Shots and Goals: Quality, Expectations and Context

I have reviewed the literature on shots and goals in ice hockey and association football (to April 2017).

In doing so, I am mindful of Ted Knutson’s (2013) observation:

The soccer analytics community is currently growing by leaps and bounds, which means that there’s new information being processed almost every single day. It also means that there are tons of new people interested in the topic, and figuring out who to read or where to go can be a bit daunting at first.

I have compiled a bibliography that covers 2004 to 2017. Link.

My paper is incomplete but extends to twelve pages. It is a Google Doc so I will continue to update it. One of my problems in researching the literature was my inability to access some of the ice hockey articles.

I ended up on this landing page a number of times:

I have included the references in my list and apologise for the lack of access. I could not find the posts archived or curated anywhere else.

I have started to compile a synthesis of the literature. This is another ongoing Google Doc project. Link.

Many years ago, I pursued the coaching connections between association football and field hockey. I was inspired by Horst Wein.

In locating conversations about quality and expectations of shots and goals in association football, I have looked more closely than I have previously at the ice hockey literature. I found the quality of writing and insights shared profoundly interesting. I particularly liked the idea that many of the writers used pseudonyms, including the exotic Vic Ferrari.

In a desire to create an open educational resource from this review, I have created a Google Doc to offer a partial introduction to football analytics. Link.

At the heart of the resource is a discussion about Lex Immers.

I was only able to access Michiel De Hoog’s (2014) post because of Erica Moore’s (2016) translation of the original Dutch article.

Erica’s open sharing reaffirmed for me not only the delights of open sharing but also the vibrancy of the football analytics literature.

I am keen to develop these resources and would welcome any guidance a remarkable community of practice can offer.

Photo Credit

Peter Whittingham Scores From the Freekick (John Candy)

Pianos, Bows, Violins and the Language of Performance

I have been listening to the Sydney International Piano Competition of Australia on ABC Classic FM.

The Competition started on 4 July and goes through to 21 July. It is open to pianists of any nationality who are over 17 and under 31 on 4 July 2012.

Thirty-six competitors were chosen to participate in the competition. At present 20 competitors remaining in the Competition (the Quarter Finalists) after Stages I and II are aiming to be in the next selection phase of 12 competitors (Semi Final).

In the Quarter Final the competitors were required to perform a 40 minute recital that comprised:

  • One sonata by Haydn, or Clementi or Mozart.
  • One commissioned work by an Australian composer (either Carl Vine’s Toccatissimo or Anne Boyd’s Kabarli Meditation (Dawn)).
  • The remainder of the program will be own choice of works by one or more composers other than the composer of the sonata chosen.

Performances are being judged by an international jury of nine members chaired by Warren Thomson.

I thought it was interesting that the Competition is 17 days in length and it prompted me to think about the parallels between a sport Olympiad and a Piano Olympiad. Listening to ABC Classic FM’s commentators discussing each performance encouraged me to think about the language of performance in music and sport. I wondered how both addressed Claude Debussy’s observation that “music is the space between the notes”.

My thinking about the language of performance was stimulated further by a reading of a chapter (The Stingl Arrives) from Thad Carhart‘s book The Piano Shop on the Left Bank: Discovering a Forgotten Passion in a Paris Atelier.

At half time in the day’s competition I caught a delightful podcast in Radio National’s Top of the Pods. In it the Made in Ireland program on Noel Burke and Michiel de Hoog was broadcast. Noel is a bow maker from Carlow and was trained in Paris to be a French bow maker. He makes handcrafted bows using delicate tools that shape South American Pernambuco, a wood so rare that it is on an endangered list. Michiel makes violins in the Design Centre in Dublin. He combines a remarkable range of woods and other materials to produce bespoke instruments.

I was fascinated by the way in which Noel and Michiel spoke about their crafts. I wondered if we had a language in sport to describe athletes and coaches that was akin to knowing about the performance characteristics of materials when they were combined.

Noel and Michiel work in a field whose standards were set in a golden age by the Gasparo da Salò, Giovanni Paolo Maggini, Stradivari, Guarneri and Amati families from the 16th to the 18th century in Brescia and Cremona.

Photo Credits


Violin 77/365