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Weekly Roundup 01.07.2024

It's the first blog post of 2024 and I'm still thinking about the thrilling conclusion to the PDC Darts World Championship - the battle of the Lukes - where the immovable object of Luke Humphries met the unstoppable force of Luke Littler. Both players had incredible narratives coming into the final but it was Humphries who was victorious. It was great to see such high quality from both players on the highest stage though - a fitting reminder of how exciting sport can be.

I'm kick off this week's blog with a darts themed visualisation from our very own Simon Beaumont, although not about someone called Luke. Instead, Simon has visualised the history of Phil Taylor who is widely recognised as the best darts player in the history of the sport. I like Simon's choice to use the same highlight colour but for different, unrelated, elements - this is something I'm seeing more often in the wild - as it keeps a consistent theme but also encourages the view to keep exploring the annotations too. It's also easy to see from Simon's box and whisker plots just how much of an outlandish talent Phil Taylor was!

Next up is Jeff Platner's exploration into how the best basketball players are paid. This is a really clever combination of data from two sources and reveals some interesting insights into which players are being underpaid, relative to other players of their same level. Jeff has cleverly encoded which players are paid above/below their tier average using both colour and bar length. It's inspired me to have a look at something similar for football!

Daniel Musil takes us into the world of football, creating heatmaps for the Slavia Praha team across the season so far. In this thread, Daniel explains a bit more about his thought process and data collection methods, and it's worth a read. I think these heatmaps are an interesting snapshot of the broader role of each player.

Continuing in a football theme, Nick van Lieshout has created a wonderful concept for a footballer's physical performance dashboard, covering both training match performances. This is a very modern design and uses a very pleasant colour palette. I like how intuitive the rollover highlights are too, as rolling over one part of the dashboard will highlight the relevant parts on the other graphs too.

Moving into egg-shaped ball sports, Rob Taylor - a frequent contributor of high-quality visualisations to this roundup - has taken an in-depth look at rugby union player Jonny Wilkinson. First off, I really like the "dossier" style theme that Rob has picked for this visualisation. It adds an extra level of interest and I think the background pale browns really help the highlight colours pop. I'm also a fan of Rob's flower-style chord diagram showing Jonny's distribution against different countries. It's a clever re-purposing of an illustrative graph type.

That's it for this week; hopefully a gentle and inspirational start to 2024 for all who #SportsVizSunday! It's going to be a bumper year for sport with a whole pile of events this year including the Africa Cup of Nations, the T20 World Cup, Euro 2024 and the Paris Olympics and Paralympics. I'm looking forward to a year of sport and sporting visualisations, and I hope you all are too.

Mo & the SVS team.

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