Strategic behaviour and risk taking in football
AbstractThis article develops a dynamic game-theoretic model of optimizing strategic behaviour by football teams. Teams choose continuously between defensive and attacking formations and between a non-violent and a violent playing style. Starting from the end of the match and working backwards, the teams’ optimal strategies conditional on the current state of the match are determined by solving a series of two-person non-cooperative subgames. Numerical simulations are used to explore the sensitivity of strategic behaviour to variations in the structural parameters. The model is tested empirically, using English football league data. Teams that are trailing are willing to bear an increased risk of a player dismissal in order to increase the probability of scoring. Teams that are leading or level in scores play cautiously. The scoring rates of teams that are trailing are higher than those of teams that are ahead or level. Stochastic simulations are used to obtain probabilities for match results, conditional upon the state of the match at any stage. The article’s main theoretical and empirical results constitute novel, non-experimental evidence that the strategic behaviour of football teams can be rationalized in accordance with game-theoretic principles of optimizing strategic behaviour by agents when payoffs are uncertain and interdependent.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham Business School, Economics Division in its series Working Papers with number 2008/7.
Date of creation: Jun 2008
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.ntu.ac.uk/nbs
Other versions of this item:
- NEP-ALL-2008-09-29 (All new papers)
- NEP-GTH-2008-09-29 (Game Theory)
- NEP-SPO-2008-09-29 (Sports & Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Ignacio Palacios-Huerta, 2003.
"Professionals Play Minimax,"
Review of Economic Studies,
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(2), pages 395-415, 04.
- Banerjee, Anurag N. & Swinnen, Johan & Weersink, Alfons, 2004.
"Skating on thin ice: rule changes and team strategies in the NHL,"
Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics
0401, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
- Anurag N. Banerjee & Johan F. M. Swinnen & Alfons Weersink, 2007. "Skating on thin ice: rule changes and team strategies in the NHL," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 40(2), pages 493-514, May.
- Anurag N. Banerjee & Johan F.M. Swinnen & Alfons Weersink, 2006. "Skating on Thin Ice: Rule Changes and Team Strategies in the NHL," LICOS Discussion Papers 17506, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
- P.-A. Chiappori, 2002. "Testing Mixed-Strategy Equilibria When Players Are Heterogeneous: The Case of Penalty Kicks in Soccer," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1138-1151, September.
- Peter Dawson & Stephen Dobson & John Goddard & John Wilson, 2007. "Are football referees really biased and inconsistent?: evidence on the incidence of disciplinary sanction in the English Premier League," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 170(1), pages 231-250.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Simeon Coleman).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.