Title

Statistics of FA Cup Soccer

Faculty Sponsor

Professor Patrick Sullivan

College

Arts and Sciences

Department/Program

MSEED

Document Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Summer 7-28-2016

Abstract

The FA Cup Soccer tournament in England is the oldest professional soccer tournament in the world, making it a very fascinating event for soccer fans all over the world. What makes this tournament especially interesting, however, is the randomization of the seeing in each round. Typical tournaments are seeded so teams are ranked by ability, however the FA Cup randomizes each round, so you never know who will play who next. We took particular interest in the FA Cup starting with the round where 64 teams remain; the Third Round Proper. Here, the teams from the top two English soccer leagues, the Championship and Premier leagues, enter into the tournament. Our goal was to investigate some of the interesting statistics that can be drawn from this style of tournament. Some of the main questions we worked with involved finding the probabilities of certain amounts of teams from each league advancing to each round starting with the Third Round Proper. Using the FA Cup website, we were able to collect data from 1996-2016 that allowed us to calculate the winning percentage of teams from each of our three categories; Premier League teams, Championship League teams, and lower league teams, against the other two categories of team. From here, we developed equations which allowed us to calculate the expected value for the number of teams advancing to each round from each league.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

Jonathan Heagy is a junior Math and Secondary Education double major from PIttsburgh, PA. He has had a love of sports from a young age. Jonathan competed in high school athletics, lettering in basketball and track and field. Currently he competes as a high jumper on the track and field team at Valparaiso University. As a math major, it comes as no surprise to say that he has always enjoyed math, however after taking AP Statistics in high school, he took an even greater interest. Once introduced to Professor Sullivan and his work on a project combing sports and statistics, he knew he wanted to help work on it. Upon graduating from Valparaiso University, Jonathan plans to teach math at the high school level, coach track and field, and potentially work his way to becoming a principal or athletic director.

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