Great New Data Opportunity

At 5pm UK time today (we’re 5 hours ahead of East Coast US), Manchester City will be releasing OPTA data for the 2011-12 season freely to those who join their analytics community at www.mcfc.co.uk/mcfcanalytics. This won’t be a trifling amount of data, either; as this OPTA blog article reveals:

Those that register their interest in this project will be sent our Opta data set for every ‘on the ball’ event for every Premier League player in every match in the entire 2011-12 Premier League season FOR FREE.

This is something in the region of half a million events per season, well over a thousand per match, and provides an excellent opportunity not just for the football (soccer) analytics amongst us, but also for academics interested in research. I’ve just had a paper published (working paper version here) which uses OPTA data for two seasons (2006 to 2008) and we find field evidence for implicit discrimination by Premiership referees against players of oppositional identity.

I’m very excited…

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