On March 1st, Hassaan Inayatali third-year engineering science student, Aaron White second-year statistical science student, and Daniel Hocevar third-year computer science student will be competing as finalists in the National Football League’s Big Data Bowl, one of the largest sports analytics competitions in the world.
The NFL’s Big Data Bowl invited teams to analyze pass-blocking and pass-rushing performance using real-time NFL data across a wide variety of players, plays, and situations. Participants are asked to identify metrics to assess offensive and defensive performances on both an individual and team basis.
The U of T team conducted an analysis of the all-important pocket of space around the quarterback, including the amount of pressure it is under at any given moment and how long it is likely to last.
The U of T team learned on February 1st that they were selected as finalists out of more than 300 submissions, which came with a prize of $10,000 in addition to being able to present their research to executives at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. The team will be competing for an additional prize of $20,000 on March 1st. The team is one of eight selected to participate in the finals and one of only two composed of undergraduate students.
“We are hoping to raise awareness for the opportunities available in sports analytics through the University of Toronto” says Aaron.