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Publish date: Oct 28, 2010

New statistics effort improves past and present

By Jim Wright

Thanks to the collaborative efforts of the NCAA statistics and information services staffs, visitors to the NCAA website will now have unprecedented access to the all-time statistical archives, as well as expanded features never before available for current statistics.

The historical archives effort is a massive collection online of the final statistics that schools are required to send to the national office after every sport season. The statistics staff has been gathering statistical reports from member institutions since the late 1930s, and now has more than 370,000 one-of-a-kind documents in 12 men’s and women’s sports. 

Using the existing online archive program already available for final statistics, this enhanced option links PDF versions of every hard-copy final report from each school and will allow users to view, print and create their own PDF version of any final report.

All divisions of men’s and women’s soccer already have been linked to the site, and women’s volleyball will be added soon. Men’s basketball and Division I football have the largest number of archived reports and will be the last sports linked due to the large volume and the need to scan the 60- and 70-year-old reports more carefully.

The staff expects the entire scanning process will take about 18 months to complete and hopes to have all items linked by the spring of 2012.

Here is the link to the archive database:

Division I RPI archive

Now available in an archived, online version for the first time are the Division I Rating Percentage Index (RPI) reports in all 11 sports for which the statistics staff produces data for each selection committee. This material is accessible through the membership-only and can only be viewed by Division I member institutions and conferences, using their unique user name and password.

Beginning with this fall’s championships, all future RPI reports also will be available exclusively through this database. Both final RPI reports, as well as reports generated during the selection meetings, will be available no later than three weeks after the national championship. 

Previously, leagues were e-mailed these large files and asked to forward the reports to each member school in the conference. This new system will allow 24/7 access, along with the ability to view, print and create PDF versions of any report.

Single-game statistics and scoreboard feature

Current-season statistics now are being reported and posted in a new, single-game format for selected sports, and the number of sports using this program continues to expand. This fall, every Division I sport for which statistics are kept is using this new program. 

That means visitors to the NCAA site can view individual box scores and play-by-play information for every team and every contest for field hockey, football, men’s soccer, women’s soccer and women’s volleyball. In addition, the program also tracks every individual student-athlete and breaks down the game-by-game numbers for every participant.

Division I men’s and women’s basketball and men’s and women’s lacrosse also use the single-game program, as does Divisions II and III football. Beginning this winter, fans of Division III men’s and women’s basketball also will be able to track every school’s box scores and game-by-game breakdowns for every player.

The emergence of this single-game reporting format allowed the staff to launch an online scoreboard feature last week for each of these sports. As each institution uploads a single-game file to the NCAA database, that result, box score and play-by-play will populate a daily scoreboard for that sport. 

The scoreboard will open on the current date, but users can select any day during the season, past or future, to view completed games or upcoming contests, including updated won-lost records. The scoreboard also can be sorted by conference. Because the football program was written in a different format, the scoreboard feature for that sport will not be available until 2011.

Jim Wright is director of statistics for the NCAA.