactions). It’s an ambitious presentation to be sure, but the culmination of over a year of work and a lot of data cleaning.
If CASSIS is like NESSIS or its West Coast predecessor NCSSORS, it will be an intimate but high-quality conference. It’s a rare opportunity for academic researchers to interact closely with staff and executives of teams in the major sports leagues. There are some interesting events lined up, from a keynote talk by Kirk Goldsberry (now with the San Antonio Spurs) and a panel discussion on soccer analytics. Not to mention that it will be in one of the most beautiful and vibrant cities in North America.
I look forward to seeing you at CASSIS in September. It’s not too far away, and there’s still a lot of work to be done!