Journal of Mathematics and Statistics

The Statistical Examination of Winning and Succeeding in Sports

Elisee Joseph

DOI : 10.3844/jmssp.2019.70.78

Journal of Mathematics and Statistics

Volume 15, 2019

Pages 70-78


Certain statistical strategies that cater to a particular team's style of play can enable a team to establish a competitive advantage in a sporting event. The purpose of this paper is to cultivate a linear statistical model that contributes to the success of a competitive sporting game between two teams. Using a linear success metric, this paper also examines the relationship between the success of both teams and the scoreboard outcomes of these respective sporting events. This linear statistical model is independent of the given score of a sporting event. This researcher used empirical data from 5,200 games in the 2017-2018 season across all 4 major professional sports leagues in North America (MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL). Results suggest that roughly 94% of the scoreboard outcomes agree with the success rate instituted in this study. The results also highlight Coach Wooden's distinction between winning and succeeding where the conclusion of 306 games comprises of winning teams that do not have a higher "success rate" than the losing team. The principles of the statistical metric used in this paper provide practical implications in economics through game theory and technical analysis in finance.


© 2019 Elisee Joseph. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.