Ultimate Frisbee Is In The Dark Ages Of Analytics — And It

Read more: A Plea For More Frisbee Data From A U.S. Ultimate Coach ST ALBANS, England — On a field 20 miles north of London, three people were camped on the edge of a field wearing USA Ultimate hoodies, notebooks open in front of them. They were the coaches of the U.S.’s under-23 women’s team, and they were scouting two of their biggest Ultimate Frisbee rivals, Canada and Colombia, who were about to play in a group-stage match of the 2015 world championships. The coaches barely even had any data on their own team — but there they were, scrounging for some on their future opponents. Head coach Mike Whitaker and assistant coaches Carolyn Matthews and Lauren Boyle of the U.S. women’s team. Carl Bialik Riley Erickson records video of future opponents for the U.S. mixed team. Carl Bialik Aguilera thinks that more ultimate should be filmed and that more film should be watched. He filmed games at the under-23 worlds from atop a ladder he’d bought for 30 pounds ($45) just before the tournament. Many top college basketball players have seen hundreds of games by the time they get to campus. Incoming college ultimate players might have watched fewer than 20 ultimate games, Aguilera said.Absent data, coaches have to rely on scouting to get ahead. Film analysis has become a hallmark of the best college and club programs in the country. And it was on display at the tournament in England, too.Take, for example, the women’s final between the U.S. and Japan. Mike Whitaker, the head coach of the U.S. team who’d been scouting that Canada-Colombia game with his assistants near the start of the tournament, said that Japan used “advanced scouting more than any other team at the worlds.” The Japanese team brought personnel dedicated to the practice, which played a big role in the final’s outcome. He noticed Japan made adjustments to its defense after its group-stage game against the Americans (the U.S. won 17-13) and scouting other U.S. games.Eri Hirai, Japan’s head coach, said the team tracked which players on other tournament teams threw the most long passes and which ones ran the most. Harai said this kind of scouting is standard practice in Japan. “It’s very important because we knew nothing about other teams before the tournament,” she said in an email interview conducted through a translator. By the end of the tournament, the Japanese team knew enough about the Americans to win the final in a big upset, 17-15. It was the only game any U.S. team lost in the tournament. Ultimate should be fertile ground for analytics. The mostly amateur sport first blossomed at universities and remains popular with engineers, computer scientists, mathematicians and teachers — curious, creative nerds eager to break down the sport and share what they learn. Its profile is growing, too. This summer, the International Olympic Committee made the sport eligible to be included in a future Summer Olympics.When I attended the under-23 world tournament in England this summer, I saw hundreds of the sport’s future stars coached by some of its brightest minds, but I also saw a sport missing something vital: detailed data.It’s easy to take sports data for granted in an age when cameras track and quantify the movement of players and balls in baseball, basketball, tennis and soccer. The biggest challenges for analysts in those sports is how to wrangle and make sense of all that data and to get fans to look past traditional box-score numbers.But in ultimate, there are hardly any traditional box-score numbers. Other sports have digitized stat-keeping even at the college or high-school level. But for ultimate, even at a relatively organized and well-run event like the under-23 worlds, the sport’s best young players checked opponents’ scores on schedules filled in by hand. Coaches — including my FiveThirtyEight colleague Jody Avirgan, an assistant coach for the U.S. men’s team — carried clipboards to log who played each point, with paper flapping in the wind and ink blurring in the rain. Players got a glimpse of what wealth can bring to a sport every time they walked past one of Watford FC’s brand-new 500,000 pound ($750,000) fields, but rope fences made clear that the Premier League team’s training ground was off-limits — as were stats as advanced and sophisticated as the EPL’s.At best, ultimate box scores — such as those posted on the under-23 worlds website — contain just goals, assists and Ds (discs knocked down or intercepted). “That is Stone Age material to work with,” said Sean Childers, an ultimate player and co-author of a study on ultimate presented last year at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, in an email. “Imagine a baseball or basketball box score from 50 years ago, but worse.”Ultimate coaches dream of stats corresponding to some of their favorites from other sports. Several wished hockey assists — the pass that leads to the pass for the score — were tracked. Bob Krier, head coach of the U.S. men’s under-23 team, wants to see a shooting percentage for the most difficult passes into the end zone. Others want stats on “pulls,” ultimate’s version of kickoffs: Coaches suspect pulls matter a lot in helping a team set up its defense, both for how long they hang