Stats Geeks: The Production and Legitimation of Sports Knowledge through Advanced Statistics

University of California - Santa Barbara

Department of Sociology


Researcher Information:

Bob Ngo, PhD Candidate

Phone 805.284.3662

Study Context:

For my dissertation, I am interested in studying the history and the social significance of the Sabermetric movement in professional baseball.  Specifically, I would like to illuminate the social conditions under which the formation of this distinct sports fandom emerged.  Additionally, I would like to examine the motivations and the cultural practices of fans who participate in sports fandom in this way.  One of the main data sources for this project will be interviews with people who consider themselves as Sabermetricians.  In particular, I am looking to talk to people who spend their leisure time analyzing and creating advanced baseball statistics.  As the use of advanced statistical analysis begins to take foothold in other major sports such as basketball and football, it is my hope that this project will provide an accurate sociological analysis of this movement as it relates to the production of knowledge and as it relates to cultural practices.

Research Participation

For this project, I need to interview people who consider themselves Sabermetricians.  If you are interested in being interviewed, there are a few options

  1. I will be attending the SABR conference in St. Louis this summer.  I plan on conducting as many interviews as I can during this time.  If you plan on attending, you can contact me and we can schedule a time for you to be interviewed

  2. If you live in Southern or Central California, you can contact me and we can arrange an in-person interview.

  3. If neither of the two above options work, I can interview you on the phone.

If you are interested in being interviewed, or if you know anyone who wants to be interviewed, please contact me!

This research is being currently reviewed for approval by the UCSB Human Research and Review Committee.  It is expected that the committee will give approval by the end of June.  Interview subjects will need to read and sign an informed consent form before an interview which can be viewed and printed at the link below.  Phone interviews will need to give verbal consent after reading the consent form or having it read to them by the researcher (me).


Informed Consent Form