In November 2022, Isabel Pantle '23 presented a statistical analysis of holding penalties in the National Football League (NFL). Every undergraduate majoring in Quantitative Social Science (QSS) at Dartmouth College must complete a research project as part of the program's curriculum, and Isabel's project was carried out this past fall quarter. Isabel's research used data from the NFL data bowl, a national contest sponsored by the league. The topic of this year's data bowl was offensive lineman and holding penalties, and the winners of the contest receive a cash prize and the opportunity to present their work at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Isabel found that time between ball snap and throw, whether a defender was outside of his block, and whether a defender was double-teamed significantly increased the likelihood of a holding penalty being called against an offensive lineman. Isabel also uncovered some limited evidence that differences in the rates at which offensive and defensive lineman accelerated when a play began affect the probability of a holding penalty. Isabel presented her findings in November to peers and QSS faculty at Dartmouth College as well as to members of the analytics department at the Baltimore Ravens.