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Great Lakes Analytics in Sports Conference

Ray Stefani

Professor Emeritus | California State University, Long Beach

Rating the Official International Sports Rating Systems as

Predictors of Match Winners at World Team Championships

A comprehensive analysis is presented as applied to all 13 international team sports that are organized by recognized federations which publish official ratings and conduct world championships. Based on 3,000 world championship matches, rating systems adjusted by the difference between an opponent-dependent prediction and actual match results were 82% accurate at selecting the match winners, while those accumulating result points, not opponent-dependent, were only 74% accurate. An important result for tournament organizers is that having knockout classification matches, beyond those needed to produce a champion, creates additional highly-competitive knockout-phase matchups.

Dr. Ray Stefani is an emeritus professor of engineering at California State University, Long Beach. His sports publications are divided between individual sports (75) and team sports (75). He seeks a fundamental understanding of the physics, physiology, causes of gender differential performance, rates of improvement, effect of historical events and effects of performance enhancing drugs related to Olympic gold medal performances in athletics (track and field), swimming, rowing and speed skating. He has analyzed Olympic home nation medal advantage. He developed a least squared team rating system applied to predicting the outcome of more than 20,000 games of American football, basketball, European soccer, Australian Rules football, and Super Rugby. Home advantage has been studied in those contexts. He has contributed to the understanding of the types and application of 100 international sport rating systems (both for individuals and teams) and their ability to predict the outcome of world and Olympic championship events. He has discussed his sports work on a number of radio and television programs, advised the international soccer organization as to changing its world rating system and contributed to the millennium edition of the New York Times. He has presented his work at 30 conferences in 12 countries on three continents.  He is on the executive committee of two international sports conferences and is an associate editor for an international journal devoted to coaching and sports science.

Rating System Predictability

Watch a video of Ray's 2018 GLASC presentation

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