A matter of time? Analyzing the efficiency of individual tournament formats by Monte Carlo simulation
Blanka, Dobránszky Balázs Róbert, Sziklai
Year of Publication:
IEHAS Discussion Papers No. MT-DP - 2019/19
The chosen tournament format has a fundamental impact on the popularity and success of a sport. Efficiency of a format describes how well it can reproduce the real but hidden power ranking of the participants. We compare the efficiency of the formats of two individual sports that share similar traits: swimming and indoors running. Based on real data, we perform a Monte Carlo simulation to measure the difference between the simulated and the actual power ranking. To test instances when the field is tight and when there is a clear difference between the abilities of the participants we analyze the std. deviation on a spectrum and compute various efficiency measures. The difference between the efficiency of the two formats is small (but measurable) whenever the 'zigzag' type seeding is applied in running. Without seeding, however, the format of swimming outperforms running even at scoring positions.