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Welcome Wednesday: Does extra statistical data ruin watching sports?

Jimmy Seddon Community Leader Feb 16, 2022

Hello Everyone & Happy Wednesday!

I have been watching as much of the Olympics as I can (work seems to keep getting in the way of that). My Wife and I were catching some highlights the other night, and we saw both the Monobob (new singles bobsled) and some of the Ice Dance Figure skating.

Now here's where I bring this back towards the question this week. While we were watching the highlights I took note of the amount of statistical data that is being presented to the viewer.

I also know that the same is true for other sports like baseball where on some stations they will show a virtual strike zone as well as where each pitch has landed in or out of the strike zone among other things.

So, my question for you this week is: Do you like seeing this extra data that is being presented to you? Or do you find it distracting and that it takes away from your enjoyment of simply watching the sport that is being played?

As I have mentioned a few times, I'm not an avid sports enthusiast. However, I do find myself drawn to watching this data and enjoying watching how things unfold based on this additional information. I for one feel more engaged by having that information available.

What are your thoughts about this? Tell me below in the comments!

Have a great rest of the week everyone!


Thank you so much for your kind and generous mention, @Jimmy Seddon 🙏🏻

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Hi @Jimmy Seddon

Interesting question!

Do you like seeing this extra data that is being presented to you? I do like it. 🥳

I'm a super fan of sports, however, unfortunately, I didn't watch any minute of the Olympics, because I'm studying and working. But I have to say that I need all info that they share with us. So many details involve us even more in the competition, and we felt more engaged, which is happening. 

For example, I love Formula 1, so it's much better to have all the data on the screen to understand every minute and feel that I am inside the car. 😅 🏎 😁

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I am not mad into sports for the sake of sports, The statistical element actually makes it MORE of interest to me. But details like how the skiing/shooting thing is affected by the heart rate of the skier then you realise that you can see them hold their breath when they are shooting, how the wind affects ski jump, how many people have done a particular trick in snowboarding etc.

Stats make it make sense! Like F1 racing again not a lot of interest for me but once I happened to see an explanation of how the temperature of the track affected the tyre lifespan, and then, to me in any case, it became interesting.

I like that with the UK coverage of winter olympics there has been a lot of explanation and a lot more stats talked about. This makes it all more meaningful.

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Andy Gladstone Community Leader Feb 16, 2022

@Jimmy Seddon great post and thought provoking question. As an avid sports fan I can say that most digital enhancements, including real time statistics, have improved the viewing experience. As long as it remains in a corner or at the bottom of the screen and does not affect my actual viewing of the game, sport or competition. 

The biggest fail I can recall in this space was when US based networks tried to create a visual tracking of the puck for NHL games. Either the technology was not there, or they really underestimated the ability of a casual viewer to watch and follow a hockey game, but the graphic and image of a fireball bouncing around the screen was so hideous, I don't think anything can ever top that in terms of disruptive viewing.

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I'm a big football fan (the real football {American soccer}) and one thing I noticed is that there are a lot of statistics in the game, we've got over 22 players on the pitch, and they all have statistics, but they are not shown on the screen just like that. the statistics are shown mostly during the half time break or at the end of the game or a little stat just pops up for a few seconds and it leaves, and it doesn't distract the game. I think other sports should do the same as well. But we can also argue that statistics shown during the Olympics makes the game more interesting to watch because all the stats are shown, and you are hoping the next person coming on will have a higher score than the previous person. 

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John Funk Community Leader Feb 16, 2022

For me, the more data the better.  :-)

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@John Funk IS it for all sports or for some specific sport.

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John Funk Community Leader Feb 16, 2022

All sports! As long as the information doesn't obscure part of the picture of the game. 

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Taranjeet Singh Community Leader Feb 16, 2022

@Jimmy Seddon That's a really great question or topic, I must say!!

I am a huge fan of Cricket since I was 10 years old. Personally, I like to see this extra statistical information and/or facts about Cricket or any other sports as they make the sport or competition more interesting and engaging.

The thing I don't like and consider as a big distraction to watching Cricket or any other sports, are the commercials or advertisements that the sport channels show in-between the live telecast, as I don't feel to miss even a single minute of the live sport. This holds true for Olympics too which I follow sometimes or rarely.


Have a great week ahead, everyone!

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Jimmy Seddon Community Leader Feb 17, 2022

Thank you everyone for weighing in.  It almost sounds like part of enjoying sports is the data behind it.  Interesting to know.  Kudos all around!


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