Sports Analysis Begin
Whether you’re a fan of the sport or just want to learn more about the science behind it, the question of when and where did sports analysis begin is an important one. As the number of players on the field grows, so does the need for sports analytics. In fact, the first sports to incorporate sports analysis into their strategy were baseball and football. Baseball scouts would collect data with a pen and paper, then use it to create scouting reports.
The first popular use of sports analytics came in 2002, when Oakland Athletics general Billy Beane used statistical data to build a better team. His method was later dubbed “Moneyball.” The science has been refined in every major sport since, and it is arguably the most advanced of them all. For example, basketball teams will now optimize their offense for layups and three-pointers because of shot chart analysis.
The PGA Tour also collects large amounts of data throughout the season. Statisticians can analyze the accuracy of each golf shot and highlight areas of improvement for players. Many statisticians attribute the popularity of sports analytics to Oakland Athletics General Manager Billy Beane. Beane was known for relying heavily on the use of sabermetrics in his personnel decisions and evaluation of players. Several other major sports organizations have also begun to use sports data as a vital tool for making informed decisions.
When and Where Did Sports Analysis Begin?
Initially, sports analysts used box score data to determine player performance. But as the technology grew, so did the methods of sports analysis. The advent of the statistical revolution gave rise to advanced box score metrics such as effective field-goal percentage, usage rate, true shooting percentage, adjusted plus/minus, and value over replacement player. But while these metrics are still fairly new, they represent only a fraction of the data used in sports today.
Billy Beane was a baseball fan and an aspiring writer who started the process of baseball sabermetrics. In his book, Moneyball, Beane used certain analytical techniques to make decisions about player performance. He determined that players with high on-base percentages were more likely to score runs and win games. Ultimately, Beane’s system made the Athletics team have more walks than strikeouts.
The field of sports analysis is growing exponentially. In addition to advanced computer programs, high school coaches and professional coaches use computer software to analyze game film and generate statistical analysis to improve their teams. A company called Hudl provides smart cameras and desktop apps that track an athlete’s metrics. These tools allow coaches to draw insights from game film and create a more accurate picture of the game. Using these tools to measure a player’s performance in sports has never been easier.