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2008_Spring/Summer AAA-Premier (SF/Redwood City/Oakland)


The long, arduous path of your stats

Last updated 10/8/2007

OCTOBER 8, 2007 -- As far as dreamleague Bay Area is concerned, I will no longer be answering any emails that go like this: "Where are my stats?" or "My stats are wrong, can you fix them?"

It is already stated on our RULES & REGULATIONS. The issue is repeated on our league registration Gameday FAQ.

From now on, any emails we get of that nature will be either ignored or redirected here.

Meanwhile, we are continually trying to improve/develop/deploy our stats process. If you've been a dreamleaguer since Day One, you know that the issue has to do with scale, not dedication.

So just think of something that you do everyday that could be scaled. Making breakfast. Washing your car. Doing your homework. Responding to all your emails. Now multiply that responsibility by 10. Instead of making 1 breakfast each morning, you had to make 10. Only problem is, you have to make those 10 in the same 15 minutes it takes you to make 1, otherwise you're gonna be late for work.

Get the picture? From me to you, trust me, we are working on it.

When that day comes, you will be able to get your stats within a week's time and fix all the incorrect stats you want (within reason). I'll be the first to let you know when that happens.

Until then, we hope that you will enjoy the other finer points of dreamleague and, yes, we are trying to divert your attention from stats in the meantime with other types of content.

JUNE 5, 2007 -- Here are some frequently asked questions about stats. If you've seen this in a reply email to you, don't take it personal. We're just trying to educate everyone on how stats work. It kind of goes like this: you get pissed because you haven't seen your stats, but then we get pissed when you bug us about it because, quite honestly, we've been working our butts off trying to get the huge stack of them done -- and chances are your game is not at the top of said stack.

We can't really blame you for feeling frustrated with the stats since we could be working our butts off and yet have nothing to show for it (punching them on the website is the final piece of that puzzle). So we'd like to ask for your continued patience. You just have to trust us that we're doing our best. Any more prodding won't get it done faster. Believe me, we are fully aware that it would be cool to have stats done in a "reasonable" amount of time...

What's your #1 pet peeve with stats?
What's your #2 pet peeve with stats?
I've always thought stats was what put dreamleague over the top in comparison to other leagues. What is your response to that?
How come it's been one month and I still haven't seen our stats?
What can go wrong at a game with stats eventually getting to the website, that would cause stats to be more than one month late?
What can go wrong after a game with stats, that would cause stats to be more than one month late?
Is there anyway I can help make the stats process more efficient by volunteering?

What's your #1 pet peeve with stats?

When we're about to punch in your stats and your scoresheet has partial names. Then we look up the names to try and figure out who your players are, and a player or two or three hasn't submitted an ONLINE WAIVER, thus becoming a legal liability for us as well as our gym directors.

Now would you be inclined to enter stats for that team or would you rather just skip them and put them at the bottom of the pile of scoresheets?

We're also sticklers on proper first and last names. We keep striving to be like the NBA in whatever little way we can. You don't see "Tracy ?" or "T-Mac" listed in the boxscore where Tracy McGrady is supposed to be. This isn't And-1 Mix Tape tour. We need the first and last names of ALL your players, otherwise we'll just as soon skip your team when it comes to stats.

What's your #2 pet peeve?

When players, teams, and/or captains don't do their part to get their stats.

I've always thought stats was what put dreamleague over the top in comparison to other leagues. What is your response to that?

Well, yes, when you have 1 league of 8 teams, stats are much more manageable. However, when you have 1 league of 90+ teams, you just do what you can, kind of like the Charlie-Chaplin-making-cakes-on-a-conveyor-belt movie.

Btw, we'd like to think all the other stuff we've been able to do on the court would also put us over the top. Do you know how hard it is to get scorekeepers who can keep score while running a 24-second shotclock? How about the weeding out of crappy refs and the NBA format? Also, getting both the refs and scorekeepers to be on the same page with respect to stopped clock, especially under 10 seconds, as well as advancing to halfcourt on a timeout. Those are very difficult things that we've been able to accomplish over the years.

It's actually not surprising that most small 8-team leagues are unable to provide full stats that we do. This is because, for any sized league, stats are incredibly hard to do.

Also, for dreamleague to continue to sustain itself, we can't be a small league. It's not worth the time and trouble. Our hope is to enable a network of leagues to work together so that somehow we can overcome the burn-out factor. So many commishes, even the ones who run small leagues, work themselves to the bone and burn out within 5-10 years. If dreamleague can use its size/coverage to avoid this, then maybe there's a chance we'll be around for more than 10 years.

We'll continue to try and perfect the process of stats in the meantime.

If there is a league out there that has consistently provided full stats for a long time, tell us about them and we'll try to see how they figured it out. Read on for more details on how hard this is. Because we now know what we are capable of, we have made it explicitly clear that your participation and/or payment in the league does not necessarily guarantee you'll see your stats.

How come it's been one month and I still haven't seen our stats?

