Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
1Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
MercierTablesNSA

MercierTablesNSA

Ratings: (0)|Views: 6|Likes:
Published by Elaine M. George
Reference by Grammaticos regarding "Mercier Scoring Tables" for Track and Field" (Dr. Daniel Mercier, University of Montreal, Department of Kinesiologie;
Reference by Grammaticos regarding "Mercier Scoring Tables" for Track and Field" (Dr. Daniel Mercier, University of Montreal, Department of Kinesiologie;

More info:

Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: Elaine M. George on Oct 31, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

08/23/2014

pdf

text

original

 
The physical basis of scoring the athletic performance
Basile Grammaticos
Laboratoire d'Imagerie et Modélisation pour la Neurobiologie et la CancérologieUniversités Paris VII et Paris XICNRS, UMR 8165Bât. 104, 91406 Orsay, France
Abstract
We present a new scoring scheme, using a simple analytic expression, for the scoringof performances in athletics. It is based on two main ideas. The first is that the num- ber of points should increase with the (useful) energy expenditure of the athletic ef-fort. The second, inspired from the works of D. Harder, is that the number of pointsattributed increases when the number of athletes who realise a given performance de-creases. Finally, the current IAAF decathlon tables provide the statistical basis for our approach leading to a scoring system close to the one currently used except (by con-struction) for the lowest performances.
1. Introduction
Competition, typically for scarcely available resources, is hardwired in all living be-ings. In human society the drive for competition has led to various ritualised activitiesthe most prominent of which are sports. While recreation sports express the need for  physical exercise and are essentially of ludic character, competition sports focus onthe comparison of the individual (or a team) to others within a precise setting. Thenotion of comparison is even more deeply ingrained in sports with quantitative char-acter, where the performance can be objectively assessed. The advantage of quantita-tive, codified, sports is that they allow universal comparisons: the performance of twoathletes can be compared even though they have never competed against each other.On the other hand it would be illusory to extend these comparisons to non-contemporary athletes: too many parameters change over time (material conditions,rules, scientific support etc.) to make diachronic comparisons meaningful. Still, insports where continuity is ensured through a sustained activity, the existence of re-cords and the monitoring of the performances is quite useful since it, almost always,involves short time steps, typically of the order of a few years.While quantitative measurements allow comparisons of the performance of competi-tors within the same discipline, the situation becomes more complicated when differ-ent specialities are involved. Clearly such a comparison is meaningful. Everybodywould agree that the performance of a world champion in some event is better thanthat of an inexperienced competitor in a different event. But there is a possibility tomake this comparison more precise and to distinguish performances on which only
 
specialists could
a priori
pronounce themselves. The need for this comparison goes back to the competition trait we have stressed at the beginning of this section. Butthere exists also another, more practical, necessity, that of combined events. Since themost ancient times, the quest for the best all-around athlete has led to the proposal of combined- or multi- events [1]. While the classification of the ancient greek pentath-lon was based on ranks in the four events with the last, wrestling, event being the tie- break, the modern approach was much more quantitative. With the introduction of decathlon tables [2], the performances in athletics were converted to a number of  points (typically between 0 and 1000) allowing thus a fine scoring for combinedevents and greatly facilitating inter-events comparisons.In this paper we shall examine the question of scoring from two points of view. Thefirst focuses on the physical (dynamical, physiological) basis for scoring [3]. Thesecond is inspired by the theories of D. Harder (his "apples to oranges" approach [4])which furnishes a basis for inter-sport comparisons. We shall compare Harder's tablesto the current IAAF ones [5] and establish their close parallel. Finally our two pointsshall converge to the proposal of a scoring system based on a simple analytic expres-sion satisfying the basic physical requirements, closely approximating the currentIAAF tables and carrying the ideas of Harder to their logical extrapolation.
2. The energetic basis of scoring
As pointed out in the introduction, there exists a psycho- and socio- logical need for scoring. But what is more important is the necessity of efficient and fair scoring for combined events [6]. In sports like athletics where scoring tables were introduced acentury ago one can assert that a certain level of maturity has been attained.How does one go about setting up scoring tables? Two things are needed. First, de-cide on the correspondence between performance and points within a given disciplineand second on the correspondence of performances accross disciplines. The com-monly used approach relies heavily on statistics [7] and, provided a large data basisexists, gives fairly reliable results. In what follows we shall address these two points,the first on the basis of physical arguments and the second with the help of the theoryof D. Harder. Scoring tables are obviously not written in stone and have to be revisedregularly (not too often, lest they destabilise the combined events community). In particular, whenever a major change, due to equipment evolution or rule change, in-tervenes, the scoring tables must rapidly adapt in order to reestablish a fair judgment.While the statistical approach to scoring table construction gives perfectly acