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Anthology of Statistics in SportsAnthology of Statistics in Sports

Jim Albert, Jay Bennett, and James J. Cochran, Editors

ASA-SIAM Series on Statistics and Applied Probability 16

The unlikely worlds of sports fans and statisticians collide in this interesting and accessible collection of previously published articles on the use of statistics to analyze sports, which the editors have thoughtfully culled from a variety of American Statistical Association (ASA) publications. Heavily weighted in the areas of competition (rating players and teams, evaluating strategies for victory), the articles vary in mathematical complexity, but most will be accessible to readers with a general knowledge of statistics. Newly written material from the editors and other notable contributors introduces each section of the book, and a chapter with suggestions on using the articles in the classroom is included.

Organized by sport to make it easy for readers to find the papers in their particular areas of interest, Anthology of Statistics in Sports contains separate sections devoted to the major North American team sports of baseball, football, basketball, and ice hockey. Two additional sections cover miscellaneous sports and more general issues related to sports and statistics. This book grew from the efforts of members of the ASA Section on Statistics in Sports, which is dedicated to promoting high professional standards in the application of statistics to sports and fostering statistical education in sports.


This book will appeal to statisticians with an interest in sports who could use the chapters as engaging classroom examples. Sports fans with some understanding of statistics also will find the book of interest, especially the chapters written at a modest mathematical level.


Chapter 1: Introduction; Chapter 2: The Use of Sports in Teaching Statistics;

PART I: STATISTICS IN FOOTBALL. Chapter 3: Introduction to the Football Articles; Chapter 4: A Geometry Model for NFL Field Goal Kickers; Chapter 5: A State-Space Model for National Football League Scores; Chapter 6: Predictions for National Football League Games via Linear-Model Methodology; Chapter 7: The Best NFL Field Goal Kickers: Are They Lucky or Good?; Chapter 8: On the Probability of Winning a Football Game;

PART II: STATISTICS IN BASEBALL. Chapter 9: Introduction to the Baseball Articles; Chapter 10: Exploring Baseball Hitting Data: What About Those Breakdown Statistics?; Chapter 11: Did Shoeless Joe Jackson Throw the 1919 World Series?; Chapter 12: Player Game Percentage; Chapter 13: Estimation with Selected Binomial Information or Do You Really Believe that Dave Winfield Is Batting .471?; Chapter 14: Baseball: Pitching No-Hitters. Chapter 15: Answering Questions About Baseball Using Statistics; Chapter 16: The Progress of the Score During a Baseball Game;

PART III: STATISTICS IN BASKETBALL. Chapter 17: Introduction to the Basketball Articles; Chapter 18: Improved NCAA Basketball Tournament Modeling via Point Spread and Team Strength Information; Chapter 19: It’s Okay to Believe in the “Hot Hand”; Chapter 20: More Probability Models for the NCAA Regional Basketball Tournaments; Chapter 21: The Cold Facts About the “Hot Hand” in Basketball; Chapter 22: Simpson’s Paradox and the Hot Hand in Basketball;

PART IV: STATISTICS IN ICE HOCKEY. Chapter 23: Introduction to the Ice Hockey Articles; Chapter 24: Statistical Methods for Rating College Hockey Teams; Chapter 25: Overtime or Shootout: Deciding Ties in Hockey; Chapter 26: It Takes a Hot Goalie to Raise the Stanley Cup;

PART V: STATISTICAL METHODOLOGIES AND MULTIPLE SPORTS. Chapter 27: Introduction to the Methodologies and Multiple Sports Articles; Chapter 28: Bridging Different Eras in Sports; Chapter 29: Data Analysis Using Stein’s Estimator and Its Generalizations; Chapter 30: Assigning Probabilities to the Outcomes of Multi-Entry Competitions; Chapter 31: Basketball, Baseball, and the Null Hypothesis; Chapter 32: Lessons from Sports Statistics; Chapter 33: Can TQM Improve Athletic Performance?; Chapter 34: A Brownian Motion Model for the Progress of Sports Scores;

PART VI: STATISTICS IN MISCELLANEOUS SPORTS. Chapter 35: Introduction to the Miscellaneous Sports Articles; Chapter 36: Shooting Darts; Chapter 37: Drive for Show and Putt for Dough; Chapter 38: Adjusting Golf Handicaps for the Difficulty of the Course; Chapter 39: Rating Skating; Chapter 40: Modeling Scores in the Premier League: Is Manchester United Really the Best?; Chapter 41: Down to Ten: Estimating the Effect of a Red Card in Soccer; Chapter 42: Heavy Defeats in Tennis: Psychological Momentum or Random Effect?; Chapter 43: Who Is the Fastest Man in theWorld?; Chapter 44: Resizing Triathlons for Fairness.

Read the review of this book that appeared in SIAM Review.

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2005 / x + 322 pages / Softcover / ISBN-13: 978-0-898715-87-3 / ISBN-10: 0-89871-587-3 /
List Price $72.50 / ASA/SIAM Member Price $50.75 / Order Code SA16
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Banner art adapted from a figure by Hinke M. Osinga and Bernd Krauskopf (University of Auckland, NZ.)