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Charting Success

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Some say every picture tells a story... and that a picture is worth a thousand words...

Below are some graphs, charts and diagrams created by sports statisticians, trainers or competitors to help them to analyse performance, inform training programmes or improve motivation.

For each diagram, consider the following questions:

  • What information can you deduce from each diagram?
  • Are the diagrams effective in communicating the information?
  • Are there any diagrams where you think the data are not represented clearly or effectively? How could you improve them?
  • Are there any diagrams where information is missing? Can you think of a way of presenting the data that would include that information in a clear and effective way?
  • Who might have created each diagram, and for what purpose do you think they created it? Can you think of others who might be interested in using the same data in a different way?


Scatter plot showing Federer's first serve landing points


League positions of teams in a football league during a season


Average speed and altitude of the terrain for a runner's 14 minute workout


"Worm Graph" showing runs scored by two sides in a game of cricket


"Wagon-wheel" chart showing where runs were scored in the first part

of a cricket game



Send us examples of particularly good (or bad) representations of sports data, together with your explanation of what makes them good (or bad).