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This paper is from Session 5F: Statistics in sport
which comes under Topic 5: Statistics education and the wider society             Full topic list

(Tuesday 4th, 14:00-15:30)

Sports team quality as a context for understanding variability



When instruction in statistical concepts can be tied to practical sports issues, students are motivated to understand the statistical concepts. In this paper we describe an issue that would be relevant to discussions of many different sports leagues, and would also be a vehicle for teaching statistical concepts such as simulation, graphical displays, illusions of randomness, measurement of variability, and the logic of hypothesis testing. In addition to motivating a keen interest in the effects of random variation, these examples provide students with a way to verbalize what they learn in statistics classes to their lay acquaintances. Moreover, examples like these have the potential for engaging instructors who have been focused on more traditional approaches. Programs in the software language R are provided and their use with introductory classes is discussed.