Sports Reference Blog

What’s a Home Game on Baseball-Reference.com? HTBF?

Posted by admin on August 6, 2020

With Major League Baseball making a mad dash to complete the 2020 season, a number of norms and standards have gone by the wayside this season. Due to postponements, cancellations, and Canada's need for a quarantine of those playing America's Pastime, MLB has been forced to schedule what they've considered home games to be played on the road. In these games, the host team bats first and they often go through the charade of wearing their road unis while the traveling team wears their home whites. We handle these games in a certain way and this has led to confusion as to what the home and road records and splits represent on Baseball-Reference.com.

Our policy has been and remains that a team playing in their home park is the home team regardless of whether they bat first or second (we call these Home Team Batted First or HTBF). We feel that home and visitor refers to location and not batting order. In a neutral site game (of which there have been very, very few), the home team would be the team to bat last. Since 2007, there have been 19 games where the home team batted first, those are listed below.

One change we may make for those who disagree with this policy is the addition of a split for team batted first or last in inning. This way you can see the splits for the definition of home team that you prefer.

Retrosheet, has also identified 70 games taking place prior to 1915 where the home team batted first. At that time the home team, was given the choice of batting first or last in the inning. Once it become ingrained that teams always batted last, it was changed into a rule of the game.
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Posted in Academics, Baseball-Reference.com, Ridiculousness, Stat Questions, Statgeekery, Uncategorized | No Comments »

Introducing Basketball’s Premier Research Tool: Stathead

Posted by Mike Lynch on July 27, 2020

Today Basketball Reference is excited to announced the debut of the most powerful set of publicly available research tools on the hardwood. We're calling it Stathead Basketball and you can sign up for a free month of access here. Most of these tools may be familiar to some of our users from the Play Index. But Stathead also comes with the first of what will be many new additions: The Player Quarter Finder, which allows users to find the best performance in a quarter, or groups of quarters, since 1996-97.
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Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, Play Index, Stathead | 2 Comments »

WNBA Splits Now on Basketball Reference

Posted by Alex Bonilla on July 24, 2020

The 2020 WNBA season will begin this weekend, and Basketball Reference continues to bolster our coverage of this league, this time with the addition of player splits. This includes splits by season as well as career splits, accessible from any player's main page. Using Emma Meesseman's career splits as our example, you can see this includes home/road splits, starter/reserve splits performance in wins vs. losses, results by opponent, days rest, and breakdown by minutes played in the game.

Another smaller addition we've made is adding a stat summary to the top of player pages, giving you a quick look at the player's stats for their entire career and their most recent season. We plan to keep working on expanding our WNBA coverage, and we hope you check in with us as you follow the 2020 season! If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to contact us through our feedback form.

Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, Features | No Comments »

Box Scores Since 1901 Now on Baseball-Reference

Posted by Alex Bonilla on July 24, 2020

As we were getting ready for 2020 Opening Day, the hard workers at Retrosheet announced their latest update, and we have gotten that new information added to Baseball-Reference as well as our Stathead Baseball tools. The highlight from the latest Retrosheet update is the addition of box scores from 1901 to 1903. This means that we now have box scores for every game in American League history, as the AL's first season was played in 1901. Retrosheet has also uncovered play-by-play accounts for games in 1916 and 1917, extending PBP coverage two more years back, although we should note 100% coverage remains limited to 1973-present. The new play-by-play allows us to further bolster our historical splits and event data.

With game log coverage back to 1901, we now have game logs for the entire careers of Hall of Famers Johnny Evers, Joe Tinker and Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown. We also now have the box score for Christy Mathewson's first no-hitter of his career, on July 15, 1901. Our Stathead Game Finder tools can now search back to 1901 as a result, and Mathewson appears as the 3rd pitcher in that time span to throw a no-hitter before their 21st birthday. Batting and Pitching Event Finder searches have been opened up back to 1916. Of the games we have PBP for in 1916 and 1917, Bill Hinchman leads with 3 walkoff hits in that span. Advanced stats tables that rely on play-by-play will also be extended back to 1916.

If you have any questions about our data coverage, you can always see it here. We're happy to have this new data on our sites and hope you enjoy it as well. Please let us know if you have any comments, questions or concerns.

And thanks again to Retrosheet!

Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Data, Features, History, Stathead | 1 Comment »

NCAA Tournament Starters Complete Back to 1977

Posted by Alex Bonilla on July 16, 2020

Thanks in part to work from our intern Ryan Sullivan, College Basketball Reference now has starter and reserve designations for all NCAA Tournament games back to 1977. We previously could only claim 100% starter/reserve data back to 1994. Of course, this supplements our Final Four starter/reserve data which is already complete back to 1955. This data can be searched in our NCAA Tournament Player Game Finder.

