The role of the basketball statistician continues to grow in importance as the game develops. Presentation of accurate and consistent statistics helps those involved in the game to look beyond the final score for trends and comparisons and helps those from outside the game to understand in more detail the action that took place.
In the VCARS.co.uk Basketball League it is mandatory to provide game statistics in Division 1 & 2 Men and Division 1 Women. These statistics are used to produce the full league-wide statistics available on England Basketball's FIBA Organizer site
and the "Top 5's" that are regularly posted in our news section
Collecting The Data
The collection of game statistics can be achieved either manually (on paper) or by computer-based package, of which many are available. What is paramount is that each and every statistician adheres to the same set of interpretations and accurately records and reports the necessary information.
Recording A Game Electronically
There are an ever-increasing number of computer-based statistics packages that can be used to keep track of a basketball game. Each package will be slightly different in design and layout and will require access to the user manual and practice for a statistician to become proficient enough to use them effectively during a game.
England Basketball currently uses the free FIBA LiveStats package at all of its major events and finals. This software is available free to download from www.fibaorganizer.com
. Using this software also allows a club to see their games listed and 'webcast' (i.e. live updates of the game statistics) via the England Basketball website on the Live Game Stats
Recording A Game Manually
There are many methods used to record game action and once experienced, the statistician will usually develop a personalised way of recording. There is no particular right or wrong method providing all of the mandatory categories of game action are accurately noted, but some methods are better than others and provide additional information which can be interpreted either during or after a game.
The England Basketball Method is a paper based method which includes two recording sheets (one for each half) and one reporting sheet (Final Statistics Box). Copies of the sheets are available from the England Basketball Shop
. Each of the two recording sheets, titled "Statistics Chart" includes a Shot Chart (a small plan of the basketball court) and this is used to record the spots on the court where players shoot from (the players number is entered at the relevant spot), with successful shots being ringed and unsuccessful shots being left un-ringed. Surrounding the chart are a number of boxes which are used to record lay-ups, free throws, turnovers, assists etc. The third sheet is used to report the tally all of the actions recorded on the first two sheets into a easily readable "Box Score" format.