Variability of scores and consistency in sport


Clarke, Stephen R.

Available versions


This paper discusses the concept of consistency in sport, and its relationship with the variability of the outcomes. Using examples from golf, cricket and field events, it is demonstrated that highly variable results will produce more wins, and in some cases better average scores than 'consistent' results. It is also shown that consistent behaviour can produce highly variable oucomes. This implies that if coaches or sports followers use subjective feelings about the actual scores of players or teams to judge consistency, they are likely to be severely misled. Given the importance of variability to the outcome of sporting events, the evaluation and publication of suitable measures such as variance is suggested.

Publication year


Publication type

Conference paper


2nd Conference on Mathematics and Computers in Sport, Gold Coast, Australia, 11-14 July 1994, pp. 69-81


Australia and New Zealand Industrial and Applied Mathematics


Copyright © 1994 Stephen R. Clarke.