As some of you are probably aware, the field of "sabermetrics" is devoted to sophisticated statistical analyses of baseball (the name derives from SABR, the Society of American Baseball Researchers).

One major endeavor of sabermetricians has been to develop optimal measures of player contribution. As a measure of offensive performance, for example, batting average is flawed in at least two ways: all hits are treated identically (which are then divided by official at bats) and it overlooks the contribution of players who walk a lot.

In attempting to see which batting statistics are most closely associated with teams' run production, sabermetricians have used statistical techniques such as multiple regression. They indeed find that slugging percentage (which weights a single as 1, a double as 2, etc., before dividing by at bats) and on base percentage (similar to batting average but also including walks and hit-by-pitch) are better predictors of teams' scoring, and that the two combined (on-base plus slugging or OPS) is better still.

My question is: Does track and field have any organizations, formal or informal, devoted to using advanced statistics (what, at a college level, would be called "multivariate" statistics) to elucidate track and field phenomena?

I found the Association of Track and Field Statisticians (ATFS) on the web:

http://easyweb.easynet.co.uk/~rsparks/atfs.htm

but it looked like most of its work was devoted to compiling T&F records, milestones, and imperial/metric conversion tables.

The Road Running Technical Council's "Measurement News"

http://www.rrtc.net/measurement_news/MN120July03.pdf

looks like it's more in the direction of what I'm looking for, but perhaps not fully.

Among the questions that conceivably could be addressed by a "sabermetric" track and field research group are the following:

*Quantifying the advantage in various events of performing at different altitude levels.

*Quantifying the advantage due to wind-aided conditions (I'm assuming the standard 2 meters/second criterion for a wind-aided performance was based on some empirical research).

*Quantification of advantages/disadvantages due to running in different lanes.

*Developing equations to predict athletes' times or distances in one meet based on performances in previous meets; this would be helpful for the prediction contest on T&FN tours.

Any leads would be helpful.

One major endeavor of sabermetricians has been to develop optimal measures of player contribution. As a measure of offensive performance, for example, batting average is flawed in at least two ways: all hits are treated identically (which are then divided by official at bats) and it overlooks the contribution of players who walk a lot.

In attempting to see which batting statistics are most closely associated with teams' run production, sabermetricians have used statistical techniques such as multiple regression. They indeed find that slugging percentage (which weights a single as 1, a double as 2, etc., before dividing by at bats) and on base percentage (similar to batting average but also including walks and hit-by-pitch) are better predictors of teams' scoring, and that the two combined (on-base plus slugging or OPS) is better still.

My question is: Does track and field have any organizations, formal or informal, devoted to using advanced statistics (what, at a college level, would be called "multivariate" statistics) to elucidate track and field phenomena?

I found the Association of Track and Field Statisticians (ATFS) on the web:

http://easyweb.easynet.co.uk/~rsparks/atfs.htm

but it looked like most of its work was devoted to compiling T&F records, milestones, and imperial/metric conversion tables.

The Road Running Technical Council's "Measurement News"

http://www.rrtc.net/measurement_news/MN120July03.pdf

looks like it's more in the direction of what I'm looking for, but perhaps not fully.

Among the questions that conceivably could be addressed by a "sabermetric" track and field research group are the following:

*Quantifying the advantage in various events of performing at different altitude levels.

*Quantifying the advantage due to wind-aided conditions (I'm assuming the standard 2 meters/second criterion for a wind-aided performance was based on some empirical research).

*Quantification of advantages/disadvantages due to running in different lanes.

*Developing equations to predict athletes' times or distances in one meet based on performances in previous meets; this would be helpful for the prediction contest on T&FN tours.

Any leads would be helpful.

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