Seminar by Dr Michael Bourne, the Head of Sports Science and Medicine for the England and Wales Cricket Board: "Sports Analytics"

P403, Talbot Campus, BU, 22/01/2014 15:00

Dr Michael Bourne is the Head of Sports Science and Medicine for the England and Wales Cricket Board. He has spent 15 years in the sports industry in analytical fields of sports science. In his career Michael has provided analytical sports science support to World and Olympic champions, Ashes winners and many others who are simply curious about performance. His PhD thesis focussed on how humans utilise biological motion as information for anticipation purposes in sport.

The title of his exciting talk will be “Sports Analytics”


Abstract: Evidence-based practice is a growing aspect of elite sports performance, supplementing the traditional experiential and intuitive approaches that have pervaded sport since its inception. Sports performance analysis specifically has been growing steadily as a discipline since the 80’s into one of the most widely used sports sciences in modern day professional and Olympic sports. Sports performance analysts have traditionally been sports scientists by training utilising video and statistical feedback to support athlete development. However in 2003 the publication of the popular book ‘Moneyball’ changed the landscape across the performance sports industry. The story of a low-budget baseball team who taps into the skills of a Yale economist to revolutionise how baseball players are valued showed the wider world what few in the traditional sports community had identified previously. Firstly, it opened sports coaches and executives eyes to a new view of their sport through the lens of big data. Second, it made bright young things with data analysis capabilities from a range of disciplines realise there was a more exciting world away from the business and financial sectors that they could apply their skills to. The world of sports analytics has never been the same since...

In this talk i journey through the current landscape of sports analytics in the UK, outlining some of the working practices that take place in my own sport of Cricket as well as reflecting on work undertaken in football, rugby and Olympic sports. The talk will give an insight into the differences between traditional and non-traditional sports analysts and will also seek to demonstrate how the skills of data scientists in particular, from big data analysis to data visualisation fit into the current demands of the sports performance industry.