Skip to main content



Game Theory in Sports

http://www.freakonomics.com/2007/12/11/why-dont-sports-teams-use-randomization-a-guest-post/

There is a lot of thought put into strategy of sports. Starting from when I was old enough to understand, I was taught to lay down my bunt in the direction of third base if the third baseman was playing deep, or first if the first baseman was playing deep. As a pitcher, I looked for trends on which batters could hit which pitches, and try to throw the opposite way.

It is a game – with two players (well really more, but each player here is a team), payoffs, and strategies. A lot of calculations have gone into what would be the best way to play sports, but most of the time coaches don’t listen to those calculations. The strategies used are those that the coaches know and are most comfortable with, and they make decisions.

When tested, the use of randomization in both baseball and football have shown greater results for both. The use of random plays and random decision makers on whether to go for it on 4th down have shown more points averaged when randomization was used.

So why don’t more coaches use it? We don’t know. Comfort. Instinct. ┬áThe reason for them being hired. But we do know that it there are simple tools coaches could use to implement randomization and increase the points and wins for their teams.

Comments

Leave a Reply

Blogging Calendar

October 2011
M T W T F S S
« Sep   Nov »
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  

Archives