Research on Sports Statistics and Prediction

I’ve always been interested in machine learning predictions for sports. In particular I enjoy creating prediction systems for the National Football League games and American college NCAA basketball games.

But there doesn’t seem to be very much in the way of traditional research journals or conferences directed at the intersection of sports and mathematics and computer science.

I did a brief search of the Internet and found three research journals, four relevant conferences (in the U.S. and Canada), and one resources site. Here they are:

1. Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports – The editor in chief is a guy named Mark Glickman, who is a mathematician at Harvard. A typical article is “Estimating an NBA’s Player’s Impact on His Team’s Chances of Winning”, Vol. 12, Iss. 2, March, 2016. See https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/jqas


2. Journal on Sports Analytics – The editor is Philip Maymin from the University of Bridgeport. A typical article is “Heterogeneity and Team Performance: Evaluating the Effect of Cultural Diversity in the World’s Top Soccer League”, 2016. See http://www.iospress.nl/journal/journal-of-sports-analytics/


3. International Journal of Computer Science in Sport – The editor is Baca Arnold, from the University of Vienna, Austria. A typical article is “A Rating System For Gaelic Football Teams: Factors That Influence Success”, December 2016. See https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/ijcss


4. The MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference – This is by far the dominant and largest conference. There were 4,000+ attendees in 2016. Sponsored by ESPN Sports. Huge range of topics, for example, ” Leveraging Digital Strategies and Analytics in Media and Sports”. Has a hybrid research plus sports personalities feel. See http://www.sloansportsconference.com/


5. The New England Symposium on Statistics in Sports – Small academic event. In odd-numbered years. Sponsored by Harvard. Example talk is “Nearest-neighbor matchup effects: Predicting March Madness”, September 2015. See http://www.nessis.org/.


6. The Cascadia Symposium on Statistics in Sports – Looks like it’s a small Canadian version of the MIT Sloan event. Example talk is “Meta-Analytics: Evaluating The Reliability of Player Metrics”, September, 2016. See http://www.cascadiasports.com/


7. Sports Analytics Innovation Summit – The sponsoring organization, “Innovation Enterprise” puts on dozens of small conferences (maybe 100-300 attendees) every year, in many locations, on a wide range of topics. I’ve spoken at their “Big Data and Analytics” event several times and liked the event. Talks tend to aim towards the business side of topics. See https://theinnovationenterprise.com/summits


8. American Statistical Association – This organization has a section on “Statistics in Sports” which has links to sources for statistical data. See http://community.amstat.org/sis/sportsdataresources


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