Sports Statisticians Take Rank at Menlo

Have you ever wondered exactly how much a particular NFL draft pick affects his team's chances of winning, or if a pitcher's accuracy is improved through his catcher's target location? To what degree does an NBA team's regular season record reflect success in the playoffs? Is there referee bias in an NFL game, and to what degree? How the best batting order in baseball is compiled? How to predict which sports collectibles will retain their value?

On October 16, Menlo College hosted the 2010 Northern California Symposium on Statistics and Operations Research in Sports (NCSSORS). Sponsored by a partnership between Menlo College, The Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports (JQAS), and Statistics in Sports Section of the American Statistical Association, NCSSORS is an annual meeting of academics and professionals who work with sports teams, sports media, and universities to present original research and discuss pressing issues in the field of sports statistics. Afterwards, Benjamin C. Alamar Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Sports Management at Menlo College, the organizer, commented “The conference was a great success and attendance grew by more than 10% over the first NCSSORS event. It was a great forum for presenters and attendees from around the globe, who were able to share research and ideas as well as make connections with interested parties in academia, the media and pro teams.”

The symposium included traditional oral presentations, research posters and a panel discussion. Conference attendees came from around the world to listen to the presenters discuss their work on the above topics and more. The featured speakers this year were Sig Mejdal of the St Louis Cardinals and Roland Beech of the Dallas Mavericks. Asked for his comments on the day, Mr. Medjal stated, “The conference was great. It was not only filled with interesting speakers and posters, but also was a great opportunity to speak with and pick the brains of professionals from other sports…individuals that I would never get the chance to meet.”

An article containing the proceedings of the symposium will be published in a special issue of the Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports.

To learn more about NCSSORS or JQAS, please contact Ben Alamar at