Outcome Uncertainty in Sporting Events
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Outcome Uncertainty in Sporting Events

Winning, Losing and Competitive Balance

Edited by Plácido Rodríguez, Stefan Kesenne and Brad R. Humphreys

This book examines competitive balance and outcome uncertainty from multiple perspectives. Chapters address the topic in different sports in a range of countries, to help to understand its significance. It provides readers with important new insights into previously unexplored dimensions as well as a rich context for better understanding why fans, teams, and leagues value competitive balance. The book challenges readers to think about the topic in a broad and rigorous way, and in some cases to question widely held beliefs about how outcome uncertainty motivates competitive balance, and how sports fans actually view competitive balance.
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Chapter 3: When teammates are a drag: the effect of Spingate on the benefit of NASCAR drivers having teammates

Stephen Jenkins and E. Frank Stephenson

Abstract

Controversy arose in the 2013 North American National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) Sprint Cup auto-racing season when Clint Bowyer of the Michael Waltrip Racing team appeared to deliberately spin out in a race at the Richmond International Raceway in order to help teammate Martin Truex Jr qualify for the Chase for the Cup. In response to this controversy about the integrity of its races, NASCAR changed its rules before its 2014 season to disallow on-track collusion between drivers. This chapter uses data from the 2012–14 NASCAR seasons to examine the effect of the rule changes on driver performance. Our results indicate that drivers in teams receive a performance boost and that the effect operates through both on-track and off-track channels, but that the on-track benefit of having teammates was reduced by the Spingate reforms.

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