If you missed the comments from the first player performance post you missed some interesting thoughts including some suggested categories for real honest-to-goodness stats. More on those in a minute.
With regards the recent blogging difficulties I've resolved my particular problems but some of you may still find it annoyingly difficult to post comments. In the near term I will be experimenting with different commenting options. If one or another seems to improve the situation please let me know what your experience is. Thanks.
In the category of not-quite-actual-stats all of the suggestions were reasonable and generally made good sense in a paintball context. Evaluation of baseline skill set(s); apples to apples comparison by position--for example, snake player vs. snake player; relational comparisons, ie; a good snake players is a "better" player than an average back player; and player measurements against a list of standards or criteria. If player A meets most of the standards and player B meets only half then A can be considered the better player. (It's not time--yet--to begin tearing down these various ideas. We'll get to that later.)
In the category of actual stats most of the better ideas were ratios which could be expressed a couple of different ways. For example, eliminations OTB could be a fraction or a percentage but would always represent X number of points or breakouts the player participated in against how many times the player eliminated someone during the breakout. Similar ratios could be done for being shot OTB or alive at the end of a point or eliminations per point played, etc. As a practical matter all of those stat ideas are largely impractical in our current environment and even when the PSP was tracking results in the pro division they didn't have the resources to try an accumulate and collate that level of player data. Unfortunately for those of a statistical bent competitive paintball doesn't lend itself to being broken down by the numbers.
So we find ourselves with some good ideas and even some possible stats but gathering those stats is currently beyond our general capability and even the most rigorous standards we can apply in attempting to differentiate players remain stubbornly subjective.
On one level going by the numbers helps make (some) distinctions between players but this is largely the pastime of Monday morning quarterbacks and sports fans. It is also [on another level] the province of talent scouts, coaches, personnel directors and general managers evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of their teams and players and making determinations about possible future players.
But do the numbers alone give us the whole story? With all the stats available is there still debate over who is better; Kobe or LeBron? Peyton Manning or Tom Brady? The fact is the numbers can only tell us so much and even if the numbers told the whole story we are left trying to decide which numbers are the most important. Imagine there's two snake players and we have every conceivable statistic. One of them makes the snake 97% of the time and the other has a higher kill ratio when playing the snake. Which one is better? Well, you might ask, how often does the one with the better kill ratio make the snake? If it's close then he's the better player--by the numbers. But how close or far apart does he have to be before you start weighing the two stats slightly differently--and will that balance be the same for everyone considering the question? The answer of course is even that is subjective to a certain degree and you're unlikely to find anything like universal agreement.
Next time I'll weigh in on the how and why the numbers let us down whether we're talking actual stats or we're talking standards or criteria for evaluation.