A statistical evaluation of luck vs ability in sports activities.

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Undeserving Champions: Examining Variance in the Postseason


In his e-book, The Success Equation, Michael Mauboussin locations sports activities on the skill-luck continuum through the use of a statistical approach earlier demonstrated by sports activities knowledge analysts. He discovered that season standings for the NBA replicate ability ranges extra so than the seasons of different main staff sports activities, with NHL hockey being the game closest to the luck facet of the continuum. In this video we discover the traits of the sports activities that both improve or diminish the affect of luck on the outcomes, and we’ll stroll by way of the strategy for calculating the contribution of luck.


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  1. Weird, this just makes me want to watch more hockey. It doesn't sound necessarily more random, but rather more complex. Tall people aren't naturally good, one guy can't carry the team, it's low-scoring, sounds like a really fun time.

  2. why do you use mls at 4:24 instead of the premier league, as shown at the start of the video, to represent football? and then also use a premier league clip right afterwards…

  3. Ugh. This was so awesome until the stupid Vox positivist ending. "What do we want our sports to do?" How about be entertaining? Isn't that enough? Does everything need to have a positivist bend to it?

  4. Once again, Vox shows they have no idea what they are talking about.

    I've played baseball and hockey all my life and been an avid fan of both. Even played baseball in college. In my experience, baseball involves the most luck, by far.

    Baseball is pitch by pitch. Even at the MLB level pitchers make mistakes. Most people don't really notice a bad pitch. Obviously the retards at Vox don't. Most hits are off of bad pitches.

    There are really just too many variables when it comes to baseball.

    The people that think hockey is about luck are the people that have never watched more than a few games.

    Please, Vox, stop talking about things you guys know nothing about.

  5. The fact that hockey depends more on luck is why I love it so much. I don't have to see Lebron James and Steph Curry in the Finals for 3 straight years. I get to see plenty of upsets, and a new matchup every year in the Cup Finals.

  6. I think the variance equation is taken with to much faith on accurately and fairly comparing skill and luck across different sports.

  7. This doesnt even begin to take into account skill parity over the sport. Given a ranking of how skilled all players are in that given sport and how concentrated they are over the total teams, the NBA and NHL are best to compare as they have similar season games and similar amount of players per game, looking at the two sports there is obviously a higher concentration of talent per team in the NBA as in the NHL (evident by the win/ loss difference over the whole of the league/ conference).

  8. Well box we could can stop pretending it's luck and skill and realize the NBA has a consistency problem. There is "star treatment" flopping and terrible officiating to the point people think the league is rigged. That's why lower seeded teams play better.

    Also preds were a pre season favorite to make the final. Sooooooo pay attention all year and not just at the end for clicks

  9. The level of skill necessary to play ice hockey is off the chart compared to basketball remember every single person who comes to learn how to play basketball they know how to walk they know how to run. Every single person who comes to learn how to play hockey must learn how to skate first that's a two year process before you're even at a level where the other part of the game can be discussed. The fact that there's virtually nobody contact in basketball is a shame the fact that I shock he is extremely violent only highlights the necessity of skill just to survive

  10. And when you look at baseball empires and weather are approximately 51% of the outcome of any ball game. Every stadium has different dimensions

  11. The mental attitude of hockey in the mental attitude of basketball are incredibly different Hockey to play at a very high-level you must except and understand that you will be injured and can't be injured seriously basketball not so much


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