Linear Algebra in Sports Analytics

A piece I originally wrote for the Manchester SIAM Student Chapter blog.

Manchester SIAM-IMA Student Chapter Blog

Recently, due to the large amount of data available and the “Big data” buzz, there has been a surge of activity in applying maths to analyse sport. In addition to keeping tabs of the number of points scored and by whom, companies now collect player tracking data which can locate players to within a few centimetres multiple times per second! All of this new data opens many possibilities for interesting ways to analyse performance.

Sports analytics is growing fast in football.

Defensive Responsibility in Basketball

Measuring the defensive capability of players is a difficult problem. There are plenty of ways to assess offensive capability but, since defenders stop points being scored, it is harder to measure their effect on the game. With access to player tracking data from the NBA, Kirk Goldsberry has designed a model to see which defender is responsible for each attacker at any given time so that their defensive ability can be measured against the league average. Some more information on…

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2 thoughts on “Linear Algebra in Sports Analytics

  1. Very interesting blog. I’m proud to have you as my lecturer.
    Fancy coming out for a cheeky curry with the lads this Thursday?

    1. Thanks very much! I’d love to but my dog (a Siberian Husky) would go crazy and start chewing up the furniture if I left him that long. Would be happy to chat about it after the lecture one time though!

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