Participants and judges will head to Indianapolis for the second annual Big Data Bowl. This is the second iteration of the league’s data and analytics competition aimed at analyzing player performance to spur innovation in the game.

The Big Data Bowl, powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS), will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 26 during the 2020 Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. The theme of this year's contest centers on rushing plays. Participants were provided with the NFL's Next Gen Stats, including speed, direction, and location information for all 22 players on the field at the moment a ball carrier receives the ball, and were tasked with predicting where the ball carrier would end up. 

Six college finalists will share their methods with NFL team analytics staff. Judges will select one collegiate finalist to win a $1,000 gift card to NFL Shop and four tickets to an NFL game of their choice in the 2020 season. NFL Network predictive analytics expert Cynthia Frelund will serve as the event's emcee.

The winners of the open entry competition hosted on Kaggle during weeks 13 through 17 of the 2019 NFL season will also present their methods and findings at the live event. Philipp Singer and Dmitry Gordeev's algorithm won the grand prize of $50,000 out of 2,000 submissions from 75 countries.

Data and analytics are the underpinning of the NFL's work, including in the creation of rules changes and in monitoring player and team performance. The Big Data Bowl is one of two NFL crowd-sourcing initiatives this year — the first being the league's annual Super Bowl pitch competition, 1st and Future.

AWS is the presenting sponsor of the competition, building on their partnership with the league which includes the new "Digital Athlete" platform and its role as the Official Cloud Machine Learning Provider of Next Gen Stats. Together, the NFL and AWS are leveraging Next Gen Stats player-tracking data and machine-learning (ML) services to transform how football is analyzed, played, coached, and experienced.

The following list of collegiate finalists and representatives of the open Kaggle competition will present at the Big Data Bowl:

Big Data Bowl College Finalists

  • Graham Pash and Walker Powell, NC State University
  • Matt Ploenzke, Harvard University
  • Kellin Rumsey and Brandon DeFlon, University of New Mexico
  • Caio Brighenti, Colgate University
  • Alex Stern, University of Virginia
  • Namrata Ray and Jugal Marfatia, Washington State University

Open Kaggle Competition Presenters

  • Philipp Singer and Dmitry Gordeev: Kaggle winners Singer and Gordeev comprise The Zoo, a data science team based in Austria. Singer studied software engineering and economics in Austria, where he finished a Ph.D. in computer science. Gordeev studied at Moscow State University and graduated as a specialist in applied math/data mining. Both work at UNIQA Insurance Group in Vienna and have teamed up to win six gold medals on Kaggle.
  • David Melnick, Columbia University: Melnick is a data analyst and a student in the M.A. Statistics program at Columbia University from Great Neck, New York.

The panel of judges will feature:

  • Lin Lee Cheong, AWS Data Scientist
  • Michael Chi, Director of Engineering, NFL, Next Gen Stats
  • Daniel Ricci, Player Personnel Assistant, Kansas City Chiefs
  • Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, Director of Football Research, San Francisco 49ers

For more information, visit the Big Data Bowl page on the NFL Operations website.