Microcontent: Georgy, diagrams and sport

A picture of Geory VoronoiEach day, I try to update some aspect of the #OERu course Sport Informatics and Analytics.

This week, much of my time has been spent developing some microcontent for theme 4 of the course, Audiences and Messages.

I have been researching Voronoi diagrams and their application in sport. The journey took me back to a French paper written by Georgy Voronoi in 1908 and on to the present day.

I have produced this resource to share my discoveries and create microcontent to support the visualisation component of the Audiences and Messages theme.

This is an ongoing project. My task is to ensure I have a comprehensive list of exemplars of the diagrams in sport contexts. I would welcome any advice you may have to offer about the content.

Photo credit

Georgy Voronoy (Public domain image, 1908)

Revisiting the Inside Game

Rian Watt has published a post titled How fielding analytics are making a great generation of shortstops even better.

In it, he discusses Gary Jones’ work as a third base and infield coach (with thirty-six years of experience in baseball). Gary’s coaching of fielding is based on footwork, mechanics and angles. Rian quotes Gary:

It all starts with the routine play … I know over the last 6-8 years, analytics have become a big part of the game, and positioning even more so. But I still believe that because these guys are still basically working the middle of the field, one way or another, they’re still in a position where they mostly have to use their fundamentals and athleticism.

Rian points out that players coming into baseball today perform in an information rich environment that includes Statcast.One example of the interplay between coaching, data and tactical behaviours can be seen in the use of defensive shifts.

This is a video about Statscast’s services to major League Baseball.

All of which took me back to Hugh Fullerton’s 1910 discussions about the Inside Game.

In his discussion, Hugh considers the mathematics and geometry of baseball. He used twentieth-of-a-second watches to calculate the time it takes for ground balls to travel 100 feet (1.6 seconds). He observes:

Given the speed and direction of the fielder … it is possible to figure to a millionth of a watt where his hands will meet the ball.

Whilst Gary uses footwork, mechanics and angles in his coaching, Hugh looked at five infield grooves and four outfield grooves.

I found it fascinating to discover the connections between 1910 and 2017. I am thinking that I might add the discussion of baseball fielding as a resource for the Sport Informatics and Analytics open course that would resonate with other performance monitoring and pattern recognition activities from other cultural contexts.

Photo Credit

Baseball (Peter Miller, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Updating a Sport Informatics and Analytics Open Educational Resource


I have spent much of today updating the Sport Informatics and Analytics Google Site.

I have been visiting some primary sources to add substance to two pages of the Site:


Pattern Recognition

On the Informatics page I have tried to provide a much more detailed account of different terms in different cultures. Within a decade, researchers and practitioners in Germany, France, the United States of America and Russia could communicate about a domain that in English became informatics.

My update of the Pattern Recognition page has included links to primary sources listed in Gil Press’ (2013) short history of data science and includes 20th century developments from 1947-2000.

I continue to add to the bibliographical references throughout the site.

The Site is an open educational resource and I would welcome any suggestions for content within it.

Photo Credit

Ten swimmers lining up to start a race at Green Lake … (University of Washington Digital Collections, No Known Copyright Restrictions).