Sports Reference Blog

Stathead Tutorials #3 – Split Finder

Posted by Jonah Gardner on May 17, 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 | 1 Comment »

Stathead Tutorials #2 – Game Finder

Posted by Jonah Gardner on May 15, 2020

Stathead is a powerful suite of tools that allow you to use our websites' 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!

Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Baseball-Reference.com, How-To Videos, Stathead, Stathead Tutorial Series | No Comments »

Play Index Tools are Moving to Stathead.com

Posted by sean on May 13, 2020

The Play Index first launched on Baseball-Reference.com over thirteen years ago and has been one of the most used research tools for baseball ever since. Many of these tools have been recreated on our Basketball, Football, Hockey and College sites over the last twelve years, and, likewise, they have earned a dedicated user base of their own. Our Baseball Play Index was always a subscription product, but we never applied that model to the other sports' tools. It was always our intention to charge for these products, but for a variety of reasons that never happened.

The Sports Reference sites have continued to grow in traffic and advertising revenue over that time to the extent that the Play Index and our ad-free options are a very, very small portion of our revenue. Most of that is on us, as we have not done a great job of promoting and marketing tools that are highly valued by a dedicated group of users. The Basketball, Football, Hockey, and College Play Indexes represent well under 1% of our revenue. In addition, the Play Index tools are complicated to maintain and manage, and quite frankly are a money-loser for us at this time. It's well past time for us to re-think how these tools are positioned within our constellation of sites.

While Sports Reference is doing well overall, I'm not comfortable with having so much of our revenue dependent on advertising. We are very beholden to search engines continuing to send us traffic, and likewise the ad market can be fickle and difficult for a small to medium size operator to navigate. With the economic downturn currently taking place, our ad revenue is down significantly as well.

In addition, advertising on the sites does not make it easier for you to answer the questions you have. This is our primary mission. We maintain a relatively low level of advertising on the sites (at least compared to your regional newspaper), and we are loathe to add additional advertising units or more intrusive units. Some of you may use an ad blocker, in which case we are making no money from your use of the site at all, and the audience for our ad-free product has proven to be very small as well.

A subscription model aligns our interests much better with our users' interests as well. I realize that users are being asked to sign up for lots of subscriptions these days, but we feel the tools within the Play Index are so specialized and useful that they warrant a paywall.

So we are making some changes. The Play Index for each site will be moving to Stathead.com. Stathead.com will become the center for all of our subscription products. We expect these products to include tools and information beyond just a redesigned set of Play Index tools. This won't happen all at once, but we've started with baseball and are proceeding through the remainder of our sports over the next two months. Also, we have ended our dedicated ad-free product and instead Stathead memberships will have ad-free built-in. There just aren't enough users to justify a separate ad-free product. These changes will began in April for baseball and will be followed by Hockey in May, Basketball and probably Football in June and then College over the summer.

You can try out Stathead Baseball now. If you do a little digging, you will see that we are charging $8/month for a single sport and subscribing to all sports will cost $16/month. We realize moving from free to $8/month is a big ask, but we feel the tools provide a great deal of value and also believe that we can't continue to support the products without a viable revenue stream.

During the deployment of these changes, the existing Play Indexes will remain free.

--sean forman

Posted in Baseball-Reference.com, Basketball-Reference.com, CBB at Sports Reference, CFB at Sports Reference, Hockey-Reference.com, Play Index, Pro-Football-Reference.com, Uncategorized | 8 Comments »

2010s All-Decade Team + HOF Monitor Updates

Posted by Alex Bonilla on May 12, 2020

The Pro Football Hall of Fame 2010s All-Decade Team was announced a while back, and Pro Football Reference now lists the team in its Awards section, as well as in the Awards table on player pages for those who were selected. This year's All-Decade team had the peculiarity of being released without a first-team/second-team distinction, the first time that's happened since the 1960s All-Decade team. With that, our Hall of Fame Monitor also made a small change to its methodology to accommodate this; you can read the formula used for that here.

Here's a look at some of the more interesting impacts All-Decade selections might have on Hall of Fame cases:

Running Backs: Adrian Peterson and Frank Gore were already on their way to Canton, but All-Decade selections greatly help LeSean McCoy, Marshawn Lynch and Darren Sproles' future cases. McCoy's HOFm score is now at 80.76, moving him ahead of current top eligible RB Roger Craig. Lynch's score is now 68.94, which puts him just below the lowest-scoring HOFers who played in the 1980s or later. Sproles took a major jump to 64.4 thanks to making the All-Decade team on offense and special teams, and now finds himself in the range of borderliners Ricky Watters and Shaun Alexander.

Wide Receiver: This position is a little more scattered in terms of predicting who ends up making it in, but Calvin Johnson, Julio Jones and Antonio Brown will appreciate having their names in here. Considering his off-the-field meltdown, Brown is the strangest HOF case, but on paper his HOFm score is now at 89.12, which puts him right next to HOFer Art Monk and within sniffing distance of Michael Irvin.

