After much reflection, I have decided to put this WoSo Stats project on indefinite hiatus.
There are a few minor things related to ongoing tasks that I will finish in the next few weeks such as adding data for some older matches that are in the middle of being logged. After that, I will no longer be logging any other matches; looking for new volunteers; creating new posts, data, or visualizations; or creating new code to analyze our match data. All the data currently in the WoSo Stats GitHub repository and the WoSo Stats Shiny app will remain available to anyone for free – as it always has been and always will be. In the future if anyone has questions about the data we’ve logged, I will still be reachable at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This was not an easy decision for me, but it was a necessary one. I had a more free time in the past to dedicate to this project. There was the training and keeping up with volunteers, the developing of the match-logging workflow, the developing of the code for extracting data from the match spreadsheets, the maintenance and updating of documentation on the GitHub repo, the creation of content that went up on this blog and on the Twitter account, and the actual logging of matches. Unfortunately, after trying to convince myself otherwise for the longest time, there is now much less free time in my personal life compared to when I first started this project due to far more pressing and important matters in my life, and it was not going to be enough to focus on even one of those tasks mentioned above. So, instead of doing this half-assedly and dragging my emotional wellbeing down by wondering when I was going to be able to get to the next thing I needed to do for this project, I’m going to let it go and give myself a break.
I’ve been humbled by the innumerable hours of work dozens of volunteers put into this project over the past 2+ years, and I’m incredibly proud of the work we’ve been able to do. We did something no one else had done for women’s soccer, and made it free and publicly accessible. We logged data and managed to extract advanced stats out of, by my count, 151 matches, including the entire NWSL 2016 season. Without the volunteers, none of that would have been possible, and for that I’m an deeply grateful.
I might return to this project some time in the future. Hopefully, in time, the sport will be big enough where this won’t be needed as the only public resource for women’s soccer advanced stats. I started following this sport seven years ago thanks to the 2011 Women’s World Cup (and that’s another story…), and for someone who grew up with soccer it’s been like watching the sport as a little kid all over again. Every year, the sport keeps growing, and my hope is that it’ll one day give back to its players, coaches, staff, fans, and writers much like it has for the men’s game. I hope that, with each passing year, less and less people are getting left out of this beautiful game. I’ll be watching.