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Basketball & Databases

Hello All.  Kind of a weird request here.  My daughter plays basketball for her school.  One of the coaches, knowing that I write software for a living, has asked if I might know how to create a database that would allow them to get some stats on the players , the games, the season.  He also asked if I knew of any software they could buy if I could not create one. 

There are packages out their that do this sort of thing, but this actually sounded like a cool hobby project.  The only problem I have is that, even though I have watched my daugher play.  I'm not an expert on keeping score, or what would need to be tracked and then how best to track it, in order to get some good statistics. 

Has anyone here done anything like this, and if so would you be willing to share the schema?  If not could you point me in a direction where I might be able to pound out a schema to track this sort of data?


Chris Hoffman Send private email
Sunday, March 04, 2007
I'm thinking that, before you define a schema, you should get some detail from the customer:

* What data will he input?
* What information will he want output?

Also, consider using a spreadsheet.
Christopher Wells Send private email
Monday, March 05, 2007
Usually most junior high \ high school teams have one or two student "managers" who are responsible for keeping score & stats. They probably already have a basic system in place that they are looking to augment.

My suggestion would be to sit down with the coach to get a feel for the type of data he wants to collect and the stats he wants to be able to review at the end of the game or presumably season. Then, I would suggest keeping score during a handful of the games to get a feel for how easy \ difficult it is to keep track of this data by hand. Once you have done it it will be much easier for you to design a system.
Monday, March 05, 2007
Hey Chris,
I played basketball for over 20y,worked as a coach and wrote code over the same period of time (still do, the code).
If you decide to write something, let me know, I had the same idea years ago, and a basic spec too.
Monday, March 05, 2007
I think we've all dabbled with something like this before. The specific sport and stats don't matter as much as the data entry. Have you seen one of those baseball stat pads? They have diagrams and boxes pre-printed and all someone has to do is make the appropriate shorthand notion.

Imagine you're at a faster paced game such as basketball and you're trying to click and point and type on a laptop, all while following the game.

I agree with Christopher and Tim, you may want to split the project into two parts: a pregenerated spreadsheet that someone can print out and fill in during the game itself, and (later) a basic tool for getting the contents of that spreadsheet into a database.
Monday, March 05, 2007
As far as what to track - just go to and look at what they track at the pro level and go back from there.
Eric Knipp Send private email
Monday, March 05, 2007
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Do you really need a database?  Perhaps a spreadsheet would be a enough.
slam smith
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
For tracking historical data (e.g. average goals scored per game by each player, by team, etc) you're building a database. Even if you store it in a spreadsheet, it's a database. Therefore using an actual database is a *really* smart thing to do.

Thursday, March 08, 2007
Thanks for all the great info.  I had originally thought of a spreadsheet, but within 5 min I figured if I (or someone else) was going to take the time to enter the data, it would be nice to slice and dice the data over games, tournaments, months, years etc.  My daughter is in 5th grade right now, and I would like to chart her progress over the next 4 - 8 years to show how she improves.

Based on all that I really do think a database is the best choice.  I really enjoyed the ESPN site, would have never thought of some of those stats on my own.

Chris Hoffman Send private email
Thursday, March 08, 2007

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