• #### statistics afffecting team sports

From Rich Ulrich@21:1/5 to All on Mon Nov 6 01:32:43 2017
Here are two items that have come to my attention in recent weeks.
Educators might find some place to mention examples.

The American World Series has just ended, with a new record
number of home runs for the series. The total of 22 after 5 games
was a record for all-time; the last two games added 3 HRs.

For the season, there were new records for both HRs and
strike-outs. The article I read attributed this trend to the reach
of Sabermetrics (without saying "Sabermetrics"). That is, the
analyses of "What leads to Scoring and Winning?" show that
home runs are particular valuable; and strike-outs are not
necessarily so bad. For instance, with a man on base, a SO is
not so bad as hitting into a double play. So. Managers are looking
for long-ball hitters, and batters are going for the fences since they
won't be sent back to the minors for a low batting average if their
"slugging percentage" is high enough. This looks like a solid
trend.

And I also read an article which pointed out that in professional
tennis, the rate of double-faulting is up a bit in the last couple of
years, as is the average velocity of second-serves. The article
pointed especially to a few of the younger men's players who
have very fast first-serves.

This question of "speed of second serves" is something that had
drawn my attention as a TV viewer of the last few championships.

Consider: If you /never/ hit any double-faults, you almost surely
could be hitting a /little/ faster or aiming for corners, and win
more points, at the expense of a /rare/ double-fault. If you aren't
failing occasionally, then you aren't risking enough.

The article tried to put in a numerical standard, but it muffed the
effort. It labeled "8 double faults in a match, while winning 50% of
your second-serve points" as a decision-point... but I could not
tell /what/ decision you were supposed to make. Also, that
"number" of double faults could represent 5%, or 10%, or 20% ...
depending on the length of the match. However, since "8" is
more than the usual number (I think), it did imply that most players
could gain by going for more on their second serve than they do.

I expect there may be more of a trend after the advice is rendered
more cogently.

Also, the article did not at all mention /variety/. If I deliver the
same squash serve many times in a row (and my accuracy is holding
up), my usual opponent will start putting it away on number 3 or 4.

--
Rich Ulrich

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• From Rich Ulrich@21:1/5 to All on Mon Nov 6 12:36:41 2017
Also - During a late-night replay of a football game yesterday,
there was an attempt to "convert on 4th down" and the
commentator declared that there is a new book out that
applies "metrics" to a large number of situations in football.

In particular, he says that there are already more attempts to
convert on 4th down, and we should expect more again, because
the "metrics" show that the risks pay off more than coaches
(and fans) had expected. If nothing else, the book gives the coach
some cover from critical fans.

I had heard of some claims about that, a few years ago, and
a very few coaches had started acting on them. The case that
had impresssed me was that if you had the ball inside the three
(red zone), turning over the ball that deep still gave you an
"expected value" of scoring 3 points in subsequent play. So,
"going for it" from that deep was not a bad idea, compared to
kicking a field goal -- assuming things about the clock and score
and how much game was left. I saw that choice made at least
once this weekend. And they did make the touchdown instead of
kicking the field goal,

--
Rich Ulrich

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• From Rich Ulrich@21:1/5 to rich.ulrich@comcast.net on Tue Mar 27 01:53:37 2018
On Mon, 06 Nov 2017 12:36:41 -0500, Rich Ulrich
<rich.ulrich@comcast.net> wrote:

Also - During a late-night replay of a football game yesterday,
there was an attempt to "convert on 4th down" and the
commentator declared that there is a new book out that
applies "metrics" to a large number of situations in football.

women's basketball. One early conclusion that I recall is
that the conventional statistics (like scoring, assists,
shooting percentages, and rebounds) seemed more
complete for women's ball than for men's.

During the Winter Olympics, I ran into an example
of "analytics" in a surprising sport -- CURLING.
(It must be a sport - a competitor was disqualified for
steriods.)

For Curling, the analytics were for the sweepers in
training rather than in competition. They measure broom
action by using a special boom or small devices on a broom.

Apparently, there is now a new science concerning how hard to
push down, how fast to sweep, and how to choose the angle
to hold the broom.

The fellow who is selling this or distributing it uses a predictive
formula to get the effectiveness of what the sweeper is doing
in practice, so they can improve. According to the article,
several of the teams at the Olympics were using it this time.
Four years ago, it may have been mainly the Canadians --
who have been pretty successful.

--
Rich Ulrich

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