Why Do Hockey Players Score More than Soccer Players?

Julien Blondeau, who researches thermodynamics and fluid dynamics at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, writes us about his most unusual research project: I can now perfectly explain why, for instance, field hockey players score more than football players, although the fields have approximately the same size, the number of players is exactly the same, the goals […]

A more powerful sports statistics tool

A more powerful statistical tool is available for sports analysts, potentially displacing traditional measures based on old-fashioned body-dimension (height, weight, etc.), or sport-specific performance (speed, scoring, passing,  etc.). The statistic is displayed in a newly published research report: “Relationships Between the Second to Fourth Digit Ratio (2D:4D) and Game-Related Statistics in Semi-Professional Female Basketball Players,” […]

Psycho-emotional status regulation of minigolf players (study)

When it comes to sporting activities, the psycho-emotional state of the players can have a profound effect on their performance. What positive steps can be taken to enhance it? A number of strategies are currently available : “[…] various ways and their combinations based on physiological reflexes are applied: breath holdings, relaxation of facial muscles, […]

How to ‘cheat’ at sport without really ‘cheating’ – part 3: Grunting

Our previous Improbable article in this series examined the use of placebos – we now look at grunting. Though several sports tolerate (or even encourage) grunting as part of normal play, some have complained that it can be used as a deliberate and unfair distraction of one’s opponent(s). With regard to tennis for example, see: […]

How to ‘cheat’ at sport without really ‘cheating’ – part 1: Praying

“Ajax, through Athena’s spite, slipped upon some offal that was lying there from the cattle which Achilles had slaughtered in honor of Patroklos, and his mouth and nostrils were all filled with cow dung.” The account above is from The Iliad – in which Homer relates how Odysseus prays to the goddess Athena to request […]

The hazard of being an English football league manager

Sports managers, the ones who operate at the highest levels, don’t manage to hang on to their jobs long, says this study: “The hazard of being an English football league manager: empirical estimates for three recent league seasons,” R. Bachan, Barry Reilly, and Robert Witt [pictured here], Journal of the Operational Research Society, vol. 59, no. […]

Which Kinds of Products Produce Which Kinds of Genitourinary injuries When

The data in this study indicate that, on a gross society basis, male parts are more often injured by products than are female parts, and that sporting goods are often involved, though more often for younger males than older ones, and that, sporting good aside, zippers are often implicated. “Product Related Adult Genitourinary Injuries Treated […]