How Do Sports Score?

sport score

In most sports, a team or individual attempts to score points in order to win a game. In some sports, a player’s total score is based on a number of different criteria, including their duration (track events of track and field), distance and height in athletics, racquet sport, or the length of a goal (hockey and soccer).

Scoring Structure

Most games have a standard way to measure scoring. This includes the athletics disciplines of shot put, discus throw, hammer throw, javelin throw, long jump, high jump and pole vault.

Despite growing interest in quantifying and modeling the scoring dynamics within professional sports games, relative little is known about what patterns or principles, if any, cut across these sports. This is especially true for scoring tempo and scoring balance – how often scoring events occur.

1. Scoring Temp

In all four sports, scoring tempo – when scoring events occur – closely follows a common Poisson process. This probability varies only modestly over the course of gameplay, except in the first and last few seconds of a scoring period.

2. Scoring Balance

Similarly, scoring balance – how often a team wins a scoring event – also follows a common Bernoulli process. This process varies effectively over gameplay and across sports, and is driven by a bias parameter that depends on the teams’ inherent skill levels.