Competitive Balance in Team Sports: The Scoring Context, Referees, and Overtime

Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Vol. 165, No. 3, pp. 384-400, 2009

17 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2012

See all articles by Loek F. M. Groot

Loek F. M. Groot

Utrecht University - School of Economics

Date Written: December 6, 2012

Abstract

This paper focuses on a qualitative comparison between European football and U.S. team sports with respect to the effects of the number of goals per match, impartial errors of the referee, and overtime versus ties on the natural level of competitive balance. The more goals and the more perfect the referee, the more drastic are the measures needed to maintain competitive balance. Taking into account that the optimal level of competitive balance is lower in open leagues than in closed leagues, the combined effect of these factors may explain why in U.S. team sports special measures are in force to maintain competitive balance, which are absent in Europe.

Keywords: competitive balance, anti-trust legislation, professional team sports

JEL Classification: D71, L4, L83

Suggested Citation

Groot, Loek F. M., Competitive Balance in Team Sports: The Scoring Context, Referees, and Overtime (December 6, 2012). Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Vol. 165, No. 3, pp. 384-400, 2009, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2185875

Loek F. M. Groot (Contact Author)

Utrecht University - School of Economics ( email )

Kriekenpitplein 21-22
Adam Smith Building
Utrecht, 3584 EC
Netherlands

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