NMAA unveils real-time stats during state championship games

·3 min read

May 7—When the New Mexico Activities Association approached analytics company ShotTracker six months ago about a partnership for the state basketball tournament this year, it was done with the COVID-19 pandemic in mind.

Instead, the company will provide fans in The Pit this weekend the luxury of collecting statistics and other metrics in real time while watching the boys and girls basketball championships. The association announced Wednesday that ShotTracker, a company that provides real-time data for basketball games, will use its sensor-based system to delivers statistics and analytics to teams and fans instantly during the finals.

It was introduced Thursday for the Class 1A boys and girls championship games, and fans and coaches could track where teams shot as well as points per possession and assist-to-turnover ratios, among other things.

The NMAA will be the first state association to use the system, said associate athletic director Dusty Young, and it could be used at future state tournaments. Young said the NMAA approached ShotTracker officials in the winter in anticipation of holding fan-less state tournaments games.

However, as the state eased health order guidelines that allowed fans, especially in Bernalillo County where The Pit is, the company's availability became less a necessity and more a luxury.

"We were trying to see what we can do to offer more than just the online broadcast," Young said. "Is there something else we can do to enhance the experience if we can't get fans in here?"

Davyeon Ross, co-founder and president at ShotTracker, said its system has been used by the NBA Summer League as well as with multiple NCAA Division I conferences including the Mountain West. Microchips are placed in the basketballs, as well on players' jerseys to provide the real-time information. Ross added that a few high schools in Kansas, where the company is based, also used ShotTracker for their individual programs and sees high schools as the next level for its technology.

"We're able to tell you everything that is going on, from points per possession to the impact of ball screens," Ross said. "That is all part of the solution and what we're doing. People are going to get access to stuff that the NBA traditionally uses."

Its inaugural rollout was mixed, as it provided only partial stats for the girls game. For example, the app showed Melrose hit 8 of 31 shots overall and went 4-for-13 from 3-point range, but the final state sheet showed The Lady Buffaloes going 13-for-60 overall and 6-for-27 from the perimeter in a 44-38 loss to the combined Roy/Mosquero squad.

However, the boys 1A game saw a significant improvement as ShotTracker was more accurate in its shot maps and other metrics. Young said it was the first he had heard of any issues with the system, but was encouraged to hear about the improvements in the second showing.

"If there were some discrepancies in the two totals, I would not be surprised," Young said. "They were two totally different staffed programs, but no one had brought it up to me."

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