nep-spo New Economics Papers
on Sports and Economics
Issue of 2019‒01‒14
three papers chosen by
Humberto Barreto
DePauw University

  1. Performance under Pressure on the Court: Evidence from Professional Volleyball By Viktor Bozhinov; Nora Grote
  2. The impact of NFL kickoff rule changes on player injuries: Forgoing excitement to reduce injuries? By Richardson, Zachary; Lindrooth, Richard
  3. Risk-Neutral Pricing and Hedging of In-Play Football Bets By Sebastian del Bano Rollin; Zsolt Bihari; Tomaso Aste

  1. By: Viktor Bozhinov (Johannes Gutenberg University); Nora Grote (Johannes Gutenberg University)
    Abstract: This study analyzes how psychological pressure affects performance. It refers to the discussion on differences between choking, i.e., an acute performance decline under pressure and underperformance under pressure. When performance outcomes are not defined binary even slight performance decrements can have huge consequences for future career. To study the consequences of psychological pressure on performance, we employ data on the serving performance of 213 professional volleyball athletes in 226 matches. We do not find any evidence for the existence of severe performance decrements under pressure (i.e. choking). However, athletes serve less effectively under pressure, i.e., they serve less direct points and less good serves. In consequence, we find that these subtler performance changes of serving players negatively affect overall team performance. Thus, we show that even if choking in the sense of an acute failure does not occur, performance decrements harming team production exist. This might be explained by single team members trying to avoid being held responsible for failure. Strengthening group cohesion to reduce psychological pressure on single group members might be a fruitful strategy to cope with similar problems in other working environments.
    Keywords: performance; psychological pressure; choking; underperformance; volleyball
    JEL: D91 J24 L83
    Date: 2018–12–20
  2. By: Richardson, Zachary; Lindrooth, Richard
    Abstract: Recognizing the increased danger during kickoff returns, the National Football League and National Collegiate Athletic Association changed rules aimed to reduce player injuries. Using a two-stage model, we examined the impact of rule changes on kickoff returns to the rate of player injuries. We estimated the impact of the changes on the number of kickoff returns using a difference-in-difference approach; from these estimates we created an instrumental variable measuring the local average treatment effect of the NFL rule change on player injuries. Our findings suggest that moving the kickoff location decreased both the likelihood of kickoff returns and player injuries.
    Keywords: NFL; NCAA; Football; Policy Analysis; Health Economics; Health Services Research; Rule Changes; Concussions; Injuries; Player Injuries
    JEL: I1 I10
    Date: 2018–12
  3. By: Sebastian del Bano Rollin; Zsolt Bihari; Tomaso Aste
    Abstract: A risk-neutral valuation framework is developed for pricing and hedging in-play football bets based on modelling scores by independent Poisson processes with constant intensities. The Fundamental Theorems of Asset Pricing are applied to this set-up which enables us to derive novel arbitrage-free valuation formul\ae\ for contracts currently traded in the market. We also describe how to calibrate the model to the market and how trades can be replicated and hedged.
    Date: 2018–10

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