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Customer Review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice mixture of sport and maths (!), 27 Aug. 2013
This review is from: Beating the Odds: The Hidden Mathematics of Sport (Paperback)
If you like sport and have an interest in the statistics that seem to be produced for pretty much every major event and league then you can't really go wrong with this book. I personally have little interest in most sports, but I do have a mathematical background and that was enough to make the book enjoyable, so you don't necessarily need an interest in both sport and maths. The maths is dealt with in a straightforward manner for non-experts but an appendix gives more details if you want to understand more about the results that are given in the main body of the book.

The book covers all major sports that are played in the UK, as well as mentions of a few others. It's really a series of weakly related observations or notes about various mathematical patterns that are seen in sport. For example, some of the topics covered are:
-The shapes of balls
-Tactics for taking penalties in football
-Interpretation of the forward pass rule in rugby
-Subjective scoring in sports such as figure skating and boxing
-Record breaking
-The influence of winning a coin toss
-Where to aim at a dartboard
-Tactics for serving in tennis
-Angles in snooker
-Scoring systems in different sports and how they influence the results
-How to make sports more exciting

This is probably one of those slightly geeky books that won't appeal to everyone, but if maths and sport are your cup of tea to some extent then you will probably find something interesting here.
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