Public Release: 

New data-driven analysis reveal deeper insight into athletic performance at sports symposium

Research covers amateur, professional athletes in football, hockey, tennis, basketball and more

American Statistical Association

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (September 15, 2017) - With the demand for data, analytical tools, and a competitive edge on the rise in professional and collegiate sports, the 2017 New England Symposium on Statistics in Sports will feature fresh findings, applications, and insights into player performance and team success. The event takes place September 23 at the Harvard University Science Center in Cambridge, Mass.

"Players, coaches and management know that the better the data, the more precise insight they can glean to understand how a variety of factors may influence and possibly predict individual and team performance and game outcomes," said Mark Glickman, senior lecturer in the department of statistics at Harvard University and editor in chief of the Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports. "No longer simple figures, sports analytics has transformed into a powerful tool of robust information," Glickman continued. "This year's event will add to that body of knowledge, providing statisticians, data analysts, sports teams and sports media with new statistical approaches and perspective from experts in (and on) the field, academia and technology."

Research being presented spans football, baseball, basketball, tennis, soccer and hockey, some of which includes the following:

  • Strategy implications of the National Football League's (NFL) PAT rule

  • Using data analysis to predict fan attendance for National Hockey League regular season games

  • Quantifying fatigue in Major League Baseball (MLB) relievers

  • Using statistical processes to test decision-making from the 2015-2016 National Basketball Association (NBA) regular season

  • Advanced techniques for forecasting college football game outcomes

  • The effects of MLB managers' salary and experience on team success

  • Effects of timeout rule change in the National Hockey League (NHL)

  • Scheduling effects in the NBA and NHL and their betting markets

  • Quantifying the causal effects of conservative fourth down decision-making in the NFL

  • A shot taxonomy in the era of tracking data in professional tennis

Statistical analysis experts from across the globe will present research or participate in panel discussions. Some speakers include the following:

  • Kyle Burris, Duke University

  • David Firth, University of Warwick, Alan Turning Institute

  • Martin Ingram, Silverpond

  • Karim Kassam, Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Suraj Keshri, Columbia University

  • Stephanie Kovalchik, Tennis Australia

  • Dennis Lock, Miami Dolphins

  • Michael Lopez, Skidmore College

  • Brian Macdonald, Florida Panthers

  • Karl Pazdernik, North Carolina State University

  • Devin Pleuler, Toronto Football Club

  • Sandy Weil, Los Angeles Rams

  • Ronald Yurko, Carnegie Mellon University

Talk and poster abstracts are accessible online. Limited media access at the 2017 New England Symposium on Statistics in Sports is available for free. Please contact Glickman at or Scott Evans at if interested.

The 2017 New England Symposium on Statistics in Sports is sponsored by IOS Pres, ESPN Analytics, De Gruyter, Harvard Statistics Department, the American Statistical Association (ASA), ASA Section on Statistics in Sports and the ASA Boston Chapter.


About the New England Symposium on Statistics in Sports

The 2017 New England Symposium on Statistics in Sports is a meeting of statisticians and quantitative analysts connected with sports teams, sports media and universities to discuss common problems of interest in statistical modeling and analysis of sports data. The symposium format is a mixture of invited talks, a poster session and a panel discussion. For additional information, please visit the symposium website at

For more information:

Mark Glickman
(617) 496-1505

Scott Evans
(617) 432-2998

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