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Weekly Roundup 03.19.2023

Good evening fellow #SportsVizSunday'ers.


It's been an action packed weekend of sports so far. The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix looks a bit more open with Verstappen's mechanical failure in qualifying holding him to 15th, Ireland clinched the 6 Nations Grand Slam at home for the first time, and the world's best badminton players have just wrapped up some a sensational week of games at the All England Championship in Birmingham. With all of the sport flowing around us, now is a perfect time to have a look at what the #SportsVizSunday community have been up to!


I'm starting this week with a richly detailed baseball visualisation from Michelle Fouse. Michelle has shown the top 8 players for the Pittsburgh Pirates, looking at their on-base percentage (OBR) and batting average (BA). I really like the violin plots showing the distribution of each stat for each player while also allowing easy comparison between players, together with ball and bat patterns too. I also specifically want to mention Michelle's use of the mathematical symbols for sum and average to show which stats for each player are a sum/count and which ones are a career average. It's a very small touch but can work well in a smaller space.


Next up is Samuel Epley's March Madness radial bracket visualisation. This visualisation shows all the teams in the Men's NCAA College Basketball Tournament around the edge of a circle. You can complete the bracket, and the whole tournament, by clicking on a team to advance them to the next round which then colours the block in the next ring in. This is a really good interpretation of the radial chart, and it is very well constructed. The user interaction is excellent too. I look forward to seeing what the final picture looks like once the tournament is completed.

In fact, Samuel's been busy with both Tableau and March Madness this week and has created two more visualisations! One of them is a more traditional bracket and matchup simulator which allows you to pick two teams and compare overall ratings from a range of different sources, and then promote teams through the bracket flowchart. This is a very simple and elegant design and being able to see the bee swarm graph for each rating source is really informative.

The last of Samuel's three visualisations is a super look at rivalries in men's college basketball. This is a really clean and efficient design, using colour and shape to show who has won the 10 most recent meetings, and whether they were in the NCAA tournament or the regular season. On the other tabs is a complete picture of each match the two rivals teams have played, which cleverly reuses the same colours and shapes in a bee swarm for each rivalry.

Taken together, these three visualisations make a great collection of March Madness related information and are very well constructed!


Sticking with basketball, Trea McElhone made a quick dumbbell graph for #MakeoverMonday looking at the tallest and shortest female college basketball players for each team. This is a really effective minimal design with great use of basketballs to make the dumbbells. This graph piqued my curiosity as the teams with the tallest players also have the least-short shortest players, which seems an interesting effect.


Ben Griffis has been comparing the Opta Football Power Rankings across different leagues in Europe and Asia. This visualisation makes it very easy to see the relative strength of each team and compare how each league stacks up (and I always think using team badges is really effective). I hadn't realised that the top teams in the Asian leagues are broadly comparable with the lower-ranked teams in the European leagues. I wonder how equal the leagues will continue to become in the future, although I suspect there might be a natural ceiling at some point.


Last but not least, this was saw the death of Dick Fosbury who absolutely revolutionised the high-jump with his new technique the 'Fosbury Flop' which is now the standard. Adam Green has paid tribute to Fosbury's revolution and showed how he lifted the bar (pun intended). I have absolutely no idea how anyone manages to jump more than 2m off the ground using any technique, it's quite a feat!


That's all for this week folks. Thanks for continuing to come up with such creative ideas, and remember to use the hashtag #SportsVizSunday if you want to be featured (or if you think something else should be featured!)


Mo & the SVS team

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