Journal of the Operational Research Society

, Volume 57, Issue 12, pp 1425–1434

A measure of competitiveness in leagues: a network approach

Case-Oriented Paper


Many sports are played competitively in a league format. Final positions are based on the aggregations of the points won at each game. Issues of promotion, relegation and much else will depend on the position in the league. However, the results may also be seen to constitute a network of inter-team relations in which the links represent the degree to which a pair of teams have similar performance. This idea is taken as the basis for the construction of a systemic measure of competitiveness in the league. The basis for the model is the construction of a blockmodel on a network of binary relations. The method is illustrated by application to nine seasons of the English soccer Premier League.


sports cluster analysis mathematical programming networks and graphs 

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan Ltd 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Durham Business SchoolDurhamUK

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