Nhl’s Experiments in Hockey

Michael Giberson Stephen Dubner at Freakonomics points to a Macleans story on some wild experimentation going on in the National Hockey League: shallower nets, moving the second referee off the ice, moving the face-off circles, three-on-three and two-on-two shootouts, and more. The article said: The unusual nature of some items tested at the camp reminded … More Nhl’s Experiments in Hockey

More Rule/market Design Recommendations for International Football-soccer

Lynne Kiesling Like Mike the other day, I have been thinking about possibly Pareto-improving rule changes in international soccer; like Richard Epstein I have always thought about sports rules (and league organization and market structure) as interesting market design issues. Take, for example, the unintended changes in ice hockey and American football after the introduction … More More Rule/market Design Recommendations for International Football-soccer

Soccer Rules As a Market Design Problem

Michael Giberson Hadn’t actually thought of the rules of professional sports leagues as a market design issue before, but Richard Epstein’s column in Forbes proposing rule changes for soccer suggests the idea.  Epstein suggests a couple of changes, drawing on basketball and hockey for inspiration: First, he says goals scored in the run of play … More Soccer Rules As a Market Design Problem

Rejoice: Another World Cup, Another Ball Controversy

Michael Giberson The World Cup is well underway, and with it another controversy over the new ball designed by Adidas for the tournament.  The Wikipedia page on the ball documents some of the complaints, as usual most of them from goalkeepers: As with the Adidas Fevernova and Adidas Teamgeist at the two previous tournaments, the ball has … More Rejoice: Another World Cup, Another Ball Controversy

The Ajax Soccer Talent Factory

Michael Giberson The New York Times Magazine has a feature article on the Ajax soccer development program – they recruit players as young as 7 years old and train them to 19 years if the player is good enough to be kept with the program. Like the development programs of other soccer teams, Ajax begun … More The Ajax Soccer Talent Factory

South Africa Hotel Price Gouging Study

Michael Giberson International accounting firm Grant Thornton has surveyed 2,500 hotel and other properties in South Africa and concluded that about half of the properties will not be charging a premium rate during the upcoming World Cup.  In some cities, however, a majority of properties were raising rates, sometimes significantly. (Another summary: “Fifty three percent … More South Africa Hotel Price Gouging Study

Tickets into the Olympics

Michael Giberson Ticket scalping, like price gouging, is a usually pro-social market activity that is stuck with a pejorative name.  At Swifter, Higher, sportswriter Kyle Whelliston writes about his experience picking up a cheap ticket into the first hockey game of the Vancouver Olympics.  It wasn’t as easy as he hoped, but at a cost … More Tickets into the Olympics

Beckham’s Chances of Playing for England in the World Cup…

Michael Giberson …must be about zero after he used the words “soccer ball” when clearly he meant “football.” See this video from South Africa ( highlighting the introduction of the new Adidas ball for World Cup 2010) at the 3:36 mark.  Too much time in the States?

Football Helmets and Head Injuries

Michael Giberson Paul Walker at Anti-Dismal sees the economic content in the recent Wall Street Journal article on football, helmets, and head injuries.  Here’s a piece of the story: Why do football players wear helmets in the first place? And more important, could the helmets be part of the problem? “Some people have advocated for … More Football Helmets and Head Injuries

More Post-season Tournament Design Issues: Mls Tiebreakers

Michael Giberson For DC United fans, the MLS season is over.  While some fans contemplate coaching and roster changes, a few of us are still scratching our heads about the MLS tiebreaker rules and the complications presented by the final weekend of play (which had five teams angling for two remaining post-season positions. See here … More More Post-season Tournament Design Issues: Mls Tiebreakers