Wednesday, March 15, 2023

The NFL's Big Data Bowl

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Models, Maths, Mathematics Education

Ed Hessler

I never knew until this year that the NFL sponsors a Big Data Bowl. According to the site, this year there were "nearly 300 submissions from more than 400 participants, a record for out analytics competition.

"The 2023 Big Data Bowl (culminated)," the statement on the website reads, "with an in-person event at the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis on March 1. Each of the finalists will compete for an additional $20,000 in prize money, and the completion will feature a keynote discussion on sports analytics from Dr. Katherine Evans, Vice President of Research and Information Systems with Monumental Sports/Washington Wizards."

There were three tracks: coaching, undergrad, metric and honorable mention for a total of 8 finalists total and 3 honorable mention.

The website has considerable information for each with full descriptions of what they did, the models they developed and their conclusions.

And about the models I'm not going to say/can't say a thing - they work at several paygrades above me - except to shout "What a group of talented modelers."

And the winner of the big do$h? Three University of Toronto (UT) students who left with $20,000 US. A story by Jamie Strashin, CBC Sports was reported about the winning team on the CBC. Their model is about "getting pressure on an opposing team's quarterback." measured today by "stats like sacks, hits or hurries." These occur at the end of the play. The UT team developed a model on how pressure evolves over time, providing a continuous record of what is going on "frame by frame" of film.

I thought there might be interest in knowing about the event, the modelers, the models as well as what they look like. 

Even if you don't operate at this level of mathematics, there is quite a bit here for those of us who don't.

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