Some searches that can be updated with these additions:

- Sean Higgins joins the list of reserve players with 30 points in a game, reaching that mark in the Elite Eight of the 1989 NCAA Tournament. He also joins the list of players with 100 points off the bench in their tourney careers.

- Reggie Theus is one point shy of Donte DiVincenzo for most points scored as a reserve in a single tournament, in 1977 with UNLV.

We hope you enjoy this addition to the site. Please let us know if you have any questions or comments.

Posted in Announcement, CBB at Sports Reference, Data, History, Play Index, Trivia | No Comments »

Announcing Hockey Stathead

Posted by Jonah Gardner on June 25, 2020

A couple months ago, Sports-Reference introduced Stathead and debuted the first set of tools, focused on baseball. Today we're proud to announce that Stathead service is expanding to hockey!

If you are unfamiliar with Stathead, it is the most powerful set of sports research tools on the Internet. With a subscription to Stathead, you can dig through Hockey Reference's massive database of statistics, box scores, and individual goals to answer complex questions in a matter of seconds. Best of all, your first month is free!

The tools that comprise Stathead are already used widely by researchers, broadcasters, journalists, influencers, gamblers, and more. Now, we want to put the power of Stathead in your hands. Here's a rundown of the tools that will be available with a Hockey Stathead subscription: Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Announcement, Hockey-Reference.com, Stathead | 2 Comments »

Triple-Doubles Added to Leaderboards & Player Pages

Posted by Mike Lynch on June 25, 2020

Basketball-Reference has added Triple-Doubles to its leaderboards and player pages. This includes leaderboards for both regular season and postseason, and also franchise leaderboards.

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Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, Data, History, Leaders | 2 Comments »

Getting the Most out of Stathead’s Player Season & Career Finders

Posted by Mike Lynch on June 19, 2020

The Player Season/Career Finders are a great starting place for a first-time Baseball Stathead user. Learning to use these tools will also provide invaluable indoctrination, as the search fundamentals you will utilize are applicable to our other tools, which drill down a little deeper, as well. The basic gist of these tools is that they’re the place to go when you’re looking to place a player’s season or career stats in perspective.

Here are some sample searches you can run using these tools. If you click "See how this search was built" after following the link, you can see how the search form was manipulated in order to achieve the desired results:

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Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Features, HowTo, Stathead, Stathead Tutorial Series, Tips and Tricks | 3 Comments »

Stathead Tutorials #4 – Event Finder

Posted by Jonah Gardner on June 11, 2020

Stathead is a powerful suite of tools that allow you to use our websites's massive database of statistics to research and answer questions. With a Stathead subscription, you can run customized searches through 100+ years of career statistics, season statistics, game statistics, splits and play-by-play.

You can try Stathead for free for a month, and we want to make sure that you get the most out of both your trial and your subscription. So we've created a video series that will explain what each research tool is and how you can get the most out of it! This is Stathead Tutorials!

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Posted in Baseball-Reference.com, Stathead, Stathead Tutorial Series | 2 Comments »

Adjusted Shooting Stats Added to Basketball Reference

Posted by Mike Lynch on June 1, 2020

There's been much debate about the greatest players in NBA history of late. One of the most difficult things about ranking players in a league with 70+ years of history is that the game has changed a lot over the years. Sure, some of it has to do with the skill and quality of the players. But some of it also has to do with the quality of the balls, the floors, the rims, the training, the travel, the accommodations, available nutrition and pretty much any other variable you can think of. For a better idea of how the league has changed over time, please see this table of league averages for each season in the history of the NBA. As you can see, 2019-20 is the fifth straight season in which a new league-wide eFG% record has been set. There are clearly things at play here beyond just player improvement. Though today's players are certainly more skilled than the ones that produced a league-wide 27.9 FG% in 1946-47 (the first year of the NBA's 'official' forerunner the, BAA, which was objectively worse than the league it eventually merged with, the NBL).

To help bring a bit of objectivity to cross-era comparisons, we have added an Adjusted Shooting table to all player, team and season pages. These tables will show a player's shooting percentages and tendencies, as well as league-wide percentages and tendencies and then scale them. Like OPS+ on our baseball site it will be scaled so that 100 represents a league-average shooter. 125 is 25% better than average and 75 is 25% worse than average. These figures are obtained by taking the player's shooting percentage, dividing it by the league-wide shooting percentages and then multiplying it by 100. So 125 doesn't mean a player was 25 percentage points above average, but 25 percent above average. We are also publishing adjusted versions of 3-point Attempt Rate and Free Throw Rate to give a better idea of how often the player shot 3s or got to the line relative to their era.

Additionally, we have calculated Field Goal Points Added and True Shooting Points Added to show how many points each player scored above or below what a league average player would have scored given an equal number of field goal attempts or true shot attempts, respectively. This is to show which players combined volume and efficiency (or those that combined volume with inefficiency, for that matter).

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Posted in Advanced Stats, Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, Data, Features, History, Statgeekery | 6 Comments »