Well, first of all, many things can go wrong starting at the game. If the stats are messed up as your game is being played, well then, that is a good reason why you don't see them. Check out the pre-game stats issues for more.

Other factors: most dreamleagues boil down to 1 guy. This 1 guy only has 24 hours in one day. If he has a statcrew working for him, he needs to get the right stats to the right people. Unfortunately, sometimes the scoresheets can be all screwed up. If the statcrew is staffed by teenagers, the 1 guy needs to filter the stats so the teenagers don't get the hard ones to figure out.

And let's not forget how hard it was to hire the statcrew in the first place. It's part of our mission as an IRS-recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit, in which a portion of your fees are tax-deductible, to hire kids from disadvantaged neighborhoods. All of a sudden, some of their issues become our issues. Sometimes kids go AWOL (with our stats). We have processes in place to mitigate these risks, but it still happens.

So just because you don't see stats doesn't mean we don't have people working their butts off on them. If you ever scorekeep for us, you will appreciate how difficult it is to get stats on a website. By comparison, I encourage you to look around and tell me if there is another rec league that does as much stats as we do. Until you see another one, I think you should be just happy with what we have thus far.

Finally there are the post-game stats issues, i.e., the paper-to-website issues.

What can go wrong at a game with stats eventually getting to the website, that would cause stats to be more than one month late?

So, so many things. As mentioned above in the first question, there's the legibility your scoresheets. There's the jerseys -- or more precisely, lack thereof -- that confuses our scorekeepers. There's the absence of quality scorekeeping staff where things don't add up or it certainly looks like whomever was keeping track of rebounds and assists fell asleep at the wheel. There's the aforementioned ONLINE WAIVERs. There's probably a couple other things I'm forgetting.

What can go wrong after a game with stats eventually getting to the website, that would cause stats to be more than one month late?

Oh, so many things. First, out of our 4-6 gyms every weekend, Commish has to get each and every scoresheet in hand safely. That's not easy when you have 3 major cities to travel to, merely to retrieve a piece of paper. The right people can't always be in the right place. But even when we do have every piece of paper safely in hand...

Let's say something during the game didn't go right, like your jerseys or a less-than-stellar scorekeeper. Well, then your scoresheet becomes "problematic". Commish then takes over and tries to fix the scoresheet as best he can. This can take awhile. Maybe even a month if there are tons and tons of other things on Commish's plate. Not many other people know what to look for in fixing a scoresheet. Someday we'll make it easy for our statcrew to make such fixes, but for right now, it's pretty much an art or a science.

Let's say everything on your scoresheet went right. Even then we have to add up everything and make sure the numbers foot.

Even after that, that doesn't necessarily mean our statcrew will get it on the website in a reasonable amount of time and without errors. As mentioned above, sometimes our people go AWOL. You call them up, and they don't answer. You wonder if they are alright. Or they finally call back and, well you know, the stats aren't necessarily #1 on their radar, even if we are paying them a decent wage. That's life.

Is there anyway I can help make the stats process more efficient by volunteering?

Well, yes and no, but more "no" at this point in time. We used to have people add up stats after their game and put those at the top of the pile. Well, not only was it too hard to keep track of the ones to go on top of the pile, but most of the scoresheets aren't 100% perfect at the time you add them up on Sunday, so we'd rather not have you add up stuff that's not correct. That makes it sound like we have incompetent scorekeepers, but the truth is, they're good but they're not great. We do have a handful of great scorekeepers, but we'd rather just keep it simple and spotcheck the scoresheets ourselves.

For website help, unfortunately we're stuck with old technology and any help on our website kind of poses a security risk, so we can't really accept your help with our website at this moment in time. We are working on making our site better to avoid this problem in the future.

We might be able to accept your help adding up stats after we've spotchecked them, but we already have people working on this and it's not necessarily a clean, easy process either. There's a lot of back and forth that makes such a job challenging, whereas we already have things setup where we meet with our kids who live close to us, etc.

*** END OF FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FOR STATS ***

Stats: You do your part, we'll do ours

MAY 4, 2007 -- The first few weeks might be the most crucial parts of the stats process. You see, we have to punch in your rosters correctly first. Then we can go robotic and feed scoresheets (assuming they are taken down correctly by the handful of people who will end up touching them) to our kids from the YMCA, etc., to punch in.

So you just simply, absolutely, unequivocally gotta do your part right. Otherwise we might have to hold off on your stats because we can't figure out who you are.

We're talking the ONLINE WAIVER, not leaving any roster slot on your team blank, writing your first AND last name, writing your team name, wearing a "ghetto jersey" with a #11 taped on the back versus a real jersey with a number on the front AND back, all that stuff. IT'S ALL INTER-RELATED.

Btw, if you have not signed an ONLINE WAIVER per the instructions on that page, we don't want to hear any bitching about stats from you. If you didn't wear a proper jersey, we don't want to hear it. You don't exist in the league until a waiver is submitted and you wear a proper jersey. Also, if you get an auto-generated error message in your email from our waiver page, don't sweat it. As long as you put your full name, team name, phone, and address, you're good.


















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