Eagleball is an extremely popular sport in the Kogod community, with each match attended by hundreds of thousands of fans, and streamed at home by millions more.

data mining



Eagleball Competition


Background: About Eagleball

Eagleball is an extremely popular sport in the Kogod community, with each match attended by hundreds of thousands of fans, and streamed at home by millions more.  It brings in billions of dollars in revenue per year, and the more successful a team is, the greater its share of revenue.  Therefore, teams are constantly striving to exploit every possible advantage.  Your challenge will be to select the players who will help your team finish at the top of the league!

Eagleball is a very complicated sport.  The rulebook is over 2000 pages long, and is updated every month.  (It is estimated that fewer than ten fans worldwide have read the entire thing.)  Luckily for you, it is not necessary to know all of the details of how the game is played.  You will be relying on two datasets, and this short summary:

An Eagleball team consists of three strikers, three defenders, one goalie, and one trainer.  The strikers are the offensive players who take shots on the opponents’ goal.  Each successful shot gives the team a point.  The defenders try both to steal the ball from the strikers and to prevent them from taking shots, and the goalie’s job is to block shots.  The trainer’s only job is to coax Clawed back to the team’s goal.  (Clawed has a short attention span, and tends to wander aimlessly around the field.)  When Clawed is touching a team’s goal for five seconds uninterrupted, the team receives five points, and the match ends.  If the score is tied, then the next successful shot wins the game.


The Data:

You will need to use the Eagleball Data Excel file for this competition.  The file contains macros that are necessary for doing the activity!  There are many ways to control macro settings in Excel, and the details vary by version.  If you do not know how to enable macros in a workbook, see the following links for explanation:


The “GameMetrics” sheet contains eight variables describing a team’s performance in a given match.  The first six columns are rates or percentages describing how well the team performed.  Column G indicates whether the team scored the five points from Clawed or not, and Column H indicates whether the team won or not.  A brief description of each variable is given in the “MetricDescriptions” sheet.

The “Players” sheet contains information on all of the players available for you to select.  Note that the variables describing the players are different for each position.  They are all related to the variables in the GameMetrics sheet.  However, for the strikers and defenders, the variables refer only to that individual player, not the entire team.  (For instance, if a defender’s ShotsAgainst/Hr = 10, that means that, on average, opposing teams take 10 shots per hour for which this player is the nearest defender.)  Each player also has a salary, indicating the cost of selecting that player.


Your Task:

Your task is to select the three strikers, three defenders, one goalie, and one trainer who you think will be the most successful team, while staying under a total budget of $10,000.  You select your players by using the drop-down lists at the top of the Players sheet.  (It does not matter what order your three strikers and three defenders are in.)  Macros must be enabled for this sheet to work properly.

Once you have selected all of your players, enter each of your group members’ names in the blue cells in column Q, and give your team a name in the large blue cell in the first row.

Save the completed Excel file.  Your submission on Blackboard should consist of two parts:

1. Your completed Excel file.
2. A brief explanation (150 words MAXIMUM) of the reasoning behind your player selections.  You do not have to go into detail; just let me know a few key observations or findings that informed your choices.

If you are working in a group, only one submission per group is needed.  However, each group member must complete the peer assessment survey on Blackboard for this activity. It’s short. If you are in a group and you do not complete this survey, you will not get credit for the activity.


Competition and Grading:

Shortly after the due date, 1000 matches will be simulated between each pair of teams in the class, and your instructor will report the final standings.

Each submission will be graded as follows:

40% for submitting a properly completed Excel file containing your selected players, a team name, and the full names of all group members.  If you submit an incomplete or invalid team (i.e. the wrong number of players at a position, the same player multiple times, or a team that costs more than $10,000), your team will not be entered into the competition.  (Cell M27 in the Players tab keeps track of whether you have a complete & valid team or not, and you will get specific errors in Row 6 if you try to make certain kinds of invalid selections.)

30% for submitting an explanation that is coherent and demonstrates to your instructor that your choices are supported by analysis.

30% for the competition results, determined as follows:

The team that finishes in first place will get 30/30.
The team that finishes in second place will get 29/30.
The team that finishes in third place will get 28/30.

Everyone else’s score will be calculated using the following formula, where X is your winning percentage:

30 – 200/X

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