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Question of the Week Archive (10+ years)

Re(1): Jai Alai Player Metrics

I think I smell a Hall of Fame thread here, alq. Great question!

I think I would have to go with winners thrown versus unforced errors for frontcourters, and points saved (outstanding defensive plays) versus unforced errors for backcourters. Those stats could be computed into something like a plus/minus number in hockey. For example, if a player has thrown 124 winners, and made 78 unforced errors, he would be a +46. Separate stats would be kept for singles, apart from the doubles stats. And winners would have to be clean winners, shots that the opponent couldn't get to at all, not (for example) a carom that the opponent got to but knocked down.

When you really think about it, though, the value of a thrown winner differs depending on who the opponent is. A winner thrown against Erik should be worth more than a winner thrown against your average early game player. Similarly, certain unforced errors are more egregious than others. Underserving in singles, for example, should result in a greater statistical penalty than hitting the chapa with a remate.

There's a lot of fodder for discussion and speculation on this topic, and I look forward to reading responses from other Chalkies.


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