A Better Way to Calculate Rebounding Statistics

Statistics are an important measurement in any sport. They provide insight into a player or team's performance. Typical statistics however, don't always tell the whole story.

A great example of this is in baseball. Baseball pitchers are usually rated based on their total number of wins. This is a great stat to get a general gauge of a pitcher's performance, but there are many other factors that come into play.

For example, a pitcher could go 7 to 8 innings and allow only one run, but his offense doesn't score any runs. In this case the pitcher who had an amazing performance is left with the loss. Another issue is a pitcher, who pitches great the entire time he's in the game, but the relief pitcher doesn't do his job and the team loses. Unfortunately for that starting pitcher, his excellent performance doesn't result in a win.

Sabermetric stats have gained quite a bit of popularity in baseball, and similar measurements have started to work their way into the world of basketball. Although it's a great idea to use traditional statistics, it can be helpful to put those stats into their proper context.

One such statistic is rebounding. The team that dominates the boards generally wins more often. The best way to measure rebounding success isn't by simply adding up the total rebounds by both teams. Even splitting these up into offensive and defensive rebounds isn't enough.

Here's why this doesn't work very well. Imagine your team manages to grab 35 defensive rebounds while your opponent gets 32 defensive rebounds. Based on the traditional statistic, it looks like your team was more successful at rebounding. Now, let's look at the fact that your team held your opponent to just 30% shooting, while your team shot 50%. Taking this into account, you can see that you had many more defensive rebounding opportunities.

Team Rebounding Statistics

The best way to measure team rebounding success is to look at Defensive Rebounding Percentage (DRB%) and Offensive Rebounding Percentage (ORB%). These statistics allow a more accurate measurement of your team's success at getting rebounds. The formulas used for measuring these statistics are relatively simple.

  • DRB% = Defensive Rebounds / (Defensive Rebounds + Opponent's Offensive Rebounds)
  • ORB% = Offensive Rebounds / (Offensive Rebounds + Opponent's Defensive Rebounds)

Using these formulas gives you a percentage of how many rebounds you get in each opportunity.

These calculations give a more consistent measurement that can be used to compare your team's performance game to game, so that you can measure improvement. This is very important because traditional rebounding statistics cannot be compared easily from game to game.

If you've never worked with rebounding percentages before, a good place to start is with the percentages at the NBA level. In the NBA, DRB% averages out to 73%, while ORB% is 27% on average.

If you use our stat tracking app for the iPad, tracking rebounding percentage will be really easy. As you input the rebounds, the app will do the calculations for you.

Individual Rebounding Statistics

This system is great to look at a team performance, but working with an individual on their rebounding statistics can be even more effective for a coach. The same formula can be used for individual rebounding percentage with just a few adjustments.

  • Individual DRB% = Individual Defensive Rebounds / (Your team's Defensive Rebounds + Opponent's Offensive Rebounds)
  • Individual ORB% = Individual Offensive Rebounds / (Your team's Offensive Rebounds + Opponent's Defensive Rebounds)

Obviously these are measured only when the individual is on the court. This will help you find the most successful rebounders on your team.

Another way to track individual rebounding statistics is to look at the total effort put out by the player. You can determine this using Offensive Rebounding Attempts (ORA%) and Box Out Percentage (BX%).

  • ORA% = # of times a player made a considerable attempt at getting in position for rebound / # of opportunities a player had to get into position
  • BX% = # of times a player boxed out his opponent / # of opportunities a player had to box out his opponent

These stats are more subjective, but they will give you insight as to where your players can improve. If you show these statistics to your players, they will be accountable for the amount of effort that they're putting into getting rebounds. They will realize that they may need to put in additional effort to get more rebounds.

Although it requires a lot of work to calculate these statistics, it's a very effective way to see where your players can improve. If you have assistant coaches, ask them to keep track stats for you. Try to understand the purpose of these statistics so that you can be more aware of the players that are putting in the extra effort to grab rebounds.

As you look at these stats, you will be able to see a more accurate view of your team's performance. You will be able to identify areas that need work, and this will give you a better idea of how to help your players improve.

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