New at FloorballToday: statistics! We’d like to welcome Floorballytics, our new Floorball Analytics expert! He’ll guide us through the interesting world of statistics and show how important it can be for a sport like floorball!
As a sport becomes more professional, coaching staffs need to evaluate their players on more than what is called the “eye test”. Rather than judging the performance of players based on subjective opinion, the leading sports have found ways to use numbers and stats to closely monitor the play of teams and players. This process has progressed in many areas in the past decade, but nowhere more than in North American sports, with the biggest leagues being the NBA (basketball), MLB (baseball), NFL (soccer) and the NHL (hockey). Hundreds of people are employed by the leagues, tracking games and providing data for analysis to the teams.
What to explain?
In the following three-part series, I will introduce you to some of the possibilities of analytics in floorball. Whilst floorball does not have access to millions of dollars to invest in analytics, this does not mean that advanced statistics cannot be used to improve, analyse and project performances of teams and players.
What do we have so far? Not much that is publicly available. The biggest leagues provide lists of the scoring leaders, along with tracked penalty minutes. Often, that is all the information we get, even from international tournaments like the last World Floorball Championships in Riga. Many teams internally track a player’s +/- rating, a very basic stat describing a player’s goal differential whilst he was on the field (although only when playing at even strength or shorthanded, powerplay goals do not count).
In the next two parts of this Introduction to Analytics in floorball I will give insight into stats and charts that I have made for floorball, similar to things that are done in the NHL. Come back on Tuesday, when I will get into some charts of recent SSL and Salibandyliiga games, before the last part of this short series will introduce more advanced metrics (for the insiders: things like Corsi and Fenwick).