Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Creating Order From Soccer's Chaos

We spoke with Gelf Magazine's David Goldenberg about using advanced analytics to poke, prod, and disrupt thinking about how soccer works.


"There are far better sports to apply advanced metrics to than soccer. Basketball, for example, features loads of statistical categories and tons of points. In American football, everyone lines up in position after each down, making it relatively simple to run simulations. And baseball is so stats-friendly that it's often more fun to argue about changes in WAR and hat sizes than to watch the actual games themselves. The beautiful game, on the other hand, features frenetic action but relatively little in the way of discrete, quantifiable occurrences. Even soccer's results are maddeningly obtuse; the most common score is a 1-1 tie. Slowly, though, the world's most watched sport, which features most of the world's most popular athletes, is giving up its secrets to the quants."

        You can read the rest of the story here.