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Tournament Design

How Operations Research Can Improve Sports Rules

Palgrave Macmillan

Authors:

  • Brings operations research into the realm of sports and sports economics

  • Looks at a number of paradoxes in sports ranking, with an emphasis on tying them to real sports leagues and their decisions

  • Balances theoretical tools, simulation methodology, and practical applications

Part of the book series: Palgrave Pivots in Sports Economics (PAPISE)

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  • ISBN: 978-3-030-59844-0
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Table of contents (6 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xxi
  2. Topics in Tournament Ranking

    • László Csató
    Pages 1-31
  3. Back Matter

    Pages 145-154

About this book

This Palgrave Pivot presents tournament design mainly within the axioms of incentive compatibility and fairness. It illustrates the advantages of an axiomatic approach through various examples, including several FIFA and UEFA tournaments, and uses theoretical tools and simulation methodology in its analysis. Chapter 1 discusses scoring systems of championships with multiple competitions, ranking in Swiss-system tournaments, and tie-breaking rules in round-robin leagues. It is followed by a thorough critical analysis of the current and previous FIFA World Rankings. The broad focus is substantially narrowed in Chapter 2, which turns to the topic of incentive (in)compatibility in multiple qualifiers. It is revealed that UEFA has faced at least three times recently this problem in the qualification to the UEFA Europa League, qualification to the UEFA Champions League, and the draw of the UEFA Champions League groups. Analogously, Chapter 3 discusses incentive (in)compatibility when there is only one group-based tournament but the complex progression rules to the subsequent stage can be designed poorly. Our examples include the qualifying tournaments of recent FIFA World Cups and UEFA European Championships. Chapter 4 moves to the problem of penalty shootout rules in soccer, where the fairness and complexity of some alternative mechanisms from the literature are evaluated. Fairness remains the central issue in Chapter 5, which presents the challenges of designing a tournament with 24 teams if the number of teams per group cannot exceed four. As expected, there is no perfect solution, and both FIFA and UEFA have introduced a reform in this format recently. Chapter 6 deals with the qualification for the 2020 UEFA European Football Championship. Its tournament design is perhaps the most complicated one that has ever been implemented in the real-world and suffers from serious shortcomings.

 László Csató is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Computer Science and Control (SZTAKI), Hungary, and a Senior Lecturer at Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary..

Keywords

  • Tournament Design
  • Sports Economics
  • Operations Research
  • Game Theory
  • Applied Economics

Authors and Affiliations

  • Institute for Computer Science and Control, Corvinus University of Budapest, Budapest, Hungary

    László Csató

About the author

László Csató is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Computer Science and Control (SZTAKI), Hungary, and a Senior Lecturer at Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary..

Bibliographic Information

Buying options

eBook USD 54.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-030-59844-0
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Hardcover Book USD 69.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)