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Supporting the Community

posted Nov 3, 2015, 5:01 PM by Robert Vollman
I am honoured to be a part of the hockey analytics community. A community that organizes all our sport’s data into convenient websites (often with cool charts), that develops and releases new statistics and innovations to improve our understanding and enjoyment, that answers questions, and that hosts conferences across both countries — all free of charge

If you enjoy all this great work as much as I do, you may be looking for a way to support those who have put together your favourite statistical resources. But how?

First of all, check to see if your favourite website has a donation button. If not, each out to the author and ask. Here are just a few statistical databases equipped to accept your support:
Just to put this in perspective, McCurdy is currently receiving $541.20 per month in support. That may not sound like a lot, but it’s actually far, far more than most people make, and more than I made prior to the 2013 lockout. Nobody’s in it for the money!

Some websites won’t accept donations at all, but will point you to their favourite charity. I’ve tried to support Gabriel Desjardins of Behind the Net for years, and he always points me to Education In Need of El Salvador. Darryl Metcalf of the old Extra Skater sent me to the Nature Conservancy of Canada, and David Johnson to Hockey Fights Cancer (although he does accept donations, too).

It’s fair to say that the most successful fundraising project was Corey Sznajder’s All Three Zones project, which raised $8,206, plus $15 per copy going forward. But think about all the hours he spent completing that project, and you’ll see that it works out to maybe a buck or two per hour. I can’t imagine that Ryan Stimson’s Passing Project will prove any more lucrative. Kick a few bucks his way!

Obviously, nobody is in it for the money, but rather for the pure passion of the sport, and wanting to make our own contributions. We’re happy to do it, and we don’t ask for money, but it can be disheartening when we read things like this (from a book review on In Lou We Trust):

“I bought last year’s book. It’s neat, but I wouldn’t recommend paying money for it.” … “I realize it’s hard work to pool all the data he’s collected into a book, but this should really be free or so cheap ($3 or less) that it may as well be free.”

Look, if you like what someone is doing, and if you make use of their work, consider supporting them; assuming you’re in a position to do so. Kicking in a few bucks, or supporting their favourite charity, can often make all the difference.