Let’s stop playing around with playing field stats

For most of us, our first experience of sports is on the school playing field..this  assumes you are lucky enough to have one.  But finding out the number of schools with playing fields in England is not that easy as evidenced by the government’s recent revisions of the number of sold/on sale playing fields. After all, someone has to count school playing fields…. and maybe counting them is more of a challenge than we might think: what do we mean by

Sport, stats and sport statues

Fact. Look closely at the numbers relating to most things in life and you will gain extra insight (and sometimes, you will be led to knowledge concerning something else entirely). Case in mind?:  sports statues. The unveiling of a statue of Don Revie, Leeds United and England manager, on 5 May 2012, will be the latest addition to the 120 statues in situ dedicated to specific sportspeople in the UK.  There were just

The EA Sports Player Performance Index: helping us to work out which players are best (and why)

Sport is a great playground for a statistician. This is the view of Dr Ian McHale, a sports statistician at Salford University. Ian is one of the statistician duo who developed the model underpinning the EA Sports Player Performance Index (PPI). There are, he tells us, so many interesting problems and issues to investigate and plenty of data to interrogate and analyse in order to solve the problems. It is

New film starring ‘a stats-based’ strategy

The new film ‘Moneyball’ tells the true story of how two men running in the face of conventional sports wisdom use a numbers-based strategy to take the low-salaried Oakland A’s on a winning streak…..and it’s coming to a cinema near you. There are other examples of stats in the movies (another columm, another time), but we have to say that getstats is pretty excited at the opening of Moneyball …… not just because it

Where and how do stats come into play in sport?

Sports are physical, mostly outdoor activities. Statistics is usually thought of as a desk-bound, intellectual activity. So, where’s the connection? Where do data and stats come into play in sport? Numbers or data don’t just speak for themselves. They need analysis. Statistics are the result – quantities or measurements derived from data. Interpreting these statistics shines a light on what the data means. And it is this statistical information that can then be

Statisticians help to kickstart science festival

‘Vital Statistics: sport’s key to successful decision-making’ the getstats event on the first day of the British Science Festival in Bradford offered a great showcase for the role of statistics in sport: – John Haigh, University of Sussex and co-author of ‘The Hidden Mathematics of Sport’  spoke about medal expectations in the Olympic Games, the time in a match when a cynical soccer player might risk a Red Card offence, flamboyance versus consistency in golf, and