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PLL BTN Methodology Guide and Term Glossary
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Methodology Guide: PLL By The Numbers

Sports analytics pioneer Wayne Winston and his lacrosse-minded son Greg are putting their heads together to create advanced metrics for the field game. Their first full-season test subject: the Premier Lacrosse League. Below you’ll find a rundown on how ‘PLL By The Numbers’ works, plus access to each statistical report week-by-week.

PLL BTN Methodology Guide

What We Look For

On each shot, we track track the following:

  1. The “zone” where a shot was taken
  2. Whether a short stick or a long stick was guarding the shooter
  3. The type of dodge (if any) to create shot
  4. Result of the shot

Terms Glossary

Zones: 1-3 extend from the crease to about 8 yards out. 4-6 fill to the 2-point line. 7 is anything beyond the arc.

SS or LS: Short-stick or long-stick

Dodge: Alley – a north-south dodge away from the middle; Top – a north-south dodge from the topside; Wing-top – a high east-west dodge going topside; Wing-alley – a low east-west dodge going underneath; Power Play – man-up opportunity; Feed – No dodge, but ball movement occurred; X – Dodge from behind the goal.

Results: Goal, Save, Off-Cage, Botched Backup, 2 Pointer

Shooting Zones

PLL Zones

Sample Data

This sample features data from the Archers’ first eight plays on offense against Chrome:

How We Report It

Goals Added

A shooting analytic originally designed by Patrick McEwen, that counts shots on a goal that didn’t go in as a loss of possession and assumes league average on the probability you retain possession on off cage shots. We have been tracking all off-cage shots but I generally mark it as a save when the goalie catches it even if it looks off cage because it has the value of a save from a functional standpoint. Still our league average checked out to be pretty similar to the one used originally by McEwen so it shouldn’t alter the numbers.

Points Created

For each goal, we tracked the person who dodged to create it. If a dodge created a two pointer, the player gets two points for the dodge.

Faceoff Impact

Not just looking at wins versus losses off the whistle, but how a team uses those ensuing possessions.

Club-by-Club Breakdowns

Each metric shows the points above or below average, which is 0. Ex: if a score reads “+.05” than the team is 5% better than average in that category. We base all of our numbers on our estimated value of a possession being .3. Also note, a “+” on defense is a bad thing, because you’re allowing points.

Potential Errors/Flaws

No metric is perfect, we want you guys to know what isn’t accounted for so you can combine it with the eye test and make informed decisions

    1. Turnovers – We don’t track turnovers, we focus solely on scoring opportunities
    2. Dodging Gray Areas – Some dodges, mainly ones with roll backs or re-dodges can be harder to track. We do our best to define everything, but it’s easy to second guess every classification.
    3. Human Error/Data entry – no one is perfect, but we’re doing our best!


Drop us a line by commenting below or contact Lacrosse All Stars.

Access ‘PLL By The Numbers’ Reports

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