Women’s National Basketball Association Shots

logistic regression
generalized additive models
multinomial logistic regression
naive bayes classifier
density estimation
Information about shots during the 2021-2022 WNBA season

Ron Yurko


March 25, 2023


The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) is the top professional women’s basketball league in the world. The league records every shot players take along with contextual information about the shot such as its location, a description of the shot type, as well as the outcome. With this dataset, you can predict the success of each shot attempt to compute the expected value of shot types and compare team decision making.


This dataset contains information about 41,497 shots during the 2021-2022 WNBA season.

The data was collected using the wehoop package in R.

Variable Description
game_id Unique integer ID for each WNBA game
game_play_number Integer indicating the recorded play number for the shot attempt, where 1 indicates the first play of the game
desc String detailed description of shot attempt
shot_type String description of the shot type (e.g., dunk, layup, jump shot, etc.)
made_shot Boolean denoting if the shot was made (TRUE) or not (FALSE)
shot_value Numeric value of the shot outcome (0 for shots that were not made, and a positive value for made shots)
coordinate_x Horizontal location in feet of shot attempt where the hoop would be located at 25 feet
coordinate_y Vertical location in feet of shot attempt with respect to the target hoop (the hoop should be a little in front of 0 but the coordinate system is not exact)
shooting_team String name of the team taking the shot
home_name String name of the home team
away_name String name of the away team
home_score Integer value of the home team score after the shot
away_score Integer value of the away team score after the shot
qtr Integer denoting the quarter/period in the game
quarter_seconds_remaining Numeric integer value for number of seconds remaining in quarter/period
game_seconds_remaining Numeric integer value for number of seconds remaining in game


  1. Build a classification model to predict the shot outcome based on the spatial x,y coordinates of the shot.

  2. Create a visualization displaying the joint frequency of shot locations. Do there appear to be any clear modes of frequently taken shots? Create a conditional version of this display by shot outcome. Does the distribution shape vary by shot outcome? (You can also perform a similar analysis by team and shot type).


Gilani S, Hutchinson G (2022). wehoop: Access Women’s Basketball Play by Play Data. R package version 1.5.0, https://CRAN.R-project.org/package=wehoop.