Offensive Line: Jason Peters gets a healthy boost as he approaches the end of his career, his new HOFm score putting him inbetween HOFers Rayfield Wright and Orlando Pace, as well as right next to perennial finalist Tony Boselli. Jahri Evans and Marshal Yanda also got elevated into the mix of HOF guards with this selection.

Defensive Line: Calais Campbell gets some help for his HOF case with this selection, putting himself in the range of the highest borderline defensive ends like L.C. Greenwood and Neil Smith.

We hope you enjoy this addition and use it as a reference in friendly debates to come. Please let us know if you have any comments, questions or concerns.

Posted in Announcement, Awards, Features, Hall of Fame, History, Pro-Football-Reference.com | No Comments »

2020 KBO Stats on Baseball-Reference

Posted by Alex Bonilla on May 7, 2020

The Korea Baseball Organization had their Opening Day this week, and Baseball Reference will be tracking 2020 KBO stats as the season moves forward. In addition to the current season, we have filled in our site's KBO history. Now we have individual and team batting and pitching statistics back to the league's founding in 1982, as well as fielding statistics back to 2001.

You can now back and look at MLB players who made a stop in KBO, such as Julio Franco's 22-HR, 110-RBI season in 2000 (at age 41!), or Eric Thames' 3 seasons with the NC Dinos before making his MLB return with the Milwaukee Brewers.

As for current players to look out for, you have former Minnesota Twin ByungHo Park, who already hit a home run on Opening Day this week and is hoping to notch another 30-HR KBO campaign under his belt. Keep an eye on veteran Kia Tigers pitcher Hyeon-jong Yang, who had one of his best years in 2019. Recent MLB players who are making their KBO debuts in 2020 include White Sox/Brewers infielder Tyler Saladino and journeyman starting pitcher Dan Straily, his last MLB appearance coming with the Baltimore Orioles.

We're excited to keep track of another active baseball league (check out our 2020 CPBL statistics as well!). Please let us know if you have any comments, questions or concerns.

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

Game-Level BPM In Play Index + Box Score Mouseovers

Posted by Alex Bonilla on May 4, 2020

In February, Basketball Reference made a major update in incorporating Daniel Myers' BPM 2.0, which aims to estimate a player's performance relative to league average by using a player's box score information and his team's overall performance. This statistic is also calculable at the game level, and we've made it easier to look through this by making BPM searchable in Basketball Reference's Game Finder, one of the many tools you can find in the site's Play Index.

BPM 2.0 is searchable back to the 1984-85 season, when we first have 100% coverage of all the statistical components needed to calculate this. It's important to note that BPM is a rate stat, so setting a minutes played threshold will be important. Here's a look at the top games in our system using a couple of different thresholds:

Minimum 10 MP

Query Results Table
Player Date Tm MP TRB AST PTS BPM
James Robinson 1996-12-30 * MIN 10 1 1 23 74.6
Henry James 1997-04-15 * ATL 10 2 1 24 63.9
Jrue Holiday 2009-11-24 * PHI 10 6 1 11 61.1
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/5/2020.

Minimum 20 MP

Query Results Table
Player Date Tm MP TRB AST PTS BPM
Brent Barry 2006-03-24 * SAS 20 2 4 23 45.5
Manu Ginóbili 2009-01-20 * SAS 21 8 3 26 41.9
Victor Oladipo 2018-01-06 * IND 24 6 9 23 40.6
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/5/2020.

Minimum 30 MP

Query Results Table
Player Date Tm MP TRB AST PTS BPM
Nikola Jokić 2018-10-20 * DEN 31 11 11 35 44.4
Gilbert Arenas 2006-02-25 * WAS 30 1 2 46 40.5
Damian Lillard 2016-02-19 * POR 31 0 7 51 38.1
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/5/2020.

Minimum 40 MP

Query Results Table
Player Date Tm MP TRB AST PTS BPM
Damian Lillard 2017-04-08 * POR 42 6 5 59 35.7
Manu Ginóbili 2008-02-13 * SAS 41 5 8 46 34.2
Vince Carter 2001-05-11 * TOR 45 6 7 50 34.0
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/5/2020.

In addition to the Game Finder addition, Basketball Reference now has mouseovers in the advanced section of box scores that display the offensive and defensive BPM breakdowns, as well as Value Over Replacement Player prorated to 82 games. For more information on how BPM 2.0 is calculated, please consult Daniel Myers' explainer. Stay tuned to the Sports Reference Blog for the latest additions to Basketball Reference!

Posted in Advanced Stats, Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, Features, History, Play Index, Statgeekery | 1 Comment »

Stathead Tutorials #1 – Season Finder

Posted by Jonah Gardner on May 1, 2020

This week, we launched Stathead, 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're launching a video series that will explain what each research tool is and how you can get the most out of it! Welcome to Stathead Tutorials!

