What is the value added of this site ?

Good question. The answer in short is that in reality, statistical knowledge is relatively low in society generally.  More broadly, research in the branch of economics known as behavioural (psychological) economics suggests that in fact, people are generally very weak statisticians.  We find things like probabilities very difficult to assess.  In addition, formal statistical training is rare, certainly to the academic standard the blog author has undergone.

The difference is really a signal versus noise argument.  Econometricians spend their days trying to deduce signal from data – i.e. explainable insight.  Noise is the purely random un-explainable part.

The limitation at the moment is that much of the coverage of rugby – albeit of really fantastic journalistic standard – is missing formal statistical insight.  As a result, fans are exposed to raw data, that may be well contextualised, but certainly has not been subject to the treatment that formal econometrics allows. So that is something of a missing link.

The other potential source currently open to fans is book maker prices ( 3 / 1 on etc).  Sports economists generally think that betting markets act like financial markets, i.e. they are broadly efficient.  Efficiency here has a very specific meaning, i.e. that the prices reflect known information well.  For example, if a team’s key player was injured, one would expect the odds on that team performing well to widen – so the ‘information’ regarding the injury and its potentially adverse effect on the team would be rapidly reflected in the price.

From the fans viewpoint, however, a major limitation is that bookmakers hold private how they actually reach their prices – what factors do they take into account – one can only guess ?

So a site like this is in no way intended as a betting support tool.  It can, however, hopefully provide interested fans with insight which is not currently available to them (for the above reasons).  Btw, we don’t make predictions or forecasts here, and if you choose to gamble, the risk is entirely yours.

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Empirical Rugby

Empirical Rugby is a blog that provides fundmental insight into rugby union using empirical analysis of rugby data.

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