The working group is coordinated by the following members:

Dries Goossens


Dries Goossens is associate professor at the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration of Ghent University. His research interests are mainly in tournament scheduling and related fairness issues (e.g. the carry-over effect); favorite sports are cycling and football (soccer). Together with Frits Spieksma, he has been computing the official schedule for the Belgian Pro League since 2006. Apart from sports, Dries Goossens has also done research on other timetabling problems, combinatorial auctions, and the transportation problem.

Phil Scarf


Phil Scarf is Associate Dean Research at Salford Business School. His principal research in sports relates to strategy and decision making. His favourite sports to play are adventure racing, orienteering and cycling, and to watch is rugby union. He chairs Mathsport International, the biennual conference on Maths in Sport in the Northern hemisphere. He developed the EA Sports Player Performance Index with Ian McHale.

Frits Spieksma

The Netherlands, Amsterdam, 09 June, 2009. Portrait Prof. dr. Frits C.R. Spieksma, ORSTAT (Operations Research & Business Statistics), Faculty of Business and Economics, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. Photo: /// Nederland, Amsterdam, 09 juni 2009. Portret Prof. dr. Frits C.R. Spieksma, ORSTAT (Operations Research & Business Statistics), Faculteit Economie en Bedrijfswetenschappen, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. Foto: /// © 2009, all rights reserved /// Copyright information: /// /// +31207173456 /// Reference code: 090609007 Frits Spieksma.jpg, The Netherlands/NLD, Amsterdam, 09JUN09

Frits Spieksma is working as a full professor at the faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science of TU Eindhoven. He is doing research on operations research, especially combinatorial optimization problems and applications thereof. Apart from sport scheduling, he also works on various other scheduling problems, and classic problems in combinatorial optimization as e.g. assignment and transportation problems.

Stephan Westphal


Stephan Westphal is professor of Discrete Optimization at Clausthal University of Technology. His current research interests include combinatorial optimization, online optimization, sports scheduling, vehicle routing, and scheduling. He developed the mathematical models and the corresponding software for the tournament scheduling of the German Soccer League (DFL), the German Basketball League (Beko BBL) and the German Ice Hockey League (DEL).

Ray Stefani


Dr. Ray Stefani is an emeritus professor of Engineering at the California State University, Long Beach, USA. His more than 100 publications are evenly divided between individual and team sports. He seeks a fundamental understanding of the physics, physiology, causes of gender differential performance, rates of improvement, effect of historical events and effects of performance enhancing drugs related to Olympic gold medal performances in athletics (track and field), swimming, rowing and speed skating. He has analyzed Olympic home nation medal advantage He developed a least squared team rating system applied to predicting the outcome of more than 20,000 games of American football, basketball, European soccer, Australian Rules football, and Super Rugby.

Ruud Koning


Ruud Koning is Professor by Special Appointment in Sports Economics via the W.J.H. Mulier Institute (a centre for socioscientific sports research).  He graduated ‘cum laude’ in Econometrics at the University of Groningen in 1988 and in 1995 he gained his PhD at the same university with a thesis entitled ‘Essays on applied microeconometrics’.  Since then, he worked as Academy Researcher and spent time at Brown University in the US.  He has been active in research at the interface of economics, statistics and sport for a considerable time now, focusing, for example, on measurement and determination of competitive balance in different sports, market mechanisms in professional football (for the Ministry of Economic Affairs), and the informational content of prices on betting markets. He has extensive experience with prediction models for analysing large-scale football tournaments.

Mario Guajardo

Mario Guajardo is Professor in Operations Research at NHH Norwegian School of Economics. Since 2005, a main focus of his research is the development of optimization models for tournament scheduling and referee assignment. Together with colleagues, he has implemented scheduling solutions for the South American Qualifiers to the FIFA World Cup, and for the main football leagues of Argentina, Chile, and Ecuador. His research interests also include logistics, natural resources, and game theory. Apart from research, he attempts to play football and squash.

Ioannis Ntzoufras


Ioannis Ntzoufras is a Professor of Statistics and currently the Head of the Department of Statistics at Athens University of Economics and Business (AUEB). He is working in the area of Bayesian modelling and computation with emphasis in variable selection. He has published a worldwide best seller book on Bayesian modelling. In parallel with his main research activities he has worked on modelling football data, measures of competitive balance in sports leagues and performance analysis in Volleyball. His more recent sport projects involve Bayesian statistical models for Volleyball and European Basketball.

Anthony Bedford

Dmitry Dagaev


Dmitry Dagaev is the head of Laboratory of Sports Studies at HSE University (Moscow, Russia). His primary research interest is tournament design. Also, he is interested in applications of game theory and social choice theory to voting procedures in sports and sports ratings. Jointly with Gleb Vasiliev and Arseniy Stolyarov, he has been scheduling the Russian Premier League since 2019. Recently, the same team has been working for the Russian Football Union on the recommendation system for referee assignments.

Simon Gleave