Empirical Sports Blog

NHL Shootout as Crapshoot

NHL Shootout as Crapshoot

This past October I gave a poster at the Northern California Symposium on Statistics and Operations Research in Sports (NCSSORS ) entitled Shootout or Crapshoot: An Analysis of the NHL Shootout after Five Years.  That poster can be found here.  (It might be time to have a conference devoted to statistical analysis of hockey.)  For that analysis, I considered all 5711 shootout shots taken during the 2005-6 through the 2009-10 seasons.  The basic gist is that the NHL Shootout is a crapshoot.  Put more statistically,  […]



Moneypuck Interview

Moneypuck Interview

Moneypuck Interview with Michael Schuckers from The Standard with Peter Klein on JoyTV in Vancouver, BC. This interview was first broadcast August 22, 2010. This is a two part interview. Part 1 of the interview focuses on the use of statistical methods for the evaluation of National Hockey League talent. Part 2 of the interview focuses on Schuckers’ work in bioauthentication. Tweet



So What’s a Goal Worth

So What’s a Goal Worth

In our last entry below we looked at the non-signing of Antti Niemi and the signing of Marty Turco by the Chicago Blackhawks.  At the end of that discussion we highlighted Roberto Luongo and his skill.  (Yes, yes, I hear the complaining from Western BC about his playoff performance.)  The question that we wondered about was what does it mean that Luongo saves you about eight and a half goals over what Niemi saves for you?  What does 8.5 goals mean or extrapolating to a  […]



Turco for Niemi (4 goals for $1.45 million)

Turco for Niemi (4 goals for $1.45 million)

So last week I was at the Joint Statistical Meeting in Vancouver. It was a great conference and I presented some work on  spatial mapping of shot probabilities for shooters and goalies.  My poster was on Monday the day that the Blackhawks signing of Turco was announced.  The spatial probability mapping of the offensive zone for Turco is given below. Red indicates areas where goals are scored at a higher rate than average against him.  Blue indicates areas where goals are scored at lower rates  […]



2009-10 College Bowl Expected Victories by Conference

2009-10 College Bowl Expected Victories by Conference

So bowl season is upon us and at Empirical Sports we are excited about the upcoming games.  This time of year the talkingheads decide to promote the best conference based upon which conference wins the most bowl games. This, of course, ignores the matchups and the quality of opponents that a given conference faces. For example, if the PAC-10 is favored in 7 of 8 games but only wins 6, the talkingheads given them kudos for going 6 and 2 when really they underperformed. Similarly,  […]



College Football Conference Comparison

College Football Conference Comparison

Every year around this time we hear about how one conference or another (especially the Big Ten – overrated and the SEC – underrated) is/was vastly overrated based upon their performance in 5 or 6 bowl games.  It is worth remembering that the talking heads are paid not for their insight but for their entertainment value.  Now it is true that there is a lack of quality out of conference scheduling and so the information in these 30 or so games is very very useful  […]



Adjusted +/-

Adjusted +/-

So the Hockey Analysis Group over on Yahoo has been having a discussion concerning hockey’s plus/minus values and how they can be used.  We, the SSC group and a student, Dennis Lock, have done an analysis that takes the advances the plus/minus idea.  Our premise is that every play should tell us about the players on the ice.  Therefore, we looked at a more general model that goes beyond goals and accounts for every play on the ice and looks at every play from the  […]



The Worth of a Rivals.com Star: Stars Matter in College Football

The Worth of a Rivals.com Star: Stars Matter in College Football

There are numerous debates on the Rivals network regarding whether there are differences in how good a particular recruit is.  For example, team X gets a verbal commitment from player A who is listed as a 4-star player, while team Y gets a recruit from player B who is listed as a 3-star player.  Internet bickering/flaming ensues about who got the better player.   Further, this debate sometimes continues along the lines of “Well not every player pans out . . .” and “Lots of 5-stars  […]



Welcome

Welcome

We thought we would add a blog of some smaller projects that are of interest and give a flavor of the sort of work that we do.  Enjoy Tweet