Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Intentional non-scores

In a forthcoming paper (due to be published the day after the Super Bowl), I apply the cost-benefit model I created to justify the infield fly rule to football. I examine plays in which players have an incentive to gain a heavy advantage by acting contrary to ordinary athletic expectations and when rule makers should step in to prevent these unexpected plays. One situation I discuss is the incentive for teams to intentionally not score when given the chance, choosing instead to delay scoring in favor of running more time off the clock before trying to score the tying or winning points.

At Slate, Brian Burke runs the numbers on whether Auburn's Tre Mason should have kneeled on the one yard line rather than scoring with 1:19 remaining and Auburn trailing 27-24. He concludes he should not have, based on (admittedly conservative) estimates of Auburn's likelihood of scoring the game-winning touchdown from the one.

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