Damn Refs!

Discussion in 'Pistons and NBA' started by linwood, May 2, 2007.

  1. TaS

    TaS All-Star Forum Donor

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    We would also have to make sure that the forum members accurately reflect the racial proportion of the NBA so that we can have an unbiased discussion about it.
  2. mikhail1973

    mikhail1973 All-Star Administrator 1x Fantasy Champion

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  3. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater All-Star Forum Donor 6x Fantasy Champion

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    Thanks DBA. Sounds complex. :dizzy2:
  4. explosivity

    explosivity First Round Draft Pick

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    Bills didnt you notice how I started my statement in saying "IF THIS IS INDEED TRUE." These findings have not been proven to absolute, Bills.
  5. explosivity

    explosivity First Round Draft Pick

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    Well look at our U.S. government it directly reflects our societal make-up, doesnt it. More Majority and less Minority. I think that about sums it up. The Minority whether it in the "league" or in society MAY always get the short end, just the way life is.
  6. coynejeremy

    coynejeremy All-Star Administrator 1x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    I agree that subconsious discrimination is an interesting and real phenomenon, however, this study is an incredibly poor example. The only thing this study does is suggest that when an officiating crew has a certain number of white referees, this phenomenon occurs, however, there is a wide and deep gulf that cannot be leaped over to just say that from that we can make any statement about any one white or black ref.

    Another thought - isn't it true that white and black athletes have different natural athletic movement, ability and playing styles? This study doesn't take into account the fact that usually due to physiological factors, white and black athletes play the game differently, and since in the NBA black players are in the vast majority, the refereeing will be more shaped by the playing style of the majority. Of course, it would be close to impossible to take these kinds of physical differences into account, making it impossible in my mind to even try to draw social conclusions from this type of study.
  7. TaS

    TaS All-Star Forum Donor

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    Except, this article is saying that minority in the league is getting the benefit. The opposite.
  8. buddahfan

    buddahfan Retired from Forum

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    What about the female refs? Can you assume that they guys they don't call fouls are "Queens".

    How about school alumni. Will a ref who graduated from a Big 10 school call fewer relative fouls on Big 10 alumni players?

    How about city or residence. Do officials who live in N.Y. call fewer fouls on the Knicks or do they call more because they are over compensating?

    There are many different ways to try and find subjectivity in officiating. A statistician's dream.

    :hoops:
  9. max

    max All-Star

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    Anything that can shake up the reffing status quo is good news to me.

    Why can't someone do a study of name brand players vs no name players and report that? Probably get a 20% bias there.
  10. linwood

    linwood All-Star

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    I think the researchers simply draw the wrong conclusion from their results. White guys (especially Euros) are just 5% softer than the rest of the league.

    I wonder if they threw out all data related to Yao, since he is neither black nor white.
  11. TaS

    TaS All-Star Forum Donor

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    Or how about Kidd and Bibby?
  12. CloudWalker

    CloudWalker Bench Warmer

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    Where does Delfino fit in?
  13. basketbills

    basketbills All-Star Forum Donor

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    When I signed up, I checked "other".
  14. dba

    dba All-Star Moderator 1x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    Here's the official response from a modeler...

    Off the top of my head I would guess that this is some kind of Bayesian Poisson regression. Dependent variable is number of fouls per player per game. Independent variables are race of player, minutes played, some general measure of the player’s foul-proneness, maybe some other measures based on player or team characteristics and race composition of the referees. Poisson because you’re predicting a count for a low-frequency event, Bayesian because you use a prior (a truncated Poisson distribution including only 0 through 6) to constrain the number of fouls a single player can have in a game. You get coefficients for each of the possible referee combinations. By subsetting the players by race and running separate models, you can make inferences about how the effects of race composition of refs vary by race of player.

    Well, I just found the paper, and it turns out that I gave them more credit for being sophisticated modelers than they are. It’s a simple player-level regression with the foul rate as the dependent variable. (Other than the form of the model, my guess wasn’t too far off.). Here’s the link:

    http://bpp.wharton.upenn.edu/jwolfers/Papers/NBARace.pdf

    However questionable the methodology may be, it still strikes me that the NBA doth protest too much.
  15. dba

    dba All-Star Moderator 1x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    Uh, no.
  16. Nemo

    Nemo The Great Predictor Forum Donor

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    I would be interested in seeing the comparison done with JUST TECHNICAL fouls.......This may tell a different story. THINK ABOUT IT............

    I was salivating when Nash won the MVP award, not with Dirk though.
    I think the league believes that they will draw their fan base based on a race being able to identify "their own" in the game. They probably began salivating when foreign players became vogue........Dirk = German, I think Nash = Canadian.................
  17. linwood

    linwood All-Star

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    I'm cryin ovah heah!

    :pound:
  18. coynejeremy

    coynejeremy All-Star Administrator 1x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    DBA, can you explain what you mean by this?



    This is kind of more what I was trying to get at. Different players are more prone to have fouls called on them because of the way they play. In theory, Shaq should get more fouls called on him because he manhandles people, others are less aggressive in certain situations.

    I think what really influences the refs much more than race is playing style and experience. I think that there are biases in the way games are called, but I think this study is getting skewed results because it is not objectively analyzing the way games are reffed, instead it seems like it is doing subjective analysis, looking for a link that is not there. You can prove anything with statistics. This is why I think my list of referees stats from the regular season is not really all that conclusive, since it doesn't measure things like the behavior of individual referees and how they individually call games.
  19. dba

    dba All-Star Moderator 1x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    Sure. First, I'll say that I agree with what you've wrote here. There are a lot of other factors relative to who is playing, what positions they're playing, who called what, etc. that this work doesn't take into account. Maybe the results wouldn't have come out this way if those factors were accounted for, maybe the results would have been even more extreme. There really isn't a way to know. Maybe there were some racially motivated refs ten or fifteen years ago that do not reflect the way the game is called today. Given our society, that's not hard to at least imagine.

    What I reacted to was what I saw as a possible interpretation of part of what you wrote above. And that was kind of referring to what used to be "common" knowledge about athletic abilities and race. Think of the Howard Cosell (sp?) view of the world. I remember it best from comparisons sportscasters used to make between Jordan and Bird. Bird was blessed with intelligence and was the product of hard work while Jordan was a "natural" athlete who got by on physical abilities alone. Clearly though Jordan worked as hard or harder on his game than any other player ever to step on the floor. And just as clearly, Bird was an immensely gifted player in a physical sense. The truth is that no one succeeds in the NBA without a combination of physical gifts, basketball intelligence, and a lot of hard work. It was just one of the ways many people used to think. It was a way in which black players were made second class citizens because they got where they were from genetics and not from smarts and hard work - the classic American values.

    Anyway, I'm not saying that this is what you meant. What you wrote just reminded me of some of those old days. I should have explained that more fully in my first post.
  20. TaS

    TaS All-Star Forum Donor

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    If a player fouls alot, that is OK, because all refs should call a lot of fouls on that player. What they are saying is that on the margin, that foul prone black player gets more fouls called on him by white refs than black refs. So, each players' tendencies and playing style are cancelled out of the equation.

    I think that in the end, everyone realizes that it is not a massive bias. The fact that it goes both ways seems to make it even smaller.

    Iverson was right when he said that this study is unfair to the refs. If they were subconsciously doing this, are they supposed to try to compensate now to make up for it?

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