Play Ball

Data and technology in the sports arena

For the many who have been left battered and bruised by this year’s nasty winter weather (Bostonians, am I right?), the promise of baseball season looming bright on the horizon puts a little spring back into our steps.

This year, you may look at the national pastime in a new way. Sports enthusiasts love to analyze their favorite games through quality goggles, and in "Ahead in the Count," the authors do just that by explaining how professional baseball franchises are using increasingly sophisticated data-collection techniques and technologies to improve performance. Shifts in decision-making based on metrics and technology are changing the way the game is played. Imagine having the ability to take batting practice against the greatest pitchers of all time, such as Sandy Koufax. That day is closer than you’d think.

The amount and types of data used in sports today is astonishing. After reading this article, the way you think about player performance and outcomes as you head to the ballpark to catch a game this spring may not be the same.

Continuing with the quality in sports theme, "On Top of Your Game" covers author Linda Wawrzyniak’s enviable job of helping professional athletes reach new heights of performance via quality approaches.

A former automotive engineer, Wawrzyniak points to the biggest difference in fine-tuning people versus cars: "Because athletes have their own internal computers (the brain), new adjustment programs don’t always run smoothly. A message is sent back to the brain that says, ‘I don’t trust this, this feels wrong,’ or ‘This is going to take forever,’ or ‘I can’t do it this way.’ The brain is confused, and it takes much longer for the new adjustment to be seen. For some athletes, it’s never seen."

Finally, "Quality Bulldogs" relays an inspirational account of how the author applied quality methods and helped a winless youth soccer team score goals.

Many QP readers have a keen interest in answers and information related to ISO 9001:2015—what it will mean for their organization, and how they should prepare. We heard you, and recently launched the ASQ Standards Channel, a video collection that seeks to provide all the information you need leading up to the standard’s release later this year. Access to these expert interviews is free for members. Visit http://videos.asq.org/product-category/channel/iso-90012015 and stay tuned as more videos are released leading up to the revision’s release.

Seiche Sanders

Seiche Sanders

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