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One for Sure or Maybe Three: Empirical Evidence for Overtime Play from a Comparison of Swiss Ice Hockey and the NHL

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  • Franck Egon

    ()

  • Theiler Philipp

    () (Department of Business Administration, University of Zurich, Plattenstrasse 14, 8032 Zurich, Switzerland)

Abstract

In order to avoid too many tied games after playing the five-minute overtime period, the National Hockey League (NHL) introduced two rule changes in the 1999-2000 season. First, a team that loses in overtime receives one point instead of zero points. Second, the number of skaters in overtime is reduced from five to four. The theoretical literature analyzing these rule changes predicted that they would also produce the unintended side-effect that more games would reach overtime and recommended that a team that wins in regulation should receive three points (instead of two) in order to counterbalance the converse effect. We are the first to empirically support this theoretical prediction using NHL data and data from Swiss ice hockey, in which the rule changes of the NHL were copied in the 2006–2007 season and in which the three-point rule was also introduced.

Suggested Citation

  • Franck Egon & Theiler Philipp, 2012. "One for Sure or Maybe Three: Empirical Evidence for Overtime Play from a Comparison of Swiss Ice Hockey and the NHL," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 232(3), pages 210-223, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:jns:jbstat:v:232:y:2012:i:3:p:210-223
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. Giancarlo Moschini, 2010. "Incentives And Outcomes In A Strategic Setting: The 3-Points-For-A-Win System In Soccer," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 48(1), pages 65-79, January.
    3. Neil Longley & Swaminathan Sankaran, 2007. "The Incentive Effects of Overtime Rules in Professional Hockey," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 8(5), pages 546-554, October.
    4. Lief Brandes & Egon Franck, 2007. "Who Made Who – An Empirical Analysis of Competitive Balance in European Soccer Leagues," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 33(3), pages 379-403, Summer.
    5. Alexander Dilger & Hannah Geyer, 2009. "Are Three Points for a Win Really Better Than Two?," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 10(3), pages 305-318, June.
    6. Stefan Szymanski, 2003. "The Economic Design of Sporting Contests," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1137-1187, December.
    7. José Correia Guedes & Fernando S. Machado, 2002. "Changing rewards in contests: Has the three-point rule brought more offense to soccer?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 27(4), pages 607-630.
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    Cited by:

    1. Marek Patrice & Ťoupal Tomáš & Šedivá Blanka, 2014. "Modeling and prediction of ice hockey match results," Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, De Gruyter, vol. 10(3), pages 1-9, September.

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