A New Data Project: Logging headed shots in Primera División Argentina 2016-17

A couple of weeks ago I placed a new data archive in Soccermetrics’ ProjectData repository on GitHub, but I haven’t found time to mention it until now.  I’m looking to identify all headed shots in Argentina’s Primera División this season, and I’ll explain why.

I’ve been working with data from DataFactory for Argentina’s Primera and the Copa Sudamericana since late summer of 2016.  The path to writing analytics content has been slow, admittedly, but I’m getting there.

Over time, one starts to see differences in data supplied by companies whose primary clients are media and gaming organizations and those who serve professional teams as well.  DataFactory’s clients are in the former category, and the data feed contains features that are most relevant to that segment.  There’s nothing wrong with this; data companies have to choose what to collect with limited resources, and DF does supply data that I care about but other data suppliers don’t bother to provide. (The fact that they respect accent marks is a big plus in my book.)  But this does mean, among other things, that all shots are recorded but headed shots are only noted as such in case of a goal, which presents a problem for training and use of expected goal models that use headed or footed shots as a feature.

In order to fill this gap in coverage, I want to identify all headed shots in this season’s Primera competition.  There’s a folder in ProjectData called argentina-primera-201617-headed-shots that contains a CSV file.  This file contains columns for the match day number, the two teams involved, and the time of a headed shot.  All you need to supply is the time of the headed shot.  That’s it.  You can get the data from press reports or televised broadcasts, and all Argentine top-flight matches are available online, whether at the Fútbol para Todos website or other channels on YouTube.

If you have a GitHub account, fork the repository, make your contributions, and submit a pull request.  If you don’t have an account and don’t want to get one, just download the file, make your changes, and send them to me.  And of course, if you do make a contribution, I’ll add your name to a CONTRIBUTORS file.

So that’s it, and I look forward to your contributions!


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