Sports analytics is a growing career field that has captured the attention of students, and the University of New Hampshire is getting into the game.
The UNH Sports Analytics Lab, a club launched in spring 2023, is currently offering an independent study and plans to introduce an associated two-credit course in spring 2024. The lab will collaborate closely with the Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics Center for Business Analytics to provide students with field experience in sports analytics projects while helping UNH athletics and outside sports organizations with tactical game planning and strategic insights using modern data science methods.
These new offerings stem from a multi-semester effort by Peter Zaimes, a decision sciences lecturer at UNH Paul College, along with a group of students.
“I always thought a course in sports analytics would be useful for students and there was clearly a gap. But what really got to me was when I was an advisor for the senior capstone project and I read multiple post-project surveys from students and would see comments like ‘Hey, it would be cool if we had a sports analytics client,’ or ‘How about we try a sports client?’” Zaimes recalls. “I heard it repeatedly, and once you hear something enough, it’s time to act.”
Sports analytics clients were subsequently incorporated into the capstone projects. Teams of students engaged in various projects with the UNH hockey teams.