The Statistics of Football Leagues

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Thursday 17 November 2016, 02:00pm - 03:30pm

Location Room 512, Cedar House, University of Liverpool

14:00-15:00 David Firth (Professor of Statistics & WDSI Director, Department of Statistics, University of Warwick)

Football leagues: A better mid-season ranking than the points tally?

A generalization of the Bradley-Terry model is developed which yields end-of-season agreement with league standings, in balanced round-robin leagues with simple win-draw-loss points systems such as the 3-1-0 system used in association football.  This allows mid-season "strength of schedule" differences to be eliminated coherently, in order to produce match-by-match league standings that typically are more meaningful than the familiar ranking based on accumulated points.  Results from several seasons of major European football leagues are used to assess the appropriateness of the model, and to calibrate it in aspects such as the relative frequency of draws and the "home advantage" effect.  Effective presentation of mid-season league standings is achieved through expected end-of-season league points per match; a Dirichlet-prior shrinkage penalty, again calibrated from data on past seasons, helps to keep such a presentation realistic.

15:00-15:30 Coffee

Contact Dr Laura Bonnett - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Organiser Name Dr Gabriela Czanner

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