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[NCAA Softball] Seed Project & Motivation

Updated: Jun 5, 2021

A seed project started in March of 2021 to make projections on NCAA Women's College Softball League team performances.

Women’s sports are underrepresented across sports networks, betting, and accessible content. What is one way to increase interest and intrigue around women’s sports? Information. When the sports networks have fascinating stats that describe players, teams, and matchups, it gives newscasters the ability to deliver a narrative to their viewers and hype up women’s sporting events. It is a way for viewers to get to know players and teams. And at the end of the day, while we are watching these teams play, we fall in love with these players and vicariously come along with them on their trip.

This project is our way to deliver more attention to women’s sports that is indeed deserved.

The perfect sport to test this hypothesis around is NCAA Women’s College Softball. Baseball, just like Softball, is a stat-driven sport. We scraped historical softball stats from the past 7 years and generated a model to predict: The Rating Percentage Index (RPI), The NCAA Tournament Field, and projected finish in the tournament. Included in this package is a dashboard of relavent stat rankings, the team history, and their projections.

These kinds of stats mirror stats that are already available for men’s sports and are perfect content creators for outlets like: 7Innings podcast, In the circle fastpitch podcast, and ESPN. Many of the podcasters also spend a good amount of time on ESPN during highly anticipated women’s softball games. Consequently, better statistical model will proliferate betting on women’s sports. And being a long-time lover of women’s sports and statistics, there is no better way to give back than by helping in the way we can to lift women’s sports to where they deserve and need to be.

Figures below show an interactive app that resulted from the seed project. This app was developed based on the projection models that predicted end-of-season performance of a team based on its aggregated game stats. One important objective of this whole project is to gain more interest and support for women's softball league. Providing information that is easy to understand and interpret can help achieve such goal, which can be attained through an interactive app. The details of the seed project will be covered in a future post.

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