E-sports, mind sports and the Olympics: What is a sport, anyway?

Written by Ray Stefani on . Posted in Sports

Most of us could describe a sport if asked. It might involve physical exertion of some kind – running, jumping, swimming – an element of competition, and a certain amount of blood, sweat and tears. But is the game of bridge a sport? Or chess? Both of these activities were included in the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) list of recognized sports – a list of sports that could (but not necessary would) be featured in future Olympic Games. The term “mind sports” was coined for bridge and chess, as well as for Go, checkers and Chinese Chess by the World Mind Sports Federation. That federation organized World Mind Games just after the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.

6 Nations Rugby – who’s the biggest overachiever?

Written by Ray Stefani on . Posted in Sports

The 6 Nations Rugby championship kicks off in a little over three weeks. England is favourite to be crowned champion, according to predictions made by Rugby Vision. But in this article, we look backwards rather than forwards, reviewing six years of 6 Nations tournaments to discover which team – England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland or Wales – can be named the biggest overachiever.

The Wenger hypothesis: How many points to win the English Premier League?

Written by Peter Martin on . Posted in Sports

Arsène Wenger (pictured) has been manager of Arsenal Football Club since 1996, making him the longest-standing manager of a current English Premier League (EPL) team. There is no doubt that he knows a thing or two about football that most people don't. Thus, when he made a prediction about the number of points needed to win the EPL this year, the football media listened up.

The 2016 Prediction Games – Part I

Written by Tim Paulden on . Posted in Sports

Prior to the start of the 2016 Olympic Games, over a dozen different groups around the world published numerical forecasts of how they believed the final medal table would end up – and just like the athletes competing in Rio, these groups came in a variety of shapes and sizes. Predictions were issued by teams of university academics (including one group published in the pages of Significance), by sports experts, by global institutions such as the Wall Street Journal, PWC and Goldman Sachs – and, on the day before the Games began, by our statistical research team at ATASS Sports.

Belgium to win Euro 2016? A Q&A on probabilistic predictions

Written by Brian Tarran on . Posted in Sports

England fans might have been disappointed to see their football team crash out of the Euro 2016 tournament earlier this week, but they never stood much chance of winning. According to the statisticians at the Norwegian Computing Center (NCC), the probability of England lifting the trophy never got above 5%. Spain is perhaps the biggest surprise: at certain points in the tournament, the probability of the team finishing first was 20% or more.

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