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Excerpt - from demo Chapter 3




“[Charles Reep’s charts] are the basis of any success we are having and they also point out our failures boldly and clearly.” - Stanley Cullis


Giving Reep a fresh look we can appreciate a wider view of what he achieved, rather than fall into the easy cliché of him being a well-meaning old duffer who got it all wrong. By 1954 he had covered a lot of ground but he didn’t stop until he was deconstructing a player, a team, a game, a season. Rewriting with data how we can watch, coach and play the sport. Not how we should.

Like Bill James, he came up with a methodology that could be used to breakdown a season and like Billy Beane at Oakland, Wolves’ Stan Cullis used the data to do something similar (though without the same financial constraints). The main difference was, while Oakland were gallant runners up, Wolves were winners. The process that Reep used was Moneyball. Just 40 years too soon.

The Oakland A’s worked out how many wins they needed to capture the pennant. To do that they needed a certain amount of runs. To get those runs they needed a certain amount of people on base. So they worked out how to get the most people on base. Having players on base, via walks or singles, was not the most exciting way of playing the game, but it was effective and they still had to have players to drive the runs home. This methodology mirrors Charles Reep. He worked out that to win a certain amount of games, you needed a certain amount of goals. For these goals you needed a certain amount of shots and to generate those shots you needed possession in the attacking quarter a certain amount of times. His method of getting possession in the attacking quarter was not the most exciting to some, but it was effective and they still had to have the players to score from the shots they generated. Add in Reep’s explanations that his process was especially useful for teams with small budgets and there you have Moneyball.

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