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Weekly Round-Up 09.11.2022

Fun fact : Only 13 players from outside the British Isles featured in the opening weekend of games for the inaugural Premier League season. 30 years on and that number has grown to over 500.

Why the significance of 13? This week's round-up showcases no fewer than 13 pieces of sporting data viz inspiration!

First up, an apology to #SportsVizSunday veteran, Rob Radburn. Two weeks ago Rob shared his entry from our Commonwealth Games monthly challenge and we missed it in last week's write-up. I really enjoyed the clean design but also the striking and engaging use of colours in the "heat" maps / stacked bars / I genuinely don't know quite what to call them, but I know I like them!

Next up we focus on cycling. Adam Green shared "The Lantern Rouge", an analysis of the last place finisher of the Tour De France. This is a prime example of why I love being part of #SportsVizSunday, having the chance to learn something new! I had never heard of the term before and Adam's analysis of the last place timings contained many interesting facts and insights, and I really enjoyed the use of reference lines to show the range in timings, framing the fastest and slowest last place finishers.

Sticking with cycling, Rado Zatovic, looked at standings from the 2022 Tour De France by stage type. The Trivial Pursuit style cheeses (that's what first came to mind and I am sticking with it, but OK radar chart could also fit!) work so so well and the introductory legend is so easy to understand, giving you a great platform to enjoy a fantastically designed viz.

A double shout out this week goes to Samuel Epley who shared a couple of American Football creations. First up was his analysis of his families predictions, comparing them with the College Game Day pundits. It is a great example of using shapes and images to develop an engaging design and I loved the fact it retained Samuel's instantly recognisable style.

Next up Samuel used EA Sports NFL ratings data to simulate the Cincinnati Bengals Line-Up for the opening day of the NFL season. Wow. Simply Wow. The design, the interactivity, the explanatory viz guides. It is all sensational and well worth checking out.

Before we jump from American Football to, erm, proper (?) football (ok, I couldn't resist, I am sorry!), we have a Rugby Union and a F1 viz to enjoy. Chris Westlake used the inspiration of the iconic Harlequins shirt design to analyse the points scored for and against the Quins since the starting of Premier League Rugby in 1997. The link back to the kit is so striking and instantly recognisable and succeeds in really drawing you in to want to explore the insights in the viz.

Gareth Cooper may be associated with fantastic football analysis, in particular focused on his beloved Aston Villa, but his skills stretch far beyond that of the beautiful game. This week Gareth analysed the qualifying times of Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen at the Dutch Grand Prix. Yes, I nearly yelled at the screen when Checo spun in the final corner, resulting in a yellow flag, we will never know if it deprived Lewis of pole, but Gareth's analysis goes along was to trying to work it out!

So we finally get to the football vizzes! Thanoshaan Thayalan used an array of stats to analyse the transfer of Sadio Mane to Bayern Munich. There are a wealth of insights in the viz and I particularly enjoyed the section analysing the passes made into the final third.

Ben Mayhew did something impressive this week, he created an absolutely stunning set of scatter plots that not only contained some solid and interesting insights but also made me instantly laugh. The design of Ben's work is always second to none, but his call out of having the stretch the scatters to accommodate Preston North End's "unusual" start to the season was the icing on the cake... seriously though check out the banding and labelling, sheer perfection.

Fellow #SportsVizSunday team member, Simon Rowe, this week helped Cole Knaflic explain what a treemap is through analysing transfer expenditure in each of Europe's top five leagues since 1992. It is a great example of clear use of colour and labelling and the spending of the Premier League stands out instantly.

Tim Bayer is synonymous with football analysis, in particular of the Premier League, and I absolutely adore the tables in his latest viz, analysing the next set of fixtures, starting with game week 7. The labelling, the use of white space, the icons, everything just works to create a clean, engaging and easy to understand piece of analysis.

Jon Ollington analysed the passes received heatmap of Arsenal's starting 11 this season. The colours work. Simple as. I really like Jon's bold statement of a black background, white pitch outline, text and club crest and then putting all the colour into the passing heatmap, it creates an amazing user experience and allows the insights to pop.

Last up on the content this week is a data set shared by Julian Zapata-Hall. Julian pulled the play by play data for all matches in Division 1 of the NCAA D1 Men's Basketball Championship. It is a treasure trove of data and one that should result in some amazing vizzes.

Before I close out this week round-up I wanted to take a moment to remember the life of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. An inspiration to people around the UK, the Commonwealth and the world, her tireless devotion to public life also extended into the world of sports. Her love of horse racing was well known, but so many memorable sporting moments were also touched by her presence. The handing of the Jules Rimet trophy to Sir Bobby Moore in 1966, welcoming new Wimbledon Champion, Virginia Wade at Wimbledon in 1977 through to her appearing to parachute into the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics.

Thank you ma'am.

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