The Open Source Draft Simulator project  


The purpose of this project is to develop a software tool for simulating the draft of professional sports. The software will take a list of draft candidates, a list of teams, and for each team drafting will apply a selection rule for the candidate, and determine who would be drafted. There will be a default list of draft candidates, and each team will be allowed to submit its own list of candidates, as well as a file detailing the rule by which players will be drafted for that team (e.g. Best Possible Athlete, or BPA, or needs based on player position).

The intent of the software is to develop a methodology for determining who might be drafted and in what position of the draft. The software should eventually be capable of handling deterministic rules sets (ones that lead to one unique draft) and stochastic rules sets (that have varying probabilities) and outputting data accordingly.

The reason this project would be best pursued in the context of open source software is that I anticipate considerable controversy over the exact implementation of draft rules. By leaving all the code available by open source license, then those who have strong opinions about such rules can implement their own.

The impetus behind the project is that there is considerable interest in mock drafts in professional sports, as well as interest in the actual draft strategy employed by teams. There are dozens of web sites that play to this interest and a substantial number of scouts cater to this fan-based curiousity. Though I don't anticipate the first generation of this software to be web based, a simulation tool, with a java enabled web interface, would allow a fan to submit a 'top 100 list' and a rules set for his favorite team and receive in return a battery of statistical information about his team as a whole, or the draft position of a particular player. Therefore, while the project itself is open source and perhaps academic, the product once developed has commercial application.

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