Monday, June 1, 2015

Ultimate Frisbee/Moneyball Project

For our ultimate Frisbee project, we had to draft teams from a set of players to try and win a tournament. We were given an excel spreadsheet with all of the different players and their stats. The stats included catch rations, block ratios, and successful throw ratios for both short and long passes. There wasn’t much direction on what to do with this data aside from to draft a team and I feel that this was what made the project a really good learning experience. Every person did it differently forcing them to come up with different questions and teaching everyone more about statistics as a whole rather than just a certain aspect of it.

Eli's stats (our fist pick)
short catch %
long catch%
failblock short %
failblock long %
short throw %
Long throw %

z score short catch
z score long catch
z score failblock short
z score failblock long
short throw z
long throw z

My team based our draft on the combination of short catch and short throw ability. We did this by finding the z-scores for every player in these, and all the other, areas and then averaging them out. In this way, the people who were best at both ended up on top and we had a team which could reliably throw and catch short. We chose to do this strategy because I actually convinced Mr. Pethan to let me mess with the Frisbee simulation program and figured out what really mattered in the games. If I hadn’t been able to get the program, my team would likely have tried to incorporate some short blocking, but I found that to be unimportant.

I learned quite a few thing from this project that I believe will help me later on. I learned how to format spreadsheets correctly, calculate z scores in spreadsheets, apply statistics to sports, and I even learned a little bit about programming along the way. I feel that this is a fun and incredibly useful project since it teaches everyone about a slightly different way to interpret statistics and numbers. It is also useful because using excel for things like this is not something everyone knew how to do and it is a useful skill.

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