 

Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Baseball-Reference.com, Stathead, Stathead Tutorial Series, Tips and Tricks | 1 Comment »

Launching Stathead

Posted by admin on April 27, 2020

If you haven't read it already, please read Mike Lynch's rundown of our new Stathead/Baseball service. I'm going to lay out some of the background for this change and explain some of the changes.

As I laid out in our post from early March, we are making changes to our Ad-Free and Play Index products.

Here is the thrust of what we said in March.

So we are making some changes. The Play Index for each site will be moving to Stathead.com. Stathead.com will become the center for all of our subscription products. We expect these products to include tools and information beyond just a redesigned set of Play Index tools. This won't happen all at once, but we'll start with baseball and then proceed through the remainder of our sports. Also, we will be ending our ad-free product and instead Stathead memberships will have ad-free built-in. There just aren't enough users to justify a separate ad-free product. These changes will begin this month and continue through April on baseball and then continue with the other sites after that.

If you are a subscriber, we will make every effort to make certain you are happy with the options we provide to convert your ad-free or Play Index subscription over to Stathead including the option of a refund on your subscription. You will be hearing more from us about the changes over the next few weeks as we will email users directly.

If you've looked at the cost of Stathead/Baseball vs the Play Index, you'll notice we've gone from $36/year (+ $20/year for ad-free) to $8/month. I realize this is a significant increase. As I said in my original post, we are extraordinarily reliant on ad revenue. Back in early March this seemed problematic. Now with the complete collapse of the advertising market it has the potential to be lethal. If you don't block our ads, you may have noticed that we now have more ads on our pages. This is in response to the downturn in ad revenue. Sports Reference is doing fine right now, but if we want to continue to succeed and also be aligned with the needs of our users, a healthy stream of subscription revenue is vital.

We also feel our products warrant this price. The only comparable products to our Stathead tools come from Elias and STATS LLC and would cost you $10,000+ a year to subscribe to. You could create your own from Retrosheet data, but that would probably take more than $8/month of your time to maintain.

We are using monthly billing for at least the first few quarters, so that we can monitor more directly the success we are having in recruiting and maintaining subscribers. We have discussed adding an annual billing option in the future.

For the time being, we will be maintaining both the legacy Play Index site (which has been free since the start of March) and the new site, but before too long we will take down the old Play Index site, probably late May. We are also working on converting the other Play Index sites. First will be hockey and then probably basketball after that.

We realize there aren't games being played and that you might be facing your own financial challenges at this time. Therefore, we are offering the first month free for all users. And then, until the leagues start playing games, we will be giving users the option of claiming additional free monthly subscriptions. We'll provide more details on the latter plan as we approach the time for subscriptions to be renewed.

If you are a current subscriber, we will be emailing you with information about how we will be converting your subscription to the new system and of course, we will provide your money back if you are unhappy with the conversion to Stathead that we are offering you. Our goal is to give you a more than fair deal and see you join us on stathead.com.

Please feel free to reach out to us if you have questions or concerns.

--sean forman

Posted in Advanced Stats, Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Stat Questions, Statgeekery, Stathead | 12 Comments »

Introducing Baseball’s Premier Research Tool: Stathead

Posted by Mike Lynch on April 27, 2020

Today Baseball Reference is excited to announce the debut of most powerful set of publicly available research tools in the game. We're calling it Stathead and you can sign up for a free month of access here. These tools may be familiar to some of our users from the Play Index. If you're a current Play Index subscriber, your Play Index login will also work on Stathead. You can try it out here. For some background on this project, please see this blog post from Sports Reference president Sean Forman.

Stathead subscriptions provide access to a suite of tools that allow users to run customized searches through 100+ years of career statistics, season statistics, game statistics, splits and play-by-play. These tools are omnipresent in every press box, broadcast booth, agency and front office in Major League Baseball. We're happy to offer access to these professional tools for the low cost of $8/month. Even better, for a limited time we're offering the first month FREE. For more info on Stathead subscriptions, please click here.

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Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Features, Stathead, Uncategorized | 6 Comments »

NCAA Season Averages Table on College Basketball Reference

Posted by Alex Bonilla on April 27, 2020

On the Sports Reference sites that cover professional leagues, we have tables that track team averages in various statistics over the league's history so people can get a sense of how stats have gradually changed as their respective sports evolved. You can see examples of this on Basketball Reference and Pro Football Reference.

We've added this feature to College Basketball Reference so you can see the averages for all Division I schools since 1947-48. The Teams column shows the growth of Division I from less than 150 teams in 1950 to 350 teams in 2020. You can also see the gradual rise in teams' usage of the three-pointer, mirroring its growth in the NBA, as well as the gradual decline in turnovers committed over the past three decades.

Please check out the new game averages table at College Basketball Reference, accessible from the site's Seasons Index. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to contact us through our feedback form.

Posted in Announcement, CBB at Sports Reference, Features, History, Statgeekery | No Comments »