Modeling Team Sport

Team sport involves teammates facilitating the movement of a ball or similar object in accordance with predefined rules in order to score points. Typical examples include basketball, football, handball, water polo and baseball. This type of sports requires extensive cooperation and collective action, which can be analyzed by modeling. Modeling is the process of giving structure to the analysis, identifying which aspects are important and defining a quantitative scheme to aggregate or compare them. It aims to improve the understanding of the performance and evolution of teams in a given domain, and is based on theories and concepts from Sport Science.

Professional team sport companies invest substantial resources into the analysis of their own teams, as well as the performances of future opposing teams. Descriptive data is the most commonly used source for such analyses, as it includes everything that can be counted or measured during one or several matches, ranging from individual player attributes to the overall game statistics (e.g., average number of passes made). While some descriptive data sets are kept confidential by their respective stakeholders, others are freely available for analysis purposes.

While some people might think that group sports would distract students from schoolwork, they actually offer many pedagogical benefits. For example, playing a team sport teaches children the value of working together for a common goal, developing communication skills and fostering responsibility. Moreover, it helps them stay in shape, builds their cardio-respiratory endurance and strengthens their muscles. In addition, athletes learn how to set and reach their goals and work under pressure.