Here are the player statistics for WUGC2008. I have put the data online as a spreadsheet too, for anyone to analyse. It is a list of the players, in order of goals caught plus assists thrown, per game played.
You can pull some interesting stories out of these numbers, despite their limitations.
Lets sift through this data a bit to find the stars of Worlds 2008.
Firstly, Juniors should be in a separate category. The junior divisions are still mostly uneven playing fields, with a wide range of abilities and athleticism on many teams. Some junior players will go on to become superstars but don't show it now, whereas the older divisions have a bit more "what you see is what you get". Many of the non-North American juniors have only been playing for 1 or 2 years.
So we'll pull them out of this list, and put them in their own category.
Now to the level of ultimate played. The big stats from players on weak teams are less representative of elite play. There is a decently sized pool of players who could throw or catch numerous goals playing with weaker players against weaker teams. But only the best can do so on a strong roster in the top pools. So I have pulled out players whose team finished in the bottom third of their division, an arbitrary cut-off point (I'm all ears for a more objective method for filtering out weak games).
Those left behind are the stars.
Somewhere down the track, WFDF may put in the manpower to track who plays which point, and we can get more reliable goals per point (GPP) and assists per point (APP) stats, as opposed to the current per game stats. Actually these current numbers are not even true GPG and APG stats as we don't know who sat out games in this list.
In this statistically measured future, I feel we need a scaling factor to account for the far larger number of possessions a player starting a point on O faces compared to a D player.
Alternatively, we need to separate the stats into Goals per Offensive Point (GPOP) and Goals per Defensive Point (GPDP), and likewise for assists.
I'll finish with some questions.
How good an indicator of player performance is points plus assists per game? I did a simple comparison to subjective opinion in 2006. The Australian selectors for World Games 2005 picked 6 men from across the country in that year. One year later, 5 of those players were in the top 6 Australian male scorers at World Clubs (I'll try and put those stats online soon too). That's a solid correlation. I am certain we can find better measures though.
How does Ultistats show this info? Does it have different stats? I can't remember what it showed when I last used it.
And lastly, does this list have anyone at the top who looks ridiculously out of place?
I believe it passes the "laugh test".