in the air and for where they land.A catch-all metric for player value such as wins above replacement would be nice, too. But Martin Aguilera, who coached the U.S. mixed team at the under-23 championships this year, said, “We’re so far away from that.”Many coaches said they look to basketball for stats they want to see for ultimate. On the surface, ultimate has more in common with football (passing toward a score in an end zone), soccer (a field sport with fluid positions and no play clock) and tennis (starting a point on offense is like serving, and scoring on a defensive point is called breaking). But ultimate has similar defensive principles to basketball, with players switching suddenly from offense to defense and both teams resetting after each score.Plus, basketball has lots of cool data. Ultimate nerds speak with envy and awe about SportVU, the system of cameras that ring NBA arenas and produce data about where the players and ball are at every moment of each game. And they cite the shooting charts of FiveThirtyEight’s Kirk Goldsberry as models for charts they’d love to see, ones that would map success rates for players’ shots at the end zone by field position.Other sports are also seeking better data than their traditional, limited box scores provide. In volleyball, “the official stat sheet is basically useless,” said Todd Dagenais, coach of the University of Central Florida women’s team. He’s seeking better stats to help his team but says there’s a dividend for spectators, too: A smarter sport is more fun to watch. “When an offense is run well, fans love that, which causes the defense to have to make more spectacular moves and more spectacular plays, which is also very entertaining,” he said.Ultimate’s stats are stuck in the Stone Age in part because it takes a lot of work to get not a lot of insight. To improve on the kind of time-consuming, manual stat-keeping process that some coaches at the world championships were using, ultimate players developed an app to track players moving around the field. The Ultiapps Stat Tracker can generate heat maps showing the best scoring spots. Childers and a fellow researcher used data from the app to figure out where those spots are and which players were best at getting the disc there. What they found mostly reinforced basic tenets of the sport, like the importance of keeping the disc in the middle of the field. The heat map above, which is from the paper by Childers and Jeremy Weiss, shows a team’s likelihood of scoring from different points on the field. As a team moves closer and closer to the end zone (at the top of the chart), its chances of scoring increase (the higher the number, the better). The large dip in the 40-percent zone — shown as 0.4 — suggests that a team is just as likely to score from about 50 yards outside the end zone (marked as 20 on the heat map) in the middle of the field as they are from 35 but stuck on the sideline.But data collected at one level of the sport with, say, little wind may not translate into a different level in windy conditions. Partly because of limitations like that one, teams mostly have stopped using the app to collect data.“Teams liked our analysis but found collecting and inputting the data was too onerous to justify the time investment,” Childers said.Part of would-be ultimate analysts’ challenge is that top ultimate players don’t play that many meaningful points1Each game of ultimate is played to a certain number of points, and each team must keep the same group of players on the field until the next point is scored. in a season. Players might play during only eight or 10 points of a game because top teams are deep, usually with more than twice the number of players on the sideline as are on the field at any time. And the roster is rarely the same from tournament to tournament.2Even in an age when ESPN is airing ultimate, no one makes a living playing the sport. Top players often skip tournaments because of personal or job conflicts.Even if everyone could agree on which new stats are needed in a sport like ultimate, a tough question remains: Whose job should it be to collect the stats? Tournaments are mostly run by volunteers focused on tasks such as ensuring players find the right field, have enough water and uphold the sport’s unique spirit of the game during play. That leaves coaches to keep any extra stats they’d want for analysis. But they’re also busy doing lots of other things during tournaments. It’s often easier to collect advanced stats during tryouts or practices instead.For the under-23 tournament, U.K. mixed coaches had to choose 26 players from 93 who showed up at trials. They divided them into six groups and filmed them, rating them in 24 categories. None was scores, assists or Ds. The categories were more subtle: essential but hard-to-measure ultimate and interpersonal skills. One, for example, was “nicehead,” which gauged how well someone played with others. “What we didn’t want to do is pick very skilled players who couldn’t interact with other human beings,” coach Megan Hurst said. She and her fellow coach Felix Shardlow entered all the stats into a big spreadsheet and looked for players whose low ratings came in categories they could easily improve, like catching. read more

