Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Baseball effect on hockey

In case you missed it, there is a website named Open Source Sports which contains databases for various sports, including the Lahman's for baseball.

Since in this blog, other than baseball I have dealt with basketball, soccer and football, it's time to do a short post on hockey. (The fact that the Hockey DB is one of the currently available at OSS helps too.)

This post is based on a single query on the Master table, the one containing players' bio info.
And reports something that I believe is widely known—so it's just a warm-up on the hockey database.

Percentage of left-shooting skaters by country

Slovakia       80
Sweden         78
Finland        76
Russia         75
Czech Republic 68
Canada         63
USA            55

The above numbers are for countries with at least 40 skaters in the database.

So, while for the Europeans the percentage of righty shooters is slightly above the population of lefthanded people (which should be in the order of 15%), the North-Americans lean way more on the right.

One likely explanation is Americans grow up playing baseball where the righthanded batter position is on the same side of the right-shooting hockey player. USA being more extreme than Canada would support this.

An American friend of mine who coached Team Sweden (baseball) said everyone seemed to bat lefthanded over there—which would support the case the other way around.