EURO working group on OR in Sports

NameEURO working group on OR in Sports
BoardAnthony Bedford (RMIT, Australia)
Simon Gleave (Infostrada)
Dries Goossens (University of Gent, Belgium)
Ruud Koning (University of Groningen, The Netherlands)
Phil Scarf (University of Salford, United Kingdom)
Frits Spieksma (KU Leuven, Belgium)
Ray Stefani (University of California, USA)
Stephan Westphal (TU Clausthal, Germany)
Coordinator Frits Spieksma
KU Leuven
Operations Research and Business Statistics
Naamsestraat 69
B-3000 Leuven
Phone: +32 479880896
Purpose and historyRelevance of sport in today’s society continues to increase. There are many indicators that corroborate this statement. For instance, this can be seen by the growing amounts of money that are at stake in so-called “large” sports, such as soccer, tennis, golf. Broadcasting rights for the Premier League (a soccer competition in England) are sold for over billions of euro’s. Individual soccer players are frequently transferred between soccer teams for sums that regularly exceed 10 million euro’s. Further, the attention given to sport events in the media has undeniably been growing. An extreme case is the coverage of Olympic Games. It is estimated that two out of every three persons on our planet watch part of this event: a coverage of unprecedented scale, having an enormous impact. The Olympic Games in London were covered by more than 20.000 accredited journalists. When we look at an individual athlete, we find that the days of hobbyism, ie carrying out sport as a leisure activity, are long gone indeed; instead, athletes have become professionals who rely upon a team of experts to guide them with respect to training, food, strategy, and, when relevant, engineers. In short, sports has become a profession. In addition, sports, especially for youth, is seen as a way of staying healthy, and in particular as a way of preventing obesitas, which is a growing concern in modern societies. As a consequence, sports is becoming more and more embedded within school, thereby signaling that society feels responsible for the physical well-being of its citizens. Concluding: sports are ever becoming more important.

The EWG OR in Sports aims to bring together all quantitative research that is related to sports in a broad sense. This is a vast domain, covering questions that range from the theoretical (say, for instance, tournament design), to the very applied (behavorial issues). However, the common denominator of this field is that it is related to sports, and that it is quantitative. Scientific research on this subject is scattered, and dispersed over many different fields, in particular operational research, statistics, health related studies, and so on. Often, research is done independently from each other, lacking a unifying forum. It is our conviction that there is a lot of potential for collaboration. Hence, our main objective is to make these fields interact, to foster new developments in this domain, thereby improving quality of research done in our field, and increasing the visibility of the results in our field.
Summarizing, the main objectives of the EWG OR in Sports are to
• stimulate collaborative research between members from different institutions, and from different professional backgrounds,
• organize conferences, workshops, and seminars,
• give PhD students a forum to present their work,
• have a positive impact on sports: rules, strategies, health, and organization.

All these objectives will contribute to further improve quality of research, and to allow for fast dissemination of results into practice.
Past activitiesCONFERENCES
MathSport International, Loughborough (UK), June 29 to July 1, 2015 (hosted by Loughborough University)

MathSport International, Leuven (Belgium), June 5 - 7, 2013 (Hosted by KU Leuven)

3rd IMA International Conference on Mathematics in Sport, Manchester, June 22 - 24, 2011 [Organised by IMA]

2nd IMA International Conference on Mathematics in Sport, Groningen, June 17-19, 2009 [Organised by IMA]

1st IMA International Conference on Mathematics in Sport, Manchester, June 24-26, 2007 [Organised by IMA]
Future activitiesMathSport International Conference 2017, to be held from Monday, June 26 to Wednesday, June 28 in 2017, hosted by Padua University, see
PublicationsA special issue of the Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports (JQAS) devoted to contributions to the 2015 Loughborough Conference has been published.

A special issue of the Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports (JQAS) has been published, see JQAS, Volume 10, issue 2 (2014).
Last modification2016-12-06

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License and the GNU Free Documentation License (unversioned, with no invariant sections, front-cover texts, or back-cover texts).

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