We need to concentrate De Vrij

first_imgThe Inter Milan footballer believes his team has to be confident after two matches without a win in the start of the Lega Serie A seasonAfter two matches in the 2018-2019 Italian Lega Serie A season, Inter Milan has not been able to get a win.Internazionale lost 1-0 against Sassuolo and on Sunday tied 2-2 with Torino at home.And this is why Stefan de Vrij believes his team needs to concentrate to get the wins needed.“We need to look ahead and concentrate on the next match,” he told Sky Sports according to Calcio Mercato.Romelu Lukaku, Serie A, Inter MilanCapello calls Lukaku “a modern striker” Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 The former Italian manager believes Romelu Lukaku is perfectly suited for Antonio Conte’s Internazionale Milan in the Serie A.“The last two did not go so well but now that is the past and we must look forward.”“We have to get going right away against Bologna and remain confident because we have to be to win games,” he said.“We know that we have to do on Saturday.”“The words of Spalletti? What he said will be very useful for the next matches,” he concluded.last_img read more

Inzaghi admits Napoli deserved win amid controversy

first_imgLazio boss Simone Inzaghi admits Napoli deserved their 2-1 victory but fumed at the sending off of Francesco Acerbi.Jose Callejon and Arkadiusz Milik put the host in the ascendancy before half-time before Ciro Immobile pulled one back for Inzaghi’s men.“Napoli played better than we did and certainly deserved to win, but having said that, on the first yellow card, Callejon was clever to get in front of Acerbi and then stop, ensuring the defender had to run into him,” the Coach told Football Italia.“As for the second booking, he clearly got the ball and it was not even a foul. I noticed that, I got angry, but these incidents do keep happening to us.”The Biancocelesti improved considerably when Joaquin Correa came off the bench.“Correa is a resource for us and he had started the last six games, missing the Coppa Italia because he had flu. Our first-half performance was bad, we were too passive, Napoli deservedly took the lead.“There were 25 minutes left when we got back into the game, with XI against XI who knows how it would’ve ended? It’s a regret, but we have been unlucky recently.Top 5 Serie A players to watch for next weekend’s activity Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 11, 2019 With the international activity cooling down for the next month, we go back to the Top 5 players to watch in Serie A next…“We went down to 10 men against Inter as well, although I had no complaints about the Senad Lulic second yellow. This evening, I didn’t agree with either of the two bookings for Acerbi.“As I said, Napoli didn’t steal anything, they deserved to win. They hit the woodwork four times, although the Jose Callejon chance was offside so wouldn’t have counted, and we went too deep for long periods.“It’s going to be a fight to the end between many different teams for a place in Europe.”#NapoliLazioLazio first goal scored by Immobile pic.twitter.com/9Z9KSzgzGK— Abdullah (@Osty_99) January 20, 2019last_img read more

KPBSD Looks At Consolidating Homer Seward Schools

first_imgThe district is considering relocating students into Homer High School from Homer Middle School. The  District also announced on Friday the possibility of consolidating Soldotna Prep School (9th grade) and Soldotna High School (10th-12th grade) beginning with the school year beginning August 20. KPBSD Superintendent Sean Dusek says this plan is still in the early stages: “On February 13, Governor Dunleavy made a budget proposal and as we looked at that we would be faced with a pretty massive deficit and have to make some extremely difficult reductions.”  They are asking for parents to provide input about the idea via a survey that will be available on Wednesday and at a Board of Education meeting on May 6. This is a developing story- updates will be posted as they are made available. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is looking at a total of six schools that would potentially close following the proposed cuts to education in Governor Mike Dunleavy’s budget. Dusek said the district will also be looking at the possibility of consolidating schools in Seward: “As we’ve been moving through this process we’ve had conversations about some of our smaller schools, and when we were looking at Soldotna High School and Soldotna Prep we also continued to look for any other efficiencies. We have been looking at other possible consolidations at Seward High School and Seward Middle School, as well as Homer.” last_img read more

