Extended highlights of the 2011 Sports Analytics Conference

Rob Carroll, who operates a performance analyst site called The Video Analyst, has written a very detailed two-part summary of the Sports Analytics conference that was held in Manchester a couple of weeks ago. Part One is available here and Part Two is here. Highlights of the conference were presentations by Bill Gerrard on evidence-based coaching, the Manchester City performance department on the use of analysis in a major football club, and an interview with Oakland A’s GM Billy Beane. It’s well worth your time to read both parts and follow the links therein. Hat tip to the Sport Technologist… Read more ›

A couple of articles worth mentioning

Over the last couple of days I read a pair of articles that followed on some previous posts of mine. I retweeted one, but I haven’t mentioned the other until now. The first is the conversation that Moneyball writer Michael Lewis and Billy Beane had about the book, the movie, and the state of analytics in sport, all of which was recorded by Simon Kuper and published in the Financial Times Magazine. The article was written in advance of Moneyball’s premiere in the UK later this month, but even for those of us in the States who have already seen… Read more ›

My thoughts on Moneyball the movie

This afternoon I watched Moneyball at a theater in midtown Atlanta. I was looking forward to watching the movie not just because I had read the book, but also because I lived in the Bay Area during 2001-02 when the Oakland A’s were one of the best teams in Major League Baseball. So I remember the criticism that Beane weathered in the early part of the season, the growing excitement as the team embarked on their American League-record winning streak, and the crushing disappointment (and recriminations by the baseball establishment) when the Minnesota Twins defeated the A’s in the AL… Read more ›

Implementing a Moneyball approach in complex team sports

B. Gerrard, "Is the Moneyball Approach Transferable to Complex Invasion Team Sports?", International Journal of Sport Finance, 2: 214-230, 2007. [Citation] This paper analyzes reasons for the success of Major League Baseball’s Oakland Athletics as described in the best-seller Moneyball using a benchmarking technique and investigates the development of a knowledge-based strategy in conjunction with systematic analysis of player performance data. The study goes on to ask whether such a strategy could be effective in invasion team sports like soccer which have low degrees of separability between team and player performance. A hierarchical structural model is developed to analyze player… Read more ›

Football’s numbers revolution

Simon Kuper, the co-writer of Soccernomics, has written a comprehensive piece in this weekend’s Financial Times on the growth of the use of statistical analysis in football. The article focuses on English soccer, primarily because it is the one soccer league that has demonstrated a willingness to use numbers in their match planning and player evaluation and recruitment, but it also explains how American sports and American analysts have been driving the numbers revolution in other sports. The article is long, but it is well worth your time to read the whole thing. Read more ›

Welcome to RedCafe visitors (and others!)

I noticed an uptick in my visitor logs from the Red Cafe website, which is a forum for Manchester United supporters. This is the post that drew in today’s visits, and here is another post on the forum (that one by Rational Football’s "letranger0") that referenced this site. To all of you visiting, welcome! And perhaps now is a good time to provide a link to two posts I wrote that sought to think out loud about soccer analytics and respond to my own doubts about their usefulness: My original Moneyball and Soccer post, and a follow-up to that post… Read more ›