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Tuesday, June 28 • 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Statistics and R for Analysis of Elimination Tournaments

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Poster #8

There is keen interest in statistical methodology in sports. Such methods are valuable not only to sports sociologists but also those in sports themselves, as exemplified in the book and movie “Moneyball.” These statistics enhance comparisons among players and possibly even enable prediction of games. However, elimination tournaments present special statistical challenges. This paper explores data from the national high school debate circuit, in which the first author was an active national participant. All debaters participate in the 6 pre-elimination rounds, but subsequently the field successively narrows in the elimination rounds. This atypical format makes it difficult to use classical statistical methods, and also requires more sophisticated data wrangling. This paper will use R to explore questions such as: Does gender affect the outcome of rounds? Does geography play a role in wins/losses? What constitutes an upset? Is there a so-called “shadow effect,” in which the weaker the expected competitor in the next round, the greater the probability that the stronger player will win in the current stage? Among the purposes of this project is to use it as an R-based teaching tool, and help the debate community understand the inequalities that exist in relation to gender, region, and school. Typical graphs that can be generated may be viewed at https://github.com/ariel-shin/tourn. Our R software will be available in a package “tourn.”

avatar for Ariel  Shin

Ariel Shin

University of California, Davis

Tuesday June 28, 2016 2:30pm - 3:30pm PDT
Sponsor Pavilion