IJSF Issue 8:3

Contents for IJSF Issue 8:3

Entire issue of IJSF 8:3
Authors: George Diemer, Michael A. Leeds, Brian P. Soebbing, Brad R. Humphreys, Daniel S. Mason, Michael J. Lopez, Kevin Snyder, W. Jennings Byrd, Phillip A. Mixon, Alan Wright, Nicky Rogge, Daam Van Reeth, Tom Van Puyenbroeck
Abstract:This is the entire issue in PDF format that you can download

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Failing to Cover: Point Shaving or Statistical Abnormality?, pp. 175-191
Authors: George Diemer and Michael A. Leeds
Abstract:The possibility that coaches, players, or referees might be involved in point shaving has been a subject of debate since Wolfers’s (2006) controversial finding that favorites in NCAA college basketball games fail to cover point spreads with disturbing frequency. We reconcile Wolfers’s finding with evidence provided by Borghesi (2008), Borghesi and Dare (2009), and others that heavy favorites are not, on average, less likely to cover the point spread. We find that the distribution of game outcomes is bimodal, with one peak on one side of the “no corruption” outcome and one peak on the other side. This finding is consistent with point shaving by favorites, who lose by too little, and underdogs who lose by too much. On average, however, the outcome is consistent with the no-point shaving hypothesis. We compare regular-season and post-season results and find that this effect disappears in the more closely observed NCAA tournament games.

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Exploring Incentives to Lose in Professional Team Sports: Do Conference Games Matter?, pp. 192-207
Authors: Brian P. Soebbing, Brad R. Humphreys, and Daniel S. Mason
Abstract:Many sports leagues use unbalanced schedules where teams do not play each opponent an equal number of times each season. In many leagues, teams that do not make the playoffs have the opportunity to improve by drafting highly skilled amateur players in the next entry draft, but the opportunity to pick first in the draft provides teams with an incentive to intentionally lose games. This has been a concern in the National Basketball Association (NBA), where the draft format has been altered three times since the 1980s. This research examines the strategic behavior of eliminated teams against conference and nonconference opponents under four NBA amateur draft formats. The results show that different draft formats present different incentives for eliminated teams to lose in conference games. Leagues need to recognize the unintended consequences of changes in league draft policies. Mitigating these consequences is difficult, but important in order to attain the goal of joint profit maximization.

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Biased Impartiality Among National Hockey League Referees, pp. 208-223
Authors: Michael J. Lopez and Kevin Snyder
Abstract:This paper builds an economic model of referee behavior in the National Hockey League using period-specific, in-game data. Recognizing that referees are influenced by a desire for perceived fairness, this model isolates situations where a referee is more likely to call a penalty on one team. While prior research has focused on a systematic bias in favor of the home team, we find that referee bias also depends upon game-specific conditions that incentivize an evening of penalty calls. Refereeing games in this fashion maintains the integrity of the game, thus benefiting spectator perceptions and opportunities for financial returns.

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Compensation of College Football’s Head Coaches: A Case Study in Firm Size’s Effects on Pay, pp. 224-235
Authors: W. Jennings Byrd, Phillip A. Mixon, and Alan Wright
Abstract:Top management pay and firm size has been well documented. We explore a variation of this relationship by extending it to college sports. College football is big business, and many college football programs operate as large corporations with the head coach acting as a member of top management—similar to the COO—of the football program. Using data from 2006-2012, we examine the causal relationship between a head coach’s school pay, past performance, and football program size. Our results indicate the most important determinant of a head coach’s pay is the total revenue generated by the football program.

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Performance Evaluation of Tour de France Cycling Teams Using Data Envelopment Analysis, pp. 236-257
Authors: Nicky Rogge, Daam Van Reeth, and Tom Van Puyenbroeck
Abstract:This paper uses a robust (order-m) DEA approach to evaluate the efficiency of Tour de France cycling teams. Since there are multiple ways this event can be successful for a cycling team, we take it that managers face strategic input decisions regarding team and rider characteristics. Specifically, we distinguish between ranking teams, sprint teams, and mixed teams, and compute for each team an efficiency score as due to the team’s performance relative to similarly classified teams and an efficiency score that is the consequence of the team type. We find that ranking teams are generally more efficient than other types of cycling teams.

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