WNBA to offer advanced box scores after each game

The WNBA has heard the desire from players, fans, and media for more data about the league, and has responded.

The WNBA announced Monday that starting with this 2016 season, it will offer advanced box scores after each game. They will include such categories as player impact estimate (PIE), effective field goal percentage (eFG%), true shooting percentage (TS%), defensive rating (DefRtg) usage percentage (USG%), assist to turnover ratio (AST/TO) and others.

The box scores with advanced information will be available on WNBA.com shortly after each game.

The league is also updating its archives with the traditional box scores of every game in league history. All games since 2007 are now available on WNBA.com, with games from 1997 to 2006 to be added in the coming weeks.

An NBA spokesman said it was a large and time-consuming project, but one that the WNBA/NBA felt was vitally important with the increased demand for data by sports fans. He noted that the league also has launched a video vault of the best highlights, features and moments that will be unveiled throughout this season.

Seattle guard Sue Bird wrote a story for The Player's Tribune in March saying that the league needed to improve its statistical data-keeping with an eye toward the importance of analytics to the WNBA's growth. This had been a common lament among fans and media for several years, but a player of Bird's stature publicly and thoroughly addressing it got noticed.

"Because it's resource-intensive, the supply has to meet the demand," Bird wrote. "There's a great demand around information in men's sports, in part because those sports are popular and ever-visible. So it's not just about the WNBA investing in information -- it's about growing our game overall. The more people who are interested in the WNBA as a product, the more dissatisfied they will be with its information shortage."

With the league celebrating its 20th season, the opportunity to improve that "information shortage" was something the WNBA was eager to do, the league spokesman said.

Bird, who started her 14th season in the WNBA on Sunday, said she was pleased with the addition of more advanced stats.

"There was a lot of work that went into that piece that didn't have to do with just me," Bird said of what she wrote. "A lot of people were involved in it. But I think it was to start a conversation. And the ball has already started to roll; that's a huge positive."