Social Media Cover Art

 

Throughout the season, we will publish posts on many different topics in this section of our blog. Since one debate that happens every year as a new season starts is about which conference is the best, we decided to start with a post about it. Often, one conference points to the out-of-conference records and another conference points to the number of teams at various stages of the national tournament. This is all well and good, but there are an infinite number of ways to reason which conference is the strongest. All of these indicators have one thing in common: they are all subjective. How can we find an answer that isn’t biased or slanted? How could we be sure that it is, indeed, an efficient way to measure the strengths and weaknesses of a conference? Welcome to the wonderful world of sports statistics

 

At VolleyMetrics, we wanted to be able to rate teams based on their team performance in each of the fundamental skills in volleyball: serving, passing, setting, digging, attacking, and blocking. In order to do this, we needed to have a standardized rating system in place for each of these fundamentals that would make all of the ratings comparable. We created a statistically significant rating system for each fundamental except for setting that was on a 0-10 scale. With the data we currently have, it was impossible to separate setting and attacking and maintain significance in our statistical models. In the future, we hope to be able to rectify this.

 

Once we had a rating system for five of the fundamentals, we realized that we couldn’t just average these ratings to produce an overall ranking. Attacking had a different level of effect on the ability of a team to win a set than serving did. Because of this, we were forced to figure out the weights that standardized the effects of each rating. Essentially, if one rating had a greater effect on a team’s ability to win a set, it needed to be more greatly reflected in the model.

 

It should be emphasized that all of these rating were done without team identification to avoid bias in creating the models. Based on our study of the MPSF, MIVA, and EIVA, the MPSF is the strongest conference with the MIVA in second and the EIVA coming in third. It is also interesting that the difference between the first five teams is less than half the difference between the fifth and sixth place teams.

 

Based on our data, the MPSF is the strongest conference but the MIVA is right behind, with a difference of only 0.067 overall points. The EIVA is third by a more significant margin of 0.12 points. The table below displays how each conference did in relation to the others in each of the fundamental ratings.
What do you think of the results?

 

SHARE THIS

Bri Hintze

Bri Hintze

Director of Marketing

VolleyMetrics

  • An Open Letter From Giuseppe Vinci

    An Open Letter From Giuseppe Vinci

    An open letter to VolleyMetrics family and friends—and every person out there with a passion. Today is a big day for all of us: VolleyMetrics signed a formal agreement to be acquired by Hudl, the global leader in sports video and analysis. As formal as our announcement may sound, this was a very natural decision once I saw how a partnership with Hudl could increase our ability to improve the …
  • Men’s Conference Tournament Breakdowns

    Men’s Conference Tournament Breakdowns

    This past week, the MPSF and the MIVA started their conference tournaments, and now, the EIVA and Conference Carolinas will begin theirs. For this blog post, we will break down some analysis for the four teams in each of these conferences, as well as each team’s probability in winning their conference tournament. We will also include the VolleyMetric ratings on each team. Note that the team that is bolded is …
  • Men’s Match of the Week 15 & MPSF/MIVA 1st Round Predictions

    Men’s Match of the Week 15 & MPSF/MIVA 1st Round Predictions

    This week, the MPSF and the MIVA will begin their tournaments, while the EIVA and Conference Carolinas will finish their last week of the regular season. Long Beach State and BYU are the top two teams in the MPSF, while Ohio State and Lewis are the top teams in the MIVA. We have displayed the ratings for each team in each of these tournaments, as well is their first round …
  • Match of the Week – Week 14

    Match of the Week – Week 14

    This will be the last Match of the Week for the regular season, as most teams are finishing up their season this week. As we look at the AVCA rankings, Long Beach State is the new number one team in the country following Ohio State’s lost to Penn State earlier last week. It’ll be interesting to see how things finish up this week and how seeding will work out going …
  • Analysis Shows an Increase of Serves Leads to a Higher Win Percentage

    Analysis Shows an Increase of Serves Leads to a Higher Win Percentage

    In the last few weeks, our statisticians at VolleyMetrics have been analyzing matches and trying to find a skill or stat that is highly correlated to winning a match. We’ve analyzed attacking efficiency, side out percentage, and many others, but they have finally found the highest correlation: serving. Serving is one of the most basic skills in volleyball. Every point begins with a serve, and teams can get a big …