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When sports rules go awry


  • Kendall, Graham
  • Lenten, Liam J.A.


Wright (2014) recently presented a survey of sporting rules from an Operational Research (OR) perspective. He surveyed 21 sports, which consider the rules of sports and tournaments and whether changes have led to unintended consequences. The paper concludes: “Overall, it would seem that this is just a taster and there may be plenty more such studies to come”. In this paper we present one such study.

Suggested Citation

  • Kendall, Graham & Lenten, Liam J.A., 2017. "When sports rules go awry," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 257(2), pages 377-394.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ejores:v:257:y:2017:i:2:p:377-394
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ejor.2016.06.050

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Rasmussen, Rasmus V., 2008. "Scheduling a triple round robin tournament for the best Danish soccer league," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 185(2), pages 795-810, March.
    2. Liam J. A. Lenten, 2016. "Mitigation of Perverse Incentives in Professional Sports Leagues with Reverse-Order Drafts," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 49(1), pages 25-41, August.
    3. Lisa R. Anderson & Beth A. Freeborn & Jason P. Hulbert, 2015. "Determinants of Tacit Collusion in a Cournot Duopoly Experiment," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 633-652, January.
    4. Luis Garicano & Ignacio Palacios-Huerta & Canice Prendergast, 2005. "Favoritism Under Social Pressure," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(2), pages 208-216, May.
    5. Che, Yeon-Koo & Hendershott, Terrence, 2008. "How to divide the possession of a football?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 99(3), pages 561-565, June.
    6. Goff, Brian L & Shughart, William F, II & Tollison, Robert D, 1997. "Batter Up! Moral Hazard and the Effects of the Designated Hitter Rule on Hit Batsmen," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(3), pages 555-561, July.
    7. Fonseca, Miguel A. & Normann, Hans-Theo, 2012. "Explicit vs. tacit collusion—The impact of communication in oligopoly experiments," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(8), pages 1759-1772.
    8. Lenten, Liam J.A., 2011. "The extent to which unbalanced schedules cause distortions in sports league tables," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(1-2), pages 451-458, January.
    9. Choe, Chongwoo & Matsushima, Noriaki, 2013. "The arm's length principle and tacit collusion," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 119-130.
    10. Isabelle Brocas & Juan D. Carrillo, 2004. "Do the “Three-Point Victory†and “Golden Goal†Rules Make Soccer More Exciting?," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 5(2), pages 169-185, May.
    11. Joseph Price & Brian P. Soebbing & David Berri & Brad R. Humphreys, 2010. "Tournament Incentives, League Policy, and NBA Team Performance Revisited," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 11(2), pages 117-135, April.
    12. Martin G. Kocher & Marc V. Lenz & Matthias Sutter, 2012. "Psychological Pressure in Competitive Environments: New Evidence from Randomized Natural Experiments," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 58(8), pages 1585-1591, August.
    13. Rasmussen, Rasmus V. & Trick, Michael A., 2008. "Round robin scheduling - a survey," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 188(3), pages 617-636, August.
    14. Wright, Mike, 2014. "OR analysis of sporting rules – A survey," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 232(1), pages 1-8.
    15. Liam J. A. Lenten & Niven Winchester, 2015. "Secondary Behavioural Incentives: Bonus Points and Rugby Professionals," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 91(294), pages 386-398, September.
    16. S R Clarke & J M Norman, 2012. "Optimal challenges in tennis," Journal of the Operational Research Society, Palgrave Macmillan;The OR Society, vol. 63(12), pages 1765-1772, December.
    17. Goff, Brian L & Shughart, William F, II & Tollison, Robert D, 1998. "Moral Hazard and the Effects of the Designated Hitter Rule Revisited," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(4), pages 688-692, October.
    18. Liam J. A. Lenten, 2015. "Measurement of Competitive Balance in Conference and Divisional Tournament Design," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 16(1), pages 3-25, January.
    19. Ran Abramitzky & Liran Einav & Shimon Kolkowitz & Roy Mill, 2012. "On The Optimality Of Line Call Challenges In Professional Tennis," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 53(3), pages 939-964, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. László Csató, 2018. "Was Zidane honest or well-informed? How UEFA barely avoided a serious scandal," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 38(1), pages 152-158.
    2. repec:eee:ejores:v:267:y:2018:i:1:p:315-320 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Csató, László, 2017. "European qualifiers to the 2018 FIFA World Cup can be manipulated," MPRA Paper 82652, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. repec:ksa:szemle:1777 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:eee:ejores:v:262:y:2017:i:3:p:1109-1115 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:pal:jorsoc:v:68:y:2017:i:9:d:10.1057_s41274-017-0243-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Csató, László, 2017. "Tournaments with subsequent group stages are incentive incompatible," MPRA Paper 83269, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    Sport; Strategies; Incentives;


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