RIT hosting first hockey analytics conference in WNY

One-day workshop to highlight research in hockey analytics




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RIT’s School of Mathematical Sciences is holding a conference this week to look at how hockey coaches can use analytics to improve performance.

The free conference is open to the public, but registration will be capped at 200 attendees. It will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Oct. 10 in Thomas Gosnell Hall.

Due to the western New York hockey fandom, Matthew Hoffman, assistant professor in the School of Mathematical Sciences, and Ryan Stimson, freelance hockey analytics writer, collaborated to organize the conference.

“Western New York is a very solid hockey market and there is a lot of interest in this location,” Stimson said. “People ate up the conference idea when I floated it around Twitter this summer.”

A mix of members from the RIT community, sports writers and college faculty from all over New York and parts of Canada have signed up to attend.

The conference will begin with a panel discussion on the current state of hockey analytics. The panel will include several analytics consultants, Timo Seppa, Sam Ventura, Andrew Thomas and Travis Yost, analytics writer.

“Hockey analytics is not just numbers but integrating advanced data so coaches can apply it on the ice,” Stimson said.

Throughout the day, speakers will present their research on a variety of topics including performance analytics, physical health analytics and data on optimal times for rest and recovery. Speakers will also share their work in media analytics and player return on investment analytics, the evaluation of value in terms of dollar and salary caps.

“I hope participants develop a better understanding and ability to watch the game and some RIT students are interested in helping create a hockey database,” Hoffman said.

In the future, Hoffman and Stimson plan on establishing a relationship with the RIT men’s hockey team and finding a group of students to track the team along with School of Mathematical Sciences faculty members, Joshua Faber, Paul Wenger and John Whelan. They also hope to make the conference an annual event.

For more information or to register for the conference, click here.