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Monday, July 30, 2007

How to assure that the best team wins

The CBC has an interesting article that, to me, proves that scientists don't know very much about sports! After analyzing and simulating league play, they found "a great degree of randomness of outcomes in games, with at least some chance that a lesser team can win in any given game". I have some experience in coaching, having participated in two national sporting championships. The fact is that teams who look good on paper do not always win, there is randomness in sport, that's what makes sport interesting! I do find this quote about major league baseball interesting however, "Over the past century, the lower-seeded team had an astounding 44 per cent chance of defeating a higher-seeded team", that number seems high but plausible. The researchers say that in order to ensure that the best team wins the respective schedules should contain a number of games equaling the square of the number of teams in the league. That would mean that a major league baseball team would have to play a schedule of 256 games, nearly 100 more than the current schedule! I say the best team should not necessarily win, but rather the team that performs the best when required to. If the best team won all of the time, nobody would be interested in participating or watching!