Introducing The Flip
Talking ultimate and stats
Stats in ultimate are still in their infancy, but I fully expect in the coming years that we will have access to more and more data. I think this is really exciting, and I am curious to see what we find. This is why I created The Flip to share my deep dives into various statistical topics in ultimate.
I’m not quite sure what I’ll uncover. Maybe it will be totally irrelevant. Maybe it will be something interesting. If nothing else, I hope it’s at least fun for any readers who stumble across it.
With The Flip I am planning to focus on a few different areas of analysis.
· In-Game Strategy and Decision Making — Where possible, I’m interested in putting numbers behind in-game decisions that coaches and captains make.
· Being an Ultimate Fan — I would like to develop statistics that help make following ultimate fun and interesting. Adding numbers makes it more fun (at least to me) to put teams, games, and players in historical context.
Where possible, I plan on utilizing stats that have been developed in other sports and translating them to ultimate. There are a lot of data of ultimate games that we can play with to recreate stats and analyses developed from other sports.
As far as types of stats, I plan on using existing data to conduct various studies. There is a lot of interest in the ultimate community to develop very detailed throw-by-throw spatial data to measure player contributions. While I think this would be awesome, the time commitment is not sustainable for manual entry of this data. My goal is to use what is being collected already and think of creative ways to analyze it.
Finally, it would be great to hear from others too about these topics, so please contact me if you would like to add to the conversation. I know there are people smarter than me in the community that are interested in this topic and have a lot to share.
I started playing ultimate in 2005 in the suburbs of Cleveland with some friends my senior year of high school. For whatever reason I was looking to stay active in college and somehow landed on the club ultimate team. I never left and ended up playing for four years (2006–2009) at Ohio State. At the club level, I played for Columbus Madcow (2007–2009) and Chicago Machine (2011–2015).
From a stats perspective, I am not a trained data scientist and only have taken a few graduate courses in statistics. Essentially I’m a stats amateur. Open to all suggestions and help from the trained professionals out there.