Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Statistics Phenomenon On The Pitch: Often Two Players With The Same Birthday At The World Cup

Date:
June 12, 2008
Source:
Universitaet Dortmund
Summary:
The German defender Philipp Lahm and the Portuguese midfield star Maniche were both born on November 11 -- and they were both playing in the game for the third place at the World Cup 2006. Anyway, in more than half of the games at the World Cup 2006 at least two persons on the field had the same birthday. That is what a young researcher found out within the scope of her bachelor thesis. And for the European Championship 2008 which has just started, one can expect a similar result. The reason is the so-called birthday paradox.

The German defender Philipp Lahm and the Portuguese midfield star Maniche were both born on 11. November – and they were both playing in the game for the third place at the World Cup 2006. Anyway, in more than half of the games at the World Cup 2006 at least two persons on the field had the same birthday. That is what Yanina Lyesnyak found out within the scope of her bachelor thesis supervised by Prof. Walter Krδmer. And for the European Championship 2008 which has just started, the graduate of the study program “data analysis and data management” prognosticates a similar result. The reason is the so-called birthday paradox.

It implies that the probability to find two persons with the same birthday within a group of 23 people chosen at random amounts to more than 50 percent. Yanina Lyesnyak discovered her interest in this phenomenon rather accidentally: “Two friends of mine are both called Katharina and share the same birthday – I always thought this to be fascinating”, explains the graduate. During her study she started to deal with this topic and wanted it to become the subject of her final thesis. Then she only needed an object of investigation. “I looked for something that involves 23 people to examine the birthday paradox. A soccer game already involves 22 players – and I just added the referee”, she reports.

And then she examined all 64 games of the Soccer World Cup 2006 in view of the birthday paradox. The result: in 53 percent of the games there were actually at least two people on the field who shared the same birthday. Sometimes even three; for example, in the game Argentina versus Serbia-Montenegro. And the game Netherlands versus Argentina was especially striking as there were three pairs with the same birthdays. In her analysis Yanina Lyesnyak just dealt with the initial team line-ups, the players taken off were not considered. “But the result would have been the same as the number of people being together at random would again be 23”, she explains.

To further substantiate her results, she also examined the Women’s Soccer World Cup 2007; and here the paradox was validated again. “To get an almost 100 percent hit rate one has to examine 66 persons. With 66 persons, picked at random, the probability that two of them share the same birthday is nearly 100 percent”, says Lyesnyak. She regards the season pattern of births as the reason for this phenomenon.

“Most of the children are born at the end of summer or at the beginning of spring. An the fewest in December and February”. This can at least be applied to Europe – and with 14 teams most of the teams at the World Cup came from Europe. It therefore has to be seen whether the birthday paradox will appear during more than 53 percent of all games of the European Championship in Austria and Switzerland.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Universitaet Dortmund. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Universitaet Dortmund. "Statistics Phenomenon On The Pitch: Often Two Players With The Same Birthday At The World Cup." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 June 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080611182646.htm>.
Universitaet Dortmund. (2008, June 12). Statistics Phenomenon On The Pitch: Often Two Players With The Same Birthday At The World Cup. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080611182646.htm
Universitaet Dortmund. "Statistics Phenomenon On The Pitch: Often Two Players With The Same Birthday At The World Cup." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080611182646.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Monkeys Are Better At Math Than We Thought, Study Shows

Monkeys Are Better At Math Than We Thought, Study Shows

Newsy (Apr. 23, 2014) — A Harvard University study suggests monkeys can use symbols to perform basic math calculations. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet

High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) — The future of Aereo, an online service that provides over-the-air TV channels, hinges on a battle with broadcasters that goes before the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Aereo Takes on Broadcast TV Titans in Supreme Court Today

Aereo Takes on Broadcast TV Titans in Supreme Court Today

TheStreet (Apr. 22, 2014) — Aereo heads to the Supreme Court today to fight for its right to stream broadcast TV over the Internet -- against broadcasters who say the start-up infringes upon copyright law. TheStreet Deputy Managing Editor Leon Lazaroff explains the importance of the case in the TV industry and details what the outcome of it could mean for broadcasters and for cloud storage services -- as Aereo allows its subscribers to not just watch live TV shows but also store content to a DVR in the cloud. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lytro Introduces 'Illum,' A Professional Light-Field Camera

Lytro Introduces 'Illum,' A Professional Light-Field Camera

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) — The light-field photography engineers at Lytro unveiled their next innovation: a professional DSLR-like camera called "Illum." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins