Welcome to the inaugural issue of Mathematics and Sports! This journal is supported by the Mathematical Association of America’s Sports Special Interest Group. We serve as an outlet for dissemination of research at the interface of mathematics and sports. We publish articles in three categories of Research, Education and Practice/Review.
First, we have a Research Article, “Analysis of Passing Networks in Soccer” by Amanda Harsy and John Laschober of Lewis University. The authors study passing networks formed during soccer through the analysis of players’ positioning and their passes throughout a match. They observe how the traditional method of using a weighted adjacency matrix referring to the number of passes between players creates a weighted directed graph, visually depicting the team’s strongest and weakest areas on the pitch, an approach that can provide worthwhile insight for organizations, coaches, and players.
Second, we have a Research Article, “An Analysis of an Alternative Pythagorean Expected Win Percentage Model: Applications Using Major League Baseball Team Quality Simulations” by Justin Ehrlich (Syracuse University), Christopher Boudreaux (Florida Atlantic University), James Boudreau (Kennesaw State University) and Shane Sanders (Syracuse University). Using 2014 MLB data, the authors explore the Pythagorean expected win percentage model to estimate teams’ expected wins and consider if there are alternative contest models that minimize error or information loss from misspecification and outperform the Pythagorean model.
Third we have an Education Article, “Skating on circles: Using figure skating blades to apply circular geometry concepts” by Diana Cheng and Robert Nedwick of Towson University.
The authors provide a Model-Eliciting Activity for secondary education students, exploring the radius of a figure skate blade using geometric and algebraic concepts. The activity was done with undergraduate students enrolled in a course on culturally-based perspectives of mathematics and science.
We warmly welcome submissions involving high quality quantitative analysis encompassing all aspects of sports at all levels with the aim to better understand sports and to further mathematics education through sports. Please contact Editor-in-Chief Megan Powell, email@example.com with questions.