Everyone can be a manager of a virtual Polish Men’s Ekstraliga teams. The competitors select their rosters by participating in a draft in which all relevant Ekstraliga players are available. Points are based on the actual performances of the players in the real-world competition.

The XXI century is the age of data analysis and each industry operate in Data Driven Strategy, sport industry is no exception, especially when we are talking about team sports, where some clubs in NBA or Football have entire teams of Data Analysts. Going to Data Driven Strategy is long road which requires attention to data collection, preparation of appropriate statistics, implement of forecasting models and finally create visualisations that can show the data in a pleasant and accessible form. It is never ending road with continuously improving, because you try to predict unpredictable future. The Fantasyfloorball.pl is a perfect example of process which is going through all these stages.

– I am extremely happy to observe such initiatives that combine my beloved sport with my professional passion which is data analysis. Fantasy leagues in any sport its not only about competition, but also about using statistics to predict performance of the teams and players in the next matches. Currently the Fantasy League in Poland is a form of entertainment that has become very popular and encourages fans to analyse the matches. Looking to the future, I hope that this form of competition will soon turn into a more in-depth analysis and using data to develop not only better strategy for clubs in Fantasy but also in real League,  says Maciej Konieczka, Data Analyst and member of the Polish Referee Committee.

The IFF talked to the creator of Fantasyfloorball.pl, Dawid Studziński, and asked him to share more details about the development of the platform:

– The inspiration to create a “fantasy” web portal for floorball came quite spontaneously. I am the player of Ekstraliga – polish national league – and if I remember correctly it happened on the way to one of the matches. One of my colleagues said: “It would be funny if we had some kind of fantasy website for our league”. Et voila! I was looking for a project just to learn and develop myself. I am self-taught so I know that there is much to improve but I am trying to develop the site as much as possible. I would say that  the first season is some kind of beta phase and we want to get a feedback in order to build a fully functional website that meets the requirements of users for the next year.

Who can participate in Fantasyfloorball.pl?

– Anyone can register on the website. The users of the website are obviously floorball supporters and among them we can meet fans, players, coaches and others. The website is quite simple to operate. We name our team and receive 15 000 PLN to buy five field players and one goalkeeper. Of course, the players in the game are the reproduction of real players which we can meet in the Polish League. Each of these players receives points depending on how he played the match. The criteria are basic: Goals, assists, penalties, penalty shots, power plays, goalkeeper statistics and all the information which we can read in the match report. The price of the players depends on their performance and the attractiveness among users. A new team must be chosen for every round – that’s the main difference between Fantasyfloorball.pl and typical “fantasy” website. Anyway, I think it is necessary since the league schedule is irregular due to the pandemic. At the end of the season the best users will receive prizes that should be presented soon. 

What have been the main challenges for this project?

– Generally there are many problems due to lack of time since the project is non-profit and I can’t spend as much time as I really want to. The other problems are related to… lack of skill (laugh) but Rome wasn’t built in a day. As said, games are often postponed and this makes the number of matches in a round smaller. It may seem to be less attractive because we choose players from a reduced pool but it is not dependent on us. Let’s enjoy the fact that we can continue playing in the league. In the near future I would like to improve design, add a bench in case of player absence due to injury or whatever and focus on player statistics. People start to look at the contribution of the players and not just look at the match result only. It is a good point to make a deeper data analysis.

More about fantasyfloorball.pl (in Polish) can be found here!

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