A simulation comparison of tournament designs for world men's handball championships

03/29/2018 ∙ by László Csató, et al. ∙ 0

There exist many alternative formats to tournaments for game sports and they are often revised over time. Our study aims to compare different designs for world men's handball championships. This event, organized in every two years, has adopted four hybrid formats consisting of knockout and round-robin stages in recent decades. They are evaluated under optimal and random seeding policy with respect to various outcome measures, applying Monte-Carlo simulations. We find that efficacy in terms of selecting the strongest competitors as the winner is not necessarily a monotonic function of the number of matches played: the most frugal design is the second most efficient, so it seems to be a good compromise in this unavoidable trade-off. We also identify a possible error in a particular design. Our results have useful implications for organizers of hybrid tournaments with 24 competitors.

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