A score is the result of a competition, usually expressed in terms of points or goals. Most sports determine a winner by scoring more points than an opponent during a game. Some are unique in their scoring method, such as golf, bowling and swimming. Others, such as MMA and boxing, use timed rounds to score the match, which may end in a KO or TKO if one combatant is knocked out or incapacitated.
The term box score, which comes from baseball, describes a statistical summary in table form of the essential details of a game. It was formerly used figuratively to refer to an overall record or achievement.
In the early 21st century, there is an increase in interest in quantitative analysis of sport. This is partly due to the availability of large quantities of detailed data about the characteristics and dynamics of a sport, such as scoring events, referee calls, timeouts and ball possessions. This information is being used to improve understanding of the nature and behavior of a particular sport, but also to seek fundamental processes that may govern all sports.
While some research is being done on the statistical and mathematical aspects of individual sports, few studies have been made to explore the general laws that underlie such dynamics, or to test whether there are common patterns across different sports. This article discusses some of the more recent research that has been undertaken in this area.