Do the 'Three-Point Victory' and 'Golden Goal' Rules Make Soccer More Exciting? A Theoretical Analysis of a Simple Game

15 Pages Posted: 16 Apr 2002

See all articles by Isabelle Brocas

Isabelle Brocas

University of Southern California - Department of Economics

Juan D. Carrillo

University of Southern California - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: March 2002

Abstract

This note argues that a rigorous application of simple game theory may provide unambiguous yet non-trivial theoretical insights about the behaviour of players in simple games. This contrasts with a commonly held view that many predictions in applied game theory are either obvious or inconclusive. To illustrate our point, we analyse the merits of two controversial changes in soccer rules, namely the 'three-point victory' and the 'golden goal'. Starting from standard premises, we present some original conclusions that are neither trivial nor the result of a twisted argument. We feel that soccer is a particularly good example for our exercise due to the simplicity of its main rules, but also to the proliferation of ad-hoc reasoning among soccer fans.

Keywords: Soccer rules, game theory

JEL Classification: C72

Suggested Citation

Brocas, Isabelle and Carrillo, Juan D., Do the 'Three-Point Victory' and 'Golden Goal' Rules Make Soccer More Exciting? A Theoretical Analysis of a Simple Game (March 2002). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=307581

Isabelle Brocas (Contact Author)

University of Southern California - Department of Economics ( email )

3022 S. Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States
213-740-8842 (Phone)
213-740-8543 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www-rcf.usc.edu/~brocas/

Juan D. Carrillo

University of Southern California - Department of Economics ( email )

3022 S. Vermont Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States
213-740-3526 (Phone)
213-740-8543 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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