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A simulation model for football championships


  • Koning, Ruud H.
  • Koolhaas, Michael
  • Renes, Gusta

    (Groningen University)


In this paper we discuss a simulation/probability model that identifies the team that is most likely to win a tournament. The model can also be used to answer other questions like ‘which team had a lucky draw?’ or ‘what is the probability that two teams meet at some moment in the tournament?’. Input to the simulation/probability model are scoring intensities, that are estimated as a weighted average of goals scored. The model has been used in practice to write articles for the popular press, and seems to perform well.

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  • Koning, Ruud H. & Koolhaas, Michael & Renes, Gusta, 2001. "A simulation model for football championships," Research Report 01A65, University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management).
  • Handle: RePEc:gro:rugsom:01a65

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Koning, R.H., 2000. "An econometric evaluation of the firing of a coach on team performance," Research Report 00F40, University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management).
    2. repec:dgr:rugsom:00f40 is not listed on IDEAS
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    1. repec:eee:ejores:v:273:y:2019:i:2:p:721-730 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Constantinou Anthony Costa & Fenton Norman Elliott, 2013. "Determining the level of ability of football teams by dynamic ratings based on the relative discrepancies in scores between adversaries," Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 37-50, March.
    3. Dries Goossens & Jeroen Beliën & Frits Spieksma, 2012. "Comparing league formats with respect to match importance in Belgian football," Annals of Operations Research, Springer, vol. 194(1), pages 223-240, April.
    4. repec:eee:intfor:v:35:y:2019:i:2:p:722-732 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Geenens Gery, 2010. "Who Deserved the 2008-2009 Belgian Football Champion Title? A Semiparametric Answer," Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, De Gruyter, vol. 6(4), pages 1-31, October.
    6. repec:bpj:jqsprt:v:15:y:2019:i:2:p:129-140:n:2 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Dagaev Dmitry & Rudyak Vladimir Yu., 2019. "Seeding the UEFA Champions League participants: evaluation of the reforms," Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, De Gruyter, vol. 15(2), pages 129-140, June.
    8. Nicholas King & P. Dorian Owen & Rick Audas, 2012. "Playoff Uncertainty, Match Uncertainty and Attendance at Australian National Rugby League Matches," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 88(281), pages 262-277, June.
    9. Hofer, Vera & Leitner, Johannes, 2017. "Relative pricing of binary options in live soccer betting markets," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 66-85.
    10. Corona Francisco & Wiper Michael Peter & Horrillo Juan de Dios Tena, 2017. "On the importance of the probabilistic model in identifying the most decisive games in a tournament," Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, De Gruyter, vol. 13(1), pages 11-23, March.
    11. Wiper, Michael Peter & Forrest, David & Corona, Francisco & Tena Horrillo, Juan de Dios, 2017. "Evaluating significant effects from alternative seeding systems : a Bayesian approach, with an application to the UEFA Champions League," DES - Working Papers. Statistics and Econometrics. WS 24521, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Estadística.
    12. 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.
    13. O'Leary, Daniel E., 2017. "Crowd performance in prediction of the World Cup 2014," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 260(2), pages 715-724.
    14. 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.
    15. repec:qut:auncer:2013_04 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Ruud H. Koning & Ian G. McHale, 2012. "Estimating Match and World Cup Winning Probabilities," Chapters, in: Wolfgang Maennig & Andrew Zimbalist (ed.), International Handbook on the Economics of Mega Sporting Events, chapter 11, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    17. repec:pal:jorsoc:v:60:y:2009:i:7:d:10.1057_palgrave.jors.2602626 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Espitia-Escuer, Manuel A. & García-Cebrián, Lucía Isabel, 2012. "Diversificación en la configuración de los equipos de la primera división española de fútbol/Diversification in the Team Configuration of the Spanish Football First Division," Estudios de Economia Aplicada, Estudios de Economia Aplicada, vol. 30, pages 527-544, Agosto.

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