A simulation comparison of tournament designs for the World Men’s Handball Championships

Csató, László (2019) A simulation comparison of tournament designs for the World Men’s Handball Championships. International Transactions in Operational Research, 2019 . pp. 1-25. DOI

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The study aims to compare different designs for the World Men’s Handball Championships. This event, organized in every two years, has adopted four hybrid formats consisting of knockout and round-robin stages in recent decades, including a change of design between the two recent championships in 2017 and 2019. They are evaluated under two extremal seeding policies with respect to various outcome measures through Monte Carlo simulations. We find that the ability to give the first four positions to the strongest teams, as well as the expected quality and outcome uncertainty of the final, is not necessarily a monotonic function of the number of matches played: the most frugal format is the second best with respect to these outcome measures, making it a good compromise in an unavoidable trade-off. A possible error is identified in a particular design. The relative performance of the formats is independent of the seeding rules and the competitive balance of the teams. The recent reform is demonstrated to have increased the probability of winning for the top teams. Our results have useful implications for the organizers of hybrid tournaments.

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Culture, sport
ID Code:5406
Deposited By: Veronika Vitéz
Deposited On:09 Apr 2020 15:07
Last Modified:09 Apr 2020 15:07

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