Numerous factors can affect the outcomes of sports matches; the number of referees should not be one of them. Michigan Technological University has been home to broomball matches for over 70 years. Estimating a negative binomial model, we find that varying the number of referees has the potential to render this sport, and other low-scoring, goal-based sports, inconsequential due to the measurable bias in the score count when there are too few referees – a one-referee reduction lowers total scoring by about one goal. We recommend that the number of referees be constant.
Associate Professor of Economics, College of Business, Michigan Technological University, Michigan, United States
Goal-based Sports, Referee-Related Scoring Bias, Negative Binomial Model