SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Michael Bushong, Eric Brown, Gilad Parann-Nissany, Kevin Benedict, Newswire

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Statistics Being Used to Predict the Results of World Cup Games

CLINTON TOWNSHIP, MI -- (Marketwired) -- 06/12/14 -- Operations productivity firm Global Productivity Solutions Inc. is taking statistics that are normally used to predict the reliability of business processes and applying them to predict the results of World Cup Soccer games.

Using historical game data from 1990 to 2010, Global Productivity Solutions statistics expert Vince Ruscello has been able to dissect the nature of a game. According to Ruscello, "In the last six World Cup tournaments, from Italy in 1990 to South Africa in 2010, the goals/match has followed a near-perfect Poisson distribution -- the average goals/match is 2.4. This fact provides a lot of predictive power. For example, the probability of 90-minutes of play ending in a 0-0 tie is around 9%. So, almost 1 in 10 games will be decided by goals only scored in overtime or a shootout".

Ruscello has also been able to calculate the average time between goals with the Poisson-related Exponential distribution. "The mean time between goals is the defining parameter of the Exponential. The mean is estimated by dividing the game time, 90 minutes, by the average goals/game, 2.4. Result: 37.5 minutes."

These predictions can even be applied in-game. Ruscello states, "As you are watching this year's games, know that the probability of the final score remaining the same as the half-time score is only 30%. And, more importantly, there is still a 25% chance that the score will change in the last ten minutes. But with five minutes to go, there is only a little more than 10% chance of a score change. Of course it may change for the worse for your team."

What about those out there who claim the excitement level of soccer is on par with watching paint dry? The statistics have something to say about them too. "The probability of five or more goals scored in regulation play is also less than 10%, giving credence to some soccer critics' complaints about the lack of action." Of course this is based on the assumption that goals are everything, and soccer fans will be quick to point out that the game isn't played on the scoreboard.

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