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A history of Mexico’s league playoff system: Which seeds advance?

I’ve written about the two-leg format for knockout/playoff matches in soccer on multiple occasions.  Most of my writing has focused on the UEFA Champions League and Major League Soccer, but in this post I’ll write about a North American domestic league that has a long experience with playoffs and the two-leg system: the Mexican League. […]

Fair referee assignments in football

Yavuz, M., Inan, U.H., Figlali, A. "Fair referee assignments for professional football leagues", Computers and Operations Research, 35: 2937-2951, 2008. [Citation][From the abstract] Assignment of referees to football games is an important problem faced in professional football leagues. Despite its importance, the problem has received limited academic attention. This paper presents a model and analysis […]

More on sports scheduling

To continue the previous post, if you are interested in sports scheduling, there are a number of sites that you could visit. First, Michael Trick's website is a treasure trove of information on sports scheduling and the optimization algorithms that are used to solve them.  I highly recommend reading the survey papers on round-robin scheduling and […]

Sports scheduling and the traveling tournament problem

K. Easton, G. Nemhauser, M. Trick, "Solving the Traveling Tournament Problem: A Combined Integer Programming and Constraint Programming Approach", E. Burke and P. Causmaeher (eds.), Springer Lecture notes in Computer Science 2740, 63-77, (2004).  [PDF]The traveling tournament problem asks if there exists a competition schedule that allows teams in a league to play each other […]

What if the UEFA Champions League used proportional allocation?

Last week I wrote about a proportional allocation scheme for the NCAA basketball tournament, drawing on my experience from developing league coefficients for soccer competitions in North America.  I'll apply the scheme to soccer by considering how a similar allocation of "at-large" slots might work for the UEFA Champions League.  (more…)

A proposal for allocation of at-large slots to the NCAA basketball tournament

This is a soccer-centric blog, and I am to keep it that way, but I also know that a lot of basketball analysts read this site.  With that in mind I am going to write about something basketball related that draws upon my experience with developing league coefficients for CONCACAF club competitions in soccer.  It's […]

The second leg effect in Euro club competitions

Lionel Page and Katie Page, "The second leg home advantage: Evidence from European football cup competitions", Journal of Sports Sciences, 25(14): 1547-1556, 2007. [Scribd]Following up on my discussions of the two-leg competition in football is a very interesting and thorough paper written by British and Australian researchers.  I came across it while reading a Wikipedia […]