Welcome to LacrosseReference.com. Our goal with this site is to bring together two worlds that, best we can tell, haven’t overlapped very much: the statheads and the lacrosse junkies. Baseball, basketball, football, hockey, even soccer have all experienced a renaissance of enthusiasts seeking to increase the collective understanding of their games. Given our joint backgrounds in computer science, design, and lacrosse, Kyle and I thought that it was high time the same happened for the “fastest sport on two feet”.
So LacrosseReference will be our small contribution to that ideal, a site where we can analyze and discuss the quantifiable mechanics of the game in an attempt to shed some light on a simple question: what’s really going on in this sport? What is the expected value of a forced turnover? Which teams respond better from failed clears than others? What is the difference in value between a shot on goal and a shot that gets backed up? These are just a sampling of the types of questions you may see discussed here. But we’ll also delve into the impact of analytics on sports and what we think that might mean for the future of the sport.
It will be an interesting ride, not least because the statistical infrastructure of lacrosse is nowhere near as established as the sports mentioned above. We’ve seen NCAA Men’s games with free position plays logged in the game sheets (obviously, these only happen in women’s lacrosse). But there is enough standardization that with some perseverance, we should be able to crank out interesting stuff anyway. And eventually, as the stat collection infrastructure improves, the scope of the questions that can be answered will increase (WAR for lacrosse anyone?).
At the end of the day, this is an attempt to build a community of interest that can collectively advance the state of the art in lacrosse analytics. So if you have new concepts to test, dissenting opinions, or real-world expertise to share, we’d love to hear them.
Glad you are along for the ride with us.