OSCR: A more objective twist on the match ratings from Rangers win over Partick Thistle

written by – Rangers Report   photo courtesy of: Stuart Wallace (BPI)

Ahh, match ratings.  We’ve all debated the ritualistic ratings that a random reporter has assigned to our favorite team.  Fun to read after a victory, aggravating after a loss. The number has no real value…but we’ve all been raised to know the difference between a performance that was a six & one that was a seven.  But like David Goldenberg wrote back in 2011 in an article for Slate“The game of rating players from 1 to 10 is a subjective mess with no statistical value—a poor stand-in for real statistics in a game desperate for them.”

They are worthless & of no tangible value.  Imagine an agent approaching a team stating that his client led the team in 7s this season & his salary better reflect that.  But, we all know they are impossible to ignore…they are conversation starters & strangely are excellent click bait.

As a child of the 1980s, I studied each issue of Match Magazine to see how the likes of John Harkes & Ray Wilkins did each week.

“Terry Hurlock, another solid six.”

Beyond fodder for conversation, there is a real desire to measure players performances in relation to the rest of the team in a single number.  Those obsessed with advanced stats have been rolling out single match ratings (or Game Scores – as we Americans have tagged them) for baseballbasketball& recently Dom Luszczyszyn introduced his own Game Score for ice hockey.  His write-up inspired me to create a similar match evaluation stat for the club I was consulting this past season.  Sometimes it helped identify the impact a player had on the match, that went beyond shots & often helped identify trends in a player’s output over a series of matches.

Now that our season is over, I figured I would track a Rangers match again – for old time’s sake.  I’m thinking Harry Forrester & Barrie McKay’s value will really resinate with this rating….

So below you will find the Offensive Statistical Contribution Rating (or we can shorten it to OSCR).  I know…I totally suck at naming such things – I mean, I still don’t like the name Rangers Report.  But, OSCR is designed to put a value on which players had the biggest impact on his team winning the match.  It combines various offensive stats & creates an objective number that is based on facts…not the opinion of a reporter (who likely was too busy writing his match report to truly pay attention to the actual game…I’ve been in press boxes & seen the reality).

How an OSCR score  is compiled will be explained later in the post & it should be noted that this meant to only measure offensive impact.  A stat that focuses on defense will be rolled out later this summer.

Here is the Offensive Statistical Contribution Ratings from Rangers comeback victory over Partick Thistle on May 7, 2017.

Player OSCR
Joe Garner 2.13
Barrie McKay 1.65
Kenny Miller 1.09
James Tavernier 0.72
Joe Dodoo 0.57
Josh Windass 0.50
Myles Beerman 0.36
Jason Holt 0.06
Danny Wilson 0.05
Martyn Waghorn 0.03
Jamie Barjonas 0.03
Clint Hill 0.03
David Bates 0.00

A player’s OSCR score is determined by combining measurable factors that lead to good things happening on offense.  What’s the best thing that a player can do in a match?  Score a goal!  That’s the baseline stat & has a value of 1.

The first thing you’ll notice is that this is not the 10 point scale that you are accustomed to.  Players accumulate OSCR points through various offensive contributions.   Anything above a 1.00 is a pretty good contribution & anything beyond 2.00 is a significant contribution to the team winning the match.

The following stats are also included in an OSCR score & are all added together

  • Goal: 1.0 (the ultimate objective so the number is not scaled at all)
  • Assist:  0.75 (not the same value as a goal, but pretty damn close)
  • Secondary Assist:  0.35 (the pass that sets up the assist.  Tavernier’s pass set up Miller’s assist to Garner)
  • Shots on Target:  0.31 (31% of shots on target score goals in Scotland)
  • Expected Goals (each shot taken has an xG value & that is added into OSCR)
  • Expected Assists (the pass that sets up a shot also has an Expected value that is included)
  • Secondary Shot Assists & Establishing Passes (the third shot assist) are also included.  Secondary shot assists get half the xA value & Establishing Passes get a third of the xA value
  • Controlled Zone Entries:  0.03 (20% of all CZE tend to lead to shots & 13% of shots tend to score.  That breaks down to 0.03 per CZE)

Put those numbers into a blender & you get OSCR.  If the data was accessible in Scotland (for free), I would also factor in completed passes in the final third.

As you can see Joe Garner had the biggest impact on Rangers victory.  He had a goal, three shots (one from the six-yard box), a key pass & an establishing pass.  Barrie McKay’s entrance as a sub completely changed the outcome of the match.  In 14 minutes, he had the second highest OSCR.  After the goal scorers, Kenny Miller was the only player who has an OSCR score above 1.0 – largely because of his assist on the winning goal.

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