# Luck and Randomness in Sports

#### Summary

In this assignment students will investigate an outcome in sports that involves some degree of randomness and assess the role that luck has played for the particular outcomes of teams or individuals. It has been designed for beginning statistics students familiar with the basics of probability and probability distributions. Students will first choose an outcome that is of interest and submit a synopsis describing: their chosen topic, what data they will collect, and their plans to analyze the data. After receiving feedback on their synopses, students will focus on collecting and analyzing their data. As part of their analysis, students will determine a likely range of values for the particular outcome of interest to them. They will need to decide on their own standards for what is deemed "lucky" and "probable". Then they will apply those standards to the outcomes for specific teams or individuals. The assignment will culminate with a report of both their process and findings.

## Learning Goals

Interpreting probability distributions

Collecting and analyzing real data

Learning how to support written arguments with numerical information

## Context for Use

## Description and Teaching Materials

## Teaching Notes and Tips

## Assessment

The final paper will be graded on:

How well the student has introduced and motivated the topic

The originality and appropriateness of the topic

The quality of the data collection

The effectiveness (and correct-ness) of the methods of displaying the data

How well the data is summarized in writing, including use of numerical summaries

The accuracy of the analysis from a quantitative/technical standpoint

The appropriateness of conclusions

The overall quality of writing (The paper should be written as a logical story. Is it compelling? Easy to follow? Are numerical results explained effectively in words?)