Thesis Proposal (set 2: motivation1)

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    When I came to Brock I had some ideas about what I could potentially do for a thesis project and once I started talking with Kevin and learning more from him, that list continued to grow. Basically all of these thoughts and ideas that I had could fall under one umbrella of how to evaluate teams' performance.
    Breaking that down a little further, the real question was what impacts a team's ability to win? To answer that question, I needed to think about who the people are that influence the outcome of a game and why teams perform differently. This can be addressed with a wide variety of answers. The first and most obvious answer is the players, who certainly impact the outcome of a game.
    What about the refs? They can impact the outcome of a game, and there is certainly research being done on officiating biases, and of course the fans of the losing team will gladly tell you just how much of an impact the refs had on the outcome of a game. Speaking of the fans, do they influence the outcome of a game? They seem to think so and there has been research done on the impact of home field advantage, but does that impact have more to do with the fans or with the team not having to travel and play in an unfamiliar location/climate/stadium/etc?
    What about the front office personnel? The owner? The general manager? Team doctors? How about the marketing departments? Event management? Stadium ops? We're getting further and further away from the action (so to speak), but the point I'm trying to illustrate is that players are just a small component of the overall process. There's more to sport analytics than just player evaluation, despite what Bard Pitt and Jonah Hill may have led you to believe in Moneyball. Player evaluation gets the most attention because it's what's “sexy.”
    People want to know about who got the better deal in a headline trade, or if a team over-payed for their big free agency acquisition, and which players their team should hope to land in the draft, but there is so much more to examine beyond the quality of players. What I will be focusing on is decision-making. Some of you may have noticed that there is a person (or a group of people) -a role- that I failed to mention when going through those who could influence the outcome of a game: the coaches.

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Thesis Proposal (set 2: motivation1)
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