NFL: Big Data Bowl

The National Football League is launching a second version of their data analysis competition, called the Big Data Bowl, aimed at attracting analysts and fans interested in working with their complex player tracking data. The primary aims of the Big Data Bowl are to crowdsource insight into novel and important NFL data questions and to create a pipeline for future team analytics staffers. Eleven participants from last year’s competition eventually went on to work with NFL clubs or their affiliates.

This year’s contest is hosted on Kaggle, a popular repository for data science competitions. The primary goal for participants is to predict the yards gained on rush plays, using game, play, and player characteristics, including player locations at handoff stemming from the NFL’s Next Gen Stats player tracking data. You can sign up at www.kaggle.com/c/nfl-big-data-bowl-2020. The winners of this competition will share $75,000 in prize money.

In addition to the primary contest on Kaggle, the NFL invites college students to submit PDF reports of their work as part of a subcontest designed for students. Up to six collegiate participants or participant groups will be selected to travel and present in front of NFL team analytics staffers at the league’s scouting combine in Indianapolis. More detail on this part of the competition can be found at operations.nfl.com/the-game/big-data-bowl

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