Mathematics and sports at the 2015 Joint Mathematics Meeting

The Joint Mathematics Meeting is the major mathematics conference in the USA, taking place in early January and organized by the American Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Association of America and a few other technical organizations.  Among the many sessions at the JMM is one on Mathematics and Sports, which returns for another year. (I don’t […] Read more ›

MathSport International 2015 makes call for papers

The organizing committee of the 2015 International Conference on Mathematics in Sport (MathSport International) has announced its call for papers.  Next year’s conference is hosted by Loughborough University in the UK from 29 June – 1 July 2015. The conference is a biennial event and presents work the intersection of mathematics with sport in the […] Read more ›

Want 90 minutes of action? Play 120: Effective time for 2014 FIFA World Cup matches decided in extra time

In an earlier post I presented the estimated effective playing time in this summer’s World Cup matches over 90 minutes.  (They are estimates because the raw data used to calculate effective time do not track the moments when the ball leaves the field of play.)  Eight matches were decided in extra time, so for completeness […] Read more ›

Predicting Football Using R

I recently gave a presentation to the Manchester R Users’ Group discussing how to predict football results using R. My presentation gave a brief overview of how to create a naive Poisson model in R and apply the Dixon and Coles adjustment to it to account for dependance in the scores. The slides are below [...] Read more ›


Is there a relationship between “mean-time-between” metrics and effective time?

Since I started to apply mean time between fouls and mean time between stoppages to World Cup data, I was curious to find out if there was any correlation between these “mean-time-between” metrics and the effective match time.  I’ll examine the correlation issues in this post. For reference, here is my post on MTBF for […] Read more ›

Looking at MTBS for the 2014 World Cup

Continuing our application of “mean time between” metrics to the World Cup, I consider mean time between stoppages. These metrics, and all those related to the 2014 FIFA World Cup, are derived from data from Press Association‘s Match Story feed, which was distributed through the Soccermetrics API. Below is the chart of average of mean […] Read more ›

A first look at MTBF for the 2014 World Cup

In my previous post I introduced the concept of mean time between fouls and mean time between stoppages.  In this post I calculate mean time between fouls over all matches of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The data are taken from Press Association’s Match Story feed of the World Cup, which is ingested into the Soccermetrics […] Read more ›

Introducing mean time between fouls and stoppages

I was looking through this blog at the number of posts that I’ve written about referee performance, and it turns out that there are, as of this date, five posts under that category.  Three of the articles are reviews of research publications, so I’ve actually written very little about the subject.  That’s about to change […] Read more ›

Subbing Your Striker.

Substitutes provide a fascinating look into the changing dynamics of a football game.Scoring accelerates as the game progresses and in this post from 2012 I looked at the tag of “super sub” that had become attached to Edin Dzeko and how it owed much to… Read more ›