Hi! I’m Pretty Miffed, head of stats for this year’s British Championships and I’m going to give you a quick tale about what happens to the statsbook between the end of the game the stats appearing on the website! It’s a more complicated process than I think most people realise.
After the game
So, the final whistle has gone, and the skaters have had their hand-slaps and headed off to get changed. Meanwhile, the NSOs are gathered in the middle making sure that their sheets are filled in correctly and match each other’s data where the stats overlap.
This is an important first step in the journey of the stats as it allows the NSOs to correct any errors (we’re all human!) while the game is still fresh in their minds.
Once the NSOs are happy, the paperwork is gathered by the Head NSO who will take it away with them for processing. At this point, the Head NSO will take a picture of the scoreboard, the IGRF (the front page of the statsbook which is signed by the captains), and any official review or expulsion paperwork. This is submitted immediately to British Championships.
Typing up the stats
Now the Head NSO is home and has had some time to recover from the game, they can start processing the stats and entering them into the digital version of the statsbook. This generally takes place within a couple of days of the game, but it is allowed to take up to two weeks to allow for issues to be fixed (more on that soon).
First thing that needs doing is to check that the teams listed on the IGRF match the teams that played in the game. No skater who isn’t on the list should have skated in the game, but not everyone on the list may have skated. The names of any skaters on the list who didn’t skate in the game are struck through.
After this, the score and lineup paperwork are compared to make sure that jammer numbers match and that star passes are recorded for the same jams. The score paperwork is also checked to make sure that the final score matches that recorded on the IGRF. If any issues are found at this point, then they will need to be fixed before the processing can continue. For more information on this, see “Fixing Issues” below.
Once happy with these two pieces of paperwork they can be entered into the digital statsbook. This involves entering each line by hand into the spreadsheet and can be a fairly lengthy process.
Next comes the penalty tracking paperwork. This once again requires typing into the digital statsbook and checking against the IGRF to spot and errors.
Finally, the box paperwork is checked against the lineup and the penalty tracking paperwork. Official Reviews details and expulsions are also typed into the statsbook if necessary.
Once this is all done the statsbook is submitted to the British Championships stats team and the Head NSO’s job is done (except for any error fixing required).
Upon receiving a statsbook, a member of the stats team double checks the paperwork for errors. As well as manually checking it, software exists which is used to automatically check for certain issues. If any issues are found, then the statsbook is returned to the Head NSO to be corrected.
If the stats processor is happy with the statsbook then they will proceed with entering the stats into the British Championships stats workbooks.
First of all, a new tab is added to the statsbook. This new tab has been created by the stats team and is used to extract the relevant data from the statsbook. This extracted data is then copied as a new tab into a spreadsheet which contains the stats for the current division.
Once in this sheet, the data is cleaned up and once again checked for errors. Part of the cleaning up process is removing any skaters who haven’t skated in any jams.
The data should now be as error free as possible and finally for the final steps.
Adding to the website
The last step in this entire process is to update the website with all the details.
The webmaster converts the stats to a format supported by the website back-end system, and imports the raw data. The back-end system then generates the game day, division, and player stats from this data.
If any issues are found during this entire process, then they will generally need to be fixed to ensure that the stats are as accurate as possible. This fixing will generally be undertaken by the gameday Head NSO as they will be able to remember details of the game that anyone not there wouldn’t know about.
Often, errors are simple to fix and can be done just from the statsbook and the Head NSO’s memory. However, sometimes the errors are harder to fix. This is where we have to rely on the footage of the game.
The host league is required to submit footage of a game no longer than 8 days after the game takes place. The footage allows the Head NSO to review what happened in a game to help them fix the statsbook.
An example could be where a lineup tracker has accidentally entered the same skater twice for a jam and has missed someone who was on the track. There’s no way that the Head NSO is going to remember who the missing skater is and if that skater never went to the box then no other piece of paperwork is going to record them. However, it should be fairly easy to watch the footage and see who that skater is as long as the footage is of good quality (unfortunately something which we don’t always get…).
So, let’s recap where the stats have been between the game and appearing on the website. They’ve been through the hands of at least 4 different people, sometimes more, and sometimes multiple times. The paperwork itself will have travelled potentially hundreds of miles before being typed up and the digital copy will bounce around people located all over the country before finally ending up being entered onto the website. Each person who touches the stats performs checks and corrects errors, sometimes relying on external information such as the footage being made available to them.
The process is long but allows us in the end to produce detailed and accurate stats for the skaters, teams, and fans.
I hope that this has been helpful in explaining some of the things that go on behind the scenes here at British Champs.
IGRF – The front page of the statsbook that contains the list of players and officials and is signed by the captains and the head officials.
Lineup – The paperwork used to track which skaters were on track for each jam and when they entered and left the box.
Score – The paperwork used to track the points scored in each jam, who the jammers were, and any star passes that occurred.
Box – The paperwork used to track time served in the penalty box and penalty counts for each player. This paperwork is optional.
Penalty Tracking – The paperwork used to track penalties issued, which skater they were issued to, and in which jam.