John H. Hall

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Luck, Emory

Degree Name

M.S. Ed. (Master of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Physical Education


Football--Scouting--Data processing; Football--Scouting


The purpose of this study was to develop a computerized football scouting system. Specifically, the problem was to design, program, document, and operate such a scouting system. The design was based on a thorough set of specifications for the data to be collected and reports required. The list of data elements to be used was finalized and a general purpose scouting data collection form created. This form serves as both the data collection device for the scout and as an input document to a keypunch operator. Programming of the system was done utilizing the FORTRAN computer language. The program contains three distinct sections. These sections are: for storage allocation and definition; the reading, editing, and storing of data; and report generation. Storage allocation and definition initializes the descriptor information and allocates data storage and work space in the program. The next section reads the data cards, edits the data, and stores the valid data in the space allocated by the previous part of the program. The reports are then generated and printed. The reports generated are as follows: 1. Chronological List of Offensive Plays 2. Summary of Running Plays by Play Type 3. Summary of Running Plays Into and Away from Strength 4. Summary of Pass Plays Into and Away from Strength 5. Summary of Plays by Backfield Alignment 6. Summary of Tendencies from the Hash Marks 7. Summary of Plays by Line and Backfield Formation Combinations 8. Summary of Plays by Down and Distance 9. Summary of Running Plays Through Each Hole 10. Summary of Pass Plays to Each Receiving Zone 11. Summary of Each Principal Player's Plays 12. Summary of Offensive Plays by Field Position 13. Summary of Backfield in Motion Plays 14. Chronological List of Defensive Plays 15. Summary of Defensive Success Against Running Plays Through Each Hole 16. Summary of Defensive Success Against Pass Plays to Each Receiving Zone 17. Summary of Defensive Alignments by Field Position Conclusions from this study support the fact that a computerized football scouting system can be designed, programmed, and operated. It also supports the requirement for human judgment and interpretation in analyzing the reports produced. The operation of the system provides for scouting data to be reduced into a much finer breakdown than the manual method within the time constraints involved. The Northern Illinois University system would probably require minor modifications to match the naming conventions of another coaching staff, but would be usable to another team with similar report requirements. Recommendations which resulted from the study are as follows 1. A thorough study of scouting requirements for defensive information and the incorporation of reports similar to the offensive information reports is needed. 2. Periodic re-evaluation of the system’s operation to prevent obsolescence should continue. 3. An analysis should be done to determine the feasibility of directly coding scouting data in machine readable form utilizing modern optical scanning and character recognition technology. 4. A comparison should be made in the use of automated versus non-automated scouting systems as they relate to football coaching staff efficiency for game preparation.


Includes bibliographical references.


vi, 169 pages




Northern Illinois University

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