Like any sport, statistics in lacrosse help us measure how productive a player is. The NLL statistics we reference come from Pointstreak, which has NLL stats running back to 2005.
Face-offs, shots, and shots on goal were not kept track of until the 2006 season, and turnovers and caused turnovers were not kept track of until the 2011 season.
The following are all the statistics you will find on Pointstreak, as well as a few you will find referenced on the Swarm site:
|Position Player Stats||Goaltending Stats|
|PPG||Power Play Goals||GAA||Goals Against Average|
|PPA||Power Play Assists||SV%||Save Percentage|
|SOG||Shots on Goal|
- S% – Percentage detailing the scoring accuracy of a player. The higher the number, the better.
- Formula: Goals divided by shots. (G/S)
- GAA – Average number of goals given up in a 60-minute time frame. Along with save percentage, a key metric for evaluating a goaltender performance. The lower the number, the better.
- Formula: Goals against divided by 60 minutes then multiplied by playing time. ((GA/60)*MIN)
- SV% – Percentage determining the number of saves made by a goalie. Along with goals against average, a key metric for evaluating a goaltender performance. The higher the number, the better.
- Formula: Saves divided by shots against. (SV/SA)
HOW TO USE STATS FOR EVALUATION
For forwards and goalies, it’s easy to use stats to evaluate how well a player is doing.
Defensive players unfortunately do not have a wealth of stats upon which to draw, with loose balls and caused turnovers being their primary performance metric.
If you see a guy soaking a shot, preventing an opponent from getting a shot off, and causing turnovers, then chances are you’ve got a good defenseman out there.
Your primary goal scorers, forwards should first and foremost have a healthy amount of goals, assists and points.
If you see a forward with 20 goals and 10 assists, you can assume they are more of a finisher instead of a feeder.
The next most important stat is their shooting percentage. League average for this stat is around 16%.
Finally, forwards are going to get the ball knocked out of their stick. Defenders are great in the NLL, and they’ll take plenty of chances to get the ball back for their team.
A forward with a low amount of turnovers typically means he held onto the ball well.
The important stats for goalies really boil down to three categories: minutes, goals against average, and save percentage.
More minutes means your goalie is playing plenty between the net and can give you a better sample size for how they performed.
Goals against average tells you how well a goalie – and to a large extent the defense in front of them – have played on average. Generally, an average goaltender sits around 12 GAA.
A save percentage tells you how many times a goaltender is blocking shots on goal. A high number means few balls are finding the twine.
The numbers have to be referenced together to properly evaluate how well a goalie is performing. The more minutes a goalie plays is almost always a great thing.
A high GAA and low SV% means a player isn’t doing well at net.
A low GAA and low SV% suggests the goalie isn’t seeing too many shots, more than likely a courtesy of the defense in front of him.
A high GAA and high SV% says that defense is letting a lot of shots get off.
Still hungry to learn more? Visit the other boxla education sections and become an indoor lacrosse expert in no time!
Game basics, face-offs, timeouts/challenges
A quick history on the National Lacrosse League and its 13 teams
The roots of the great game of lacrosse
Details and names of the areas on the floor
Who does what on a box lacrosse team
Common penalties players are called for
When one team has more players on the floor
Learn lacrosse lingo
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