In this note statistical approaches to modelling sporting performances are discussed. Final year projects based on such modelling have proved popular in the past. With the upsurge in interest in the next Olympic Games in London in 2012, such modelling could provide teachers of statistics with a rich source of meaningful student projects. Students may be more motivated to do such projects simply because London is hosting the Games.
Previous analyses of world record times in a number of sports, including male/female performance comparisons, provide excellent examples for students to get their hands dirty with real data and learn about pitfalls in applying routine modelling procedures. The Games comprise 28 sports, and within athletics alone there are 47 events for men and women. Teachers of statistics could find it very beneficial to think about the very wide range of projects possible by jumping on the Olympics bandwagon!
Vol 8, Issue 4