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Competitive Balance Measures in Sports Leagues: The Effects of Variation in Season Length

  • P Dorian Owen

    ()

    (University of Otago)

  • Nicholas King

    (University of Otago)

Appropriate measurement of competitive balance is a cornerstone of the economic analysis of professional sports leagues. We examine the distributional properties of the ratio of standard deviations (RSD) of points percentages, the most widely used measure of competitive balance in the sports economics literature, in comparison with other standard-deviation-based measures. Simulation methods are used to evaluate the effects of changes in season length on the distributions of competitive balance measures for different distributions of the strengths of teams in a league. The popular RSD measure performs as expected only in cases of perfect balance; if there is imbalance in team strengths, its distribution is very sensitive to changes in season length. This has important implications for comparisons of competitive balance for different sports leagues with different numbers of teams and/or games played.

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File URL: http://www.ncer.edu.au/papers/documents/WP92v2.pdf
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Paper provided by National Centre for Econometric Research in its series NCER Working Paper Series with number 92.

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Length: 58 pages
Date of creation: 24 Jul 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:qut:auncer:2013_4
Contact details of provider: Phone: 07 3138 5066
Fax: 07 3138 1500
Web page: http://www.ncer.edu.au

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  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Martin B. Schmidt & David J. Berri, 2003. "On the Evolution of Competitive Balance: The Impact of an Increasing Global Search," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 41(4), pages 692-704, October.
  20. Koning, Ruud H. & Koolhaas, Michael & Renes, Gusta & Ridder, Geert, 2003. "A simulation model for football championships," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 148(2), pages 268-276, July.
  21. Rodney Fort & James Quirk, 2010. "Optimal Competitive Balance in Single-Game Ticket Sports Leagues," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 11(6), pages 589-601, December.
  22. Puterman Martin L & Wang Qingchen, 2011. "Optimal Dynamic Clustering Through Relegation and Promotion: How to Design a Competitive Sports League," Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, De Gruyter, vol. 7(2), pages 1-34, May.
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