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Parity in Professional Sports: A Comparison of the NFL, NBA, and MLB

Year: 
2012
Researcher(s): 
Ryan Rahrig and Laurence D. Robinson
Institution: 
Ohio Northern University
Discipline: 
Statistics

In the NFL the best and worst team regular season records in modern times were as follows: In 2007 the New England Patriots went 16 – 0, and in 2008 the Detroit Lions went 0 – 16. In the NBA the best and worst team regular season records in modern times were as follows: In 1995-96 the Chicago Bulls went 72 –10, and in 1972-73 the Philadelphia 76ers went 9 – 73. In the MLB the best and worst team regular season records in modern times were as follows: In 2003 the Seattle Mariners went 116 – 46, and in 1962 the New York Mets went 40 – 120. These most extreme season observations suggest that the level of parity among teams is greatest in the MLB and least in the NFL. In this talk we examine the issue of parity in greater detail. The ful conference program can be found here.

Miami University Fall Conference “Statistics in Sports”, September 28-29, 2012