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Space Sportilization Former Redskin Player Ken Harvey Offers A 21st Century Game

first_img Explore further The idea was presented to the Challenger Center, a foundation started by the offspring of NASA astronauts to encourage young people from all walks of life to “Think Big” and reach for the stars by providing hands-on experience in space science. Ken Harvey along with NASA engineers, Astronauts and friends of the Space program realize that an important ingredient in encouraging an interest in science requires you get the young person´s attention. Equally important is that science is presented in terms 21st century young people find palatable and are able to participate in at a level they are familiar, like creating “YouTube” videos. Ken Harvey, age 43 knows quite a bit about taking some hard knocks on his way to a professional playing field and afterward. He was a high school drop out, who got his act together by working his way through Junior College and excelling in football. His career in professional sports was cut short by injuries and with the help of some associates with similar minds embarked on the concept of Space Sportilization. One friend, Eric Anderson, President of Space Adventures in Vienna, Virginia offers five-minute sub-orbital flights for paying customers for $5,000. Additionally, Space Adventures has transported six paying customers to the International Space Station. New York Times reporter Michael Brick quotes Anderson as saying, ” Ken is a friend and someone who can make things happen.” “It just helps people get excited about space”. Ken Harvey is not the first to suggest, “America Think Big.” The first challenge came some 48-years ago by President Kennedy. An endeavor to reach for the Moon brought with it industries and every day conveniences for decades. Thinking big has a way of stretching mankind and creating opportunities on Earth. Ken Harvey formed JAKA Consulting Group which incorporate sports concepts into achieving business goals for business partners. The process is dubbed “Sportilization”. The Space Sportilization variation is aimed at encouraging students to visualize basic football moves and their application to space science. The science of movement in zero-gravity is explored and students are encouraged to participate by estimating the differences in game play on Earth and outer space. The Challenger Center for Space Science Education website has a live demonstration and interactive game developed by Challenger Center´s Richard Garriott and Ken Harvey. Click here to play, “Space Football” Via NY Times Mathematicians prove the Umbral Moonshine Conjecture Earth & Moon. Via: NASA Archives Citation: Space Sportilization: Former Redskin Player Ken Harvey Offers A 21st Century Game on the Moon (2008, November 24) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2008-11-space-sportilization-redskin-player-ken.html (PhysOrg.com) — Ken Harvey, former linebacker for the Washington Redskins is trying to capture the imagination of young people by proposing a 21st century game of “Float Ball” to be played in zero-gravity. The Xtreme game of Float Ball combines elements of football and basketball with weightless players bouncing off walls, banging up against each other with the objective of moving varied colored floating balls to each end of the playing field. Extra points are given for stuffing a player carrying a designated color ball into a hoop. Initially, the game can be played in retrofitted grounded planes. The next step may include “Float Ball on the Moon” and perhaps someday a “Float Ball” stadium on Mars. Sounds extreme and perhaps lofty, but there´s science behind Harvey´s plan. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Quantum meets classical Qubit fabricated with integrated micromagnet increases speed of quantum

first_img Prof. Susan Coppersmith and Prof. Mark Eriksson discuss the paper they and their co-authors published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences with Phys.org, noting that overall goal of the research program is to develop quantum bits for a quantum computer using technology that is similar to that used for current classical computers. “The advantages of this strategy arise for two main reasons.” Coppersmith tells Phys.org. “First, enormous investments have been made to develop large-scale classical electronics, and one hopes that this investment can be leveraged to facilitate scale-up of quantum electronics. Second, the similarity in technology facilitates integration of quantum and classical processors.” Integration is important, Eriksson adds, because a large-scale classical computer will almost certainly be necessary to control the operation of a quantum computer.An early step towards this goal is to fabricate high-fidelity individual qubits. This paper focuses on the so-called singlet-triplet qubit, which was first fabricated in gallium arsenide (GaAs) devices. “The operation of a singlet-triplet qubit in GaAs is complicated by strong coupling between the electron spins and nuclear spins, Eriksson explains. “Silicon has much weaker coupling between the electron spins and nuclear spins, and most of the nuclei in silicon have spin zero, so the electron spins in silicon can stay coherent much longer than in GaAs.” In fact, measurements of a singlet-triplet qubit in natural silicon indeed yield much longer coherence times than in GaAs, but because the qubit operations themselves rely on having a magnetic field difference between the dots – a difference that also arises from the nuclei themselves – the qubit operations in that work were much slower than in GaAs. “Our work shows that using an integrated micromagnet enables faster gate operations by imposing a larger magnetic field difference between the quantum dots,” Coppersmith points out, “and it does so without introducing measurable additional decoherence, which improves the overall performance of the qubit.” Explore further Electrical control of nuclear spin qubits Citation: Quantum meets classical: Qubit fabricated with integrated micromagnet increases speed of quantum manipulation in silicon (2014, August 25) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-08-quantum-classical-qubit-fabricated-micromagnet.html Specifically, the paper states that the integrated micromagnet provides a promising path toward fast manipulation in materials with small concentrations of nuclear spins, including both natural silicon (Si) and isotopically enriched 28Si. “Nuclear spins in GaAs and other materials, such as InSb (Indium Antimonide), reduce qubit coherence – but this strong coupling also enables fast manipulation,” Eriksson tells Phys.org. “However, if the decoherence effects are reduced by using a material with weaker coupling to nuclear spins, it’s necessary to find another way to create a large magnetic field difference between the quantum dots – and the integrated micromagnet enables this.” (Phys.org) —The ubiquitous classical digital computer encodes data in bits (a portmanteau of binary and digits) in either a 0 or 1 state. On the other hand, while a quantum computer also uses 0/1 data representation, these qubits (from quantum and bits), qubit states 0 and 1 can be simultaneously in what is known as a superposition – and a quantum computer can also make use of entanglement. For these reasons, quantum computers can potentially solve problems whose complexity is too resource-intensive for classical computation. That being said, quantum computers are very difficult to construct. Recently, however, scientists at University of Wisconsin, Madison have fabricated a qubit in a silicon double-quantum dot in which the qubit basis states are the singlet state and the spin-zero triplet state of two electrons. (A double quantum dot links two quantum dots – semiconductor nanostructures that confine the motion of conduction band electrons, valence band holes, or excitons in all three spatial directions.) Moreover, the researchers have for the first time integrated a proximal micromagnet, allowing them to create a large local magnetic field difference between the two sides of the quantum dot – thereby greatly increasing their ability to manipulate the qubit without injecting noise that would induce superposition decoherence. Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences “One big challenge was fabricating a suitable device, that being a double quantum dot in which a micromagnet is incorporated,” Coppersmith continues. Devices with incorporated micromagnets had previously been investigated in GaAs in a slightly different context, but the fabrication procedure in the University of Wisconsin devices differs from that used in the GaAs devices, requiring novel processes to be developed. “A further challenge arose because the micromagnetic field was somewhat different than what was expected based on measurements of cobalt films and our numerical calculations,” notes Eriksson. “Therefore, to perform the experiments we had to use the properties of the qubit itself to figure out what the actual fields on the quantum dots were.” By so doing, the researchers found that the field from the micromagnet depended on the applied uniform field, which enabled them to investigate the qubit properties for two magnitudes of the micromagnet field.Interestingly, the paper states that the scientists’ fabrication techniques being similar for both quantum dot-based qubits and donor-based qubits in semiconductors suggests that micromagnets should also be applicable to donor-based spin qubits. “The micromagnet in the device that we measured is created by depositing the metal cobalt by Electron Beam Physical Vapor Deposition (EBPVD), onto the top of the sample,” Coppersmith says. “Therefore, applying the technique to other semiconducting qubit architectures in which the qubits are defined by evaporated metal top gates is rather straightforward.” (EBPVD uses an electron beam to bombard a target and convert some of its atoms into a gas, which then precipitate and coat all surfaces in the vacuum chamber.) In practice, however, some of the gates on these devices will be made of non-magnetic materials – typically aluminum or gold –resulting in a small number of cobalt gates.The researchers also describe the unique characteristics of a large-scale quantum computer based on their approach: Once high-quality single qubits and two-qubit gates are achieved, then because the technology is close to that already used in classical electronics and the qubit size (< 1µ) is small, scaling up to devices with large numbers of qubits could be feasible. This plausible path to large numbers of qubits has sparked significant interest in electrically-gated qubits in semiconductors."The next steps in our research are to increase both the magnitude of the field difference between the quantum dots, and the number of qubits by increasing the number of quantum dots," Coppersmith tells Phys.org. "Both steps are being implemented in new devices that have been designed and are currently being fabricated. We're also working on other qubit implementations in silicon quantum dots1,2, all of which use electrical initialization, manipulation and readout, and therefore have the potential advantages of integrability and scalability." Moreover, Eriksson points out that being able to control local magnetic fields in a nanoelectronic device could be very useful for spintronics. (A) Scanning electron micrograph of a device identical to the one used in the experiment before deposition of the gate dielectric and accumulation gates. An optical image of a complete device showing the micromagnet is included in SI Appendix. Gates labeled left side (LS) and right side (RS) are used for fast pulsing. The curved arrow shows the current path through the QPC used as a charge sensor. (B) IQPC measured as a function of VLP and VRP yields the double-dot charge stability diagram. Electron numbers in the left and right dot are indicated on the diagram. The red arrow denotes the direction in gate voltage space Vε = √(ΔV2LP +ΔV2RP) that changes the detuning ε between the quantum dots. (C) Schematic energy diagram near the (0, 2) to (1, 1) charge transition, showing energies of singlet S and triplet T states as functions of ε. The exchange energy splitting J between S and T0, the Zeeman splitting EZ between T− and T0, and the tunnel coupling tc are also shown. At large ε, in the presence of a field difference between the two dots, S and T0 mix, and the corresponding energy eigenstates are |↑↓〉 and |↓↑〉. At small ε, the small transverse field from the micromagnet and the nuclear fields turns the S-T− crossing into an anticrossing (zoom in). Pulsing through this anticrossing with intermediate velocity transforms S into a superposition of S and T−, leading to Landau–Stückelberg–Zener oscillations at the frequency corresponding to the S-T− energy difference (22). The pulse used to observe the spin funnel and S-T− oscillations shown in E is also shown, where the pulse voltage VP is applied along the detuning axis. (D) Bloch sphere representation of π rotation of S and T− states with 50% initialization into each state. (E) Spin funnel (2) measurement of the location of the S-T− anticrossing as a function of external magnetic field Bext and Vε. The data were acquired by sweeping along the detuning direction with the pulse on, with the vertical axis reporting the value of the detuning at the base of the pulse. The spin funnel occurs when S-T− mixing is fast, which locates the relevant anticrossing. (F and G) S-T− oscillations acquired at different external B fields. The oscillation frequency increases with increasing Bext. The slower oscillations in G with period ∼80 ns and labeled with the curly brackets are S-T0 oscillations, which are investigated in more detail in Figs. 2 and 3. The S-T− oscillations in G are labeled with arrows. (H) Singlet probability as a function of pulse duration τs at external magnetic field B = −4 mT and base detuning Vε ≃ −2.8 mV. Credit: Copyright PNAS, doi:10.1073/pnas.1412230111 This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. More information: Two-axis control of a singlet–triplet qubit with an integrated micromagnet, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Published online before print August 4, 2014, doi:10.1073/pnas.1412230111Related:1Quantum control and process tomography of a semiconductor quantum dot hybrid qubit, Nature 511, 70–74 (03 July 2014), doi:10.1038/nature134072Electrical control of a long-lived spin qubit in a Si/SiGe quantum dot, Nature Nanotechnology (2014), doi:10.1038/nnano.2014.153 , Nature Optical micrograph of the device, with the location of the micromagnet marked on the figure. Credit: Copyright PNAS, doi:10.1073/pnas.1412230111 , Nature Nanotechnology © 2014 Phys.orglast_img read more

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