Statistics of FA Cup Soccer
Professor Patrick Sullivan
Arts and Sciences
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.
Heagy, Jonathan, "Statistics of FA Cup Soccer" (2016). Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression (SOURCE). 568.