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Message from discussion Role of luck in sport

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More options Jun 13 2012, 7:27 am
Newsgroups: alt.math.recreational, alt.sport, alt.sports, sci.math
From: Graham Cooper <grahamcoop...@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2012 04:27:59 -0700 (PDT)
Local: Wed, Jun 13 2012 7:27 am
Subject: Re: Role of luck in sport
On Jun 13, 10:15 pm, quasi <qu...@null.set> wrote:

> Peter Webb wrote:
> >It seems clear to me that in some sports, the better team
> >almost always wins whereas in others a significant amount of
> >luck is involved - particularly where balls can bounce
> >randomly, and scores are low and subject to probability rather
> >than statistics.

> >This can potentially be measured with an arguable amount of
> >accuracy on a sport-by-sport basis, and sports then compared
> >to see which involve the most/least luck in who wins the game.

> >The basic strategy is to use the half time result to break
> >each game into two half games. Each half is played by the same
> >people, at almost the same time, and both sides have the same
> >basic strategy in both halves to maximise their points and
> >minimise the opponent's points. Games with very little luck
> >should have the side which wins the game winning both halves;
> >conversely games with lots of luck will see results where a
> >side wins only a single half but still wins the match. The
> >winners of half games and winners of full games can be
> >correlated and a numeric index of luck produced on a sport by
> >sport basis.

> I think you need 3 components, not 2 ...

> (1) skill
> (2) luck
> (3) the human element

> For teams with approximately equal skill, the human element, not
> luck, will often be the key secondary factor.

> I'll outline two categories of situations for which the human
> element may be the key factor ...

> Team A's chosen strategy may take team B by surprise, but
> by the second half, the surprise has worn off and team B has

> Or, for multi-player team games, perhaps some player on team B
> is not playing well in the first half, so that player is
> replaced in the second half, and then all is well for team B.

> (2) The Emotion Factor

> Suppose Team A wins the first half by a large margin. In the
> second half, it's hard for team A to psyche themselves up for
> maximum output. Thus, team A will tend to "coast", riding their
> huge lead. At the same time, provided team A's lead is not too
> much to overcome, team B may be psyched to play at absolute
> maximum skill and power, thus potentially recovering some or
> all of the initial score deficit.

> On the other hand, suppose team A gets a huge, essentially
> unrecoverable lead in the first half. Then, in the second
> half, team B may have lost the heart to fight, so gets crushed
> even more.

> Alternatively, for the huge, unrecoverable lead scenario, the
> coach may make some substitutions to try some untested players.
> It's a good time to experiment since the game is lost anyway.
> Thus, with team B using their "B team", the second half may be
> even worse.

> Bottom line -- I think the human element dominates the luck
> element, and would be hard, perhaps impossible, to filter out.

> quasi

SKILL:  win 1st half - win 2nd half
STRAT:  lost 1st half - win 2nd half
LUCK:   win 1st half - win 2nd half by greater margin!

Taking into account both Teams lose a little STAMINA by the 2nd half.

Certainly if they widened the soccer goals by 1 meter it would score
more like basketball, perhaps reduce riots a little!

Herc