Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Ida Bobach tells about future of sport statistics in Orienteering (updated)

Danish athlete Ida Bobach keeps a record of JWOC gold medals (7!). But now Ida is one of the best athlete in senior Orienteering as well. She tells her opinion about sports statistics in Orienteering.

Ida! I guess you know that important step in sport development is statistical arrangement. Let me say some examples in other sports:

1) What is a percentage of Ole Einar Bjorndalens shooting at standing and prone positions?
2) How many knock-out victories has Vladimir Klichko?
3) How many World Cup victories has Marit Bjoergen?
4) Who is the best tennis player against Roger Federer?
5) What is the fastest serve speeds of Maria Sharapova? (194,5 km/h)
6) Who has best rebounds score in the basketball team Los Angeles Lakers?

Such kind of statistic information is VERY important for funs, TV-speakers, media (and for coaches as well).

1. In your opinion, what is the current situation with such statistical arrangement in Orienteering?
2. What kind of indicators, statistical aggregates, profile characteristics can we use in Orienteering (to make better information content in our sport)?

1. I haven't thought so much on the statistics within orienteering before, but now when you ask about it I guess that there actually is not very much statistics to find. I know people often find it fun to know different statistics about athletes in other sports so I think it could be nice to have more of that in orienteering.

2. The obvious things to but in a database/statistics are results which should be quite easy to find, especial WOC and world cup results. I think orienteering can be hard to do good statistics on since every race is quite different. Of course you can have things like best kilometer time/pace but I do not think it really tells that much about the runner, it probably tells more about the terrain that runner has been racing in. You could perhaps just do these statistics on WOC and world cup races so many runners have the same competitions to compare, but still it is very different which races people participate in.
I like the idea to have statistics so the speakers have some fun facts to tell e.g. when a runner is starting, but I think it is hard to do some good statistics, except results, on orienteering.

I have one more extra-question for you. In my personal opinion you are one of the best in the World at legs with micro-relief situations (do I have a wrong impression?). But it is just subjective opinion.

Is it interesting question for you like a runner (or like spectator at the men races): who is the best in the World at (1) 'green' legs, (2) empty ('milk') legs, (3) 'stony' legs, (4) downhill/uphill/traverse legs, (5) run-like-hell legs, (6) micro-relief legs, etc.? Cause all this answers we can get from split (and map) analysis.

I think it is really hard to answer these questions. I think I have an idea of what "kind" of orienteers many of the male orienteers are, but I do not think I can put specific names on these categories. But if we get some more statistics I would probably have a better idea about it.

Many thanks for your answers! You are welcome to vote for priorities in new tools development in sport statistics/performance analysis.

Your opinion is important to set up priorities! Please, mark one or more points from list:
- Relay performance/skills
- Complete/detailed results overview, including historical statistics/ranking
- Statistics of different legs types 
- Pacing/speed analysis
- Safety/mistakes analysis

Explanations and comments of these points you can read in the post Leonid Novikov tells about future of sport statistics in Orienteering.

Click button "ГОЛОСОВАТЬ" to VOTE.

P.P.S. Photo is from World of O: Ida won silver medal at WOC-2014 (Middle).

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