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Type: Journal article
Title: Game story space of professional sports: Australian rules football
Author: Kiley, D.
Reagan, A.
Mitchell, L.
Danforth, C.
Dodds, P.
Citation: Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics, 2016; 93(5):052314-1-052314-14
Publisher: American Physical Society
Issue Date: 2016
ISSN: 1539-3755
Statement of
Dilan Patrick Kiley, Andrew J. Reagan, Lewis Mitchell, Christopher M. Danforth and Peter Sheridan Dodds
Abstract: Sports are spontaneous generators of stories. Through skill and chance, the script of each game is dynamically written in real time by players acting out possible trajectories allowed by a sport’s rules.By properly characterizing a given sport’s ecology of “game stories,” we are able to capture the sport’s capacity for unfolding interesting narratives, in part by contrasting them with random walks. Here we explore the game story space afforded by a data set of 1310 Australian Football League (AFL) score lines. We find that AFL games exhibit a continuous spectrum of stories rather than distinct clusters.We show how coarse graining reveals identifiable motifs ranging from last-minute comeback wins to one-sided blowouts. Through an extensive comparison with biased random walks, we showthat real AFL games deliver a broader array of motifs than null models, and we provide consequent insights into the narrative appeal of real games.
Keywords: Humans; Models, Theoretical; Soccer; Australia
Rights: ©2016 American Physical Society
RMID: 0030049224
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.93.052314
Appears in Collections:Mathematical Sciences publications

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