Monday, July 12, 2010

Soccer's Scoring Problem

With Spain winning the World Cup yesterday after a 1-0 extra time victory (minutes from it instead ending with penalty kicks) in mind, here's an additional Wall Street Journal article with the title:

The Scoring Problem

Soccer's low scores may be leading to random outcomes. 

Richard Bookstaber argues that the game of soccer's current system and rules needs to change to produce more meaningful outcomes. Some excerpts:

There is an analytical basis for determining the amount of scoring a sport should have, and soccer is well below that point.

More Scoring = Less Lucky Wins
The greater the number of scores in a sport, the lower the chance for a lucky win by a team that is inferior.

Addressing Design Flaws
Most sports have conceded flaws in their design, and are better off for having addressed them. Tennis added the tiebreaker, football penalties for pass interference, basketball the three-point shot. So why not soccer? Oh, there was one attempt: the penalty shootout. It's like someone said, "For really important games, let's make the outcome even more random."

Makes some sense.

Check out the entire article.

Adam
 
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