Monday, December 22, 2008

Sports Statistics: This Is Taking Forever!

The last week or so of Sports Statistics has gone by quite s-l-o-w-l-y. My students are working hard, but the FSM-recommended method of collecting stats is way too cumbersome. Students are directed to the NBA Scoreboard on the New York Times website, where they search by teams playing each day instead of the players. It's taking forever to tally our scores and get them up to date (a problem exacerbated by sporadic attendance).

I had thought about how easy it was to look up a player's stats in each game of the season on, and realized that must have a similar feature. By clicking on "Players" and finding an individual player's page, you can click on "Game Logs" and see only their stats. I don't know why I didn't think of this earlier. I guess I was just so happy to have my students working so diligently that I didn't want to rock the boat.

In any case my students are all at different points, so on Monday we will play catch up. I decided to set a moratorium on tallying stats last Wednesday (our last class), so by Monday students should be caught up using the new, quicker method. I think I'll also suspend tallying stats over the break--if we have to come back on January 5th and count up two weeks worth of stats, we'll never be able to do anything else besides adding up stats.

I created a new weekly stat tracker that will work if students are going to to find their players' game logs. It includes space for 4 games, but can very easily be stretched into 5-6 and still fit on a single page.