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A numerical study of designs for sporting contests

Author

Listed:
  • Scarf, Philip
  • Yusof, Muhammad Mat
  • Bilbao, Mark

Abstract

Operational Research may be used to compare different designs for a sporting contest or tournament. This paper considers a methodology for this purpose. We propose a number of tournament metrics that can be used to measure the success of a sporting contest or tournament, and describe how these metrics may be evaluated for a particular tournament design. Knowledge of these measures can then be used to compare competing designs, such as round-robin, pure knockout and hybrids of these designs. We show, for example, how the design of the tournament influences the outcome uncertainty of the tournament and the number of unimportant matches within the tournament. In this way, where new designs are proposed, the implications of these designs may be explored within a modelling paradigm. In football (soccer), the UEFA Champions League has adopted a number of designs over its 50 year history; the design of the tournament has been modified principally in response to the changing demands of national league football and television - the paper uses this particular tournament to illustrate the methodology.

Suggested Citation

  • Scarf, Philip & Yusof, Muhammad Mat & Bilbao, Mark, 2009. "A numerical study of designs for sporting contests," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 198(1), pages 190-198, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ejores:v:198:y:2009:i:1:p:190-198
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David Peel & Dennis Thomas, 1997. "Handicaps, outcome uncertainty and attendance demand," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(9), pages 567-570.
    2. Ian McHale & Phil Scarf, 2007. "Modelling soccer matches using bivariate discrete distributions with general dependence structure," Statistica Neerlandica, Netherlands Society for Statistics and Operations Research, vol. 61(4), pages 432-445.
    3. Stefan Szymanski, 2003. "The Economic Design of Sporting Contests," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1137-1187, December.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Lahvicka, Jiri, 2013. "Impact of playoffs on seasonal uncertainty in Czech ice hockey Extraliga," MPRA Paper 44608, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Dmitry Dagaev & Alex Suzdaltsev, 2015. "Seeding, Competitive Intensity and Quality in Knock-Out Tournaments," HSE Working papers WP BRP 91/EC/2015, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    3. Dmitry Dagaev & Vladimir Yu. Rudyak, 2016. "Seeding the UEFA Champions League Participants: Evaluation of the Reform," HSE Working papers WP BRP 129/EC/2016, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    4. P. Dorian Owen & Nicholas King, 2015. "Competitive Balance Measures In Sports Leagues: The Effects Of Variation In Season Length," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 53(1), pages 731-744, January.
    5. Nicolau, Juan L., 2011. "The decision to raise firm value through a sports-business exchange: How much are Real Madrid's goals worth to its president's company's goals?," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 215(1), pages 281-288, November.
    6. repec:qut:auncer:2013_04 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Ruud H. Koning & Ian G. McHale, 2012. "Estimating Match and World Cup Winning Probabilities," Chapters,in: International Handbook on the Economics of Mega Sporting Events, chapter 11 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    8. Geenens, Gery, 2014. "On the decisiveness of a game in a tournament," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 232(1), pages 156-168.
    9. Nicolau, Juan L., 2012. "The effect of winning the 2010 FIFA World Cup on the tourism market value: The Spanish case," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 503-510.
    10. Dobson, Stephen & Goddard, John, 2010. "Optimizing strategic behaviour in a dynamic setting in professional team sports," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 205(3), pages 661-669, September.
    11. Wright, Mike, 2014. "OR analysis of sporting rules – A survey," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 232(1), pages 1-8.

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