Sloan Sports Analytics Conference Update

Sloan is coming up this Friday and Saturday. I'll be part of panel consisting of Jack Del Rio, Herm Edwards, and Thomas Dmitroff. The title of the panel is Monday Morning Quarterback: Coaching and In-Game Decisions. The format will primarily involve looking at a variety of interesting situations from actual games. Tony Reali from ESPN will be the moderator, and it goes without saying that it should be fun. It's on Saturday afternoon, and is the keynote feature event of the entire conference. ...Ok, I made that last part up...It's actually on Saturday morning. If you won't be there, the panel will be featured via webcast.

If you're going to be at Sloan, please come say hi. (Please note that I'm not the former GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs.) Don't let my unapproachable scowl fool you. It's my first time there, and I'm looking forward to meeting as many like-minded analytics fans as I can.
I'm particularly interested in the True Performance and the Science of Randomness panel, which will feature Phil Birnbaum. You'll also see me in the audience at the Data Visualization panel. There's also a general football analytics panel which has historically been hot and cold.

There are a couple football paper presentations this year. There's one on building a logistic model of field goal success, which appears solid throughout. I've read at least a couple other very similar papers that basically do the same thing. My favorite is an older one that can be found in the Anthology of Statistics in Sports called A Geometry Model of NFL Field Goal Kickers, by Scott Berry. I liked it so much because it breaks down FG success into two independent components--angular accuracy and distance. (See Chapter 4.)

There's another football paper titled Identifying a New Metric for Football Efficiency. The metric appears to divide points scored by yards gained. My first thought is that this would mostly tell us which offenses had the benefit of the best starting field position. We'd expect them to a) get more points and b) travel fewer yards than otherwise, which would drive both the numerator and denominator in the efficiency metric. I'll reserve further judgment/comment until I see the full paper.

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7 Responses to “Sloan Sports Analytics Conference Update”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi Brian,

    I am one of the authors of the field goal paper for SSAC. Glad to see you come across it! We are looking forward to the conference and would love to chat if you have a chance.


  2. Phil Birnbaum says:


    I was going to e-mail you to come find me at the conference! Looking forward to meeting you. Last time I was there, I was excited to see your name, but, yeah, it was the fake Brian Burke.

    I'll have my blackberry working ... if you can't find me, e-mail me.

  3. Ben says:

    Is it being transcripted anywhere? I'd rather not pay to watch cause I'm poor

  4. Andy McGeady says:

    Hi Brian.

    Glad to know you'll be at Sloan. I like your work.

    Andy McGeady

  5. Anonymous says:


    Looking forward to meeting you if you make it out to the football metrics discussion.

    -Tim Chou
    EOS speaker

  6. Anonymous says:

    Someone should've told Realli that this panel isn't about him; five minutes of blather at the beginning has interfered with the panel.

  7. JG says:

    Herm Edwards?

    The last guy I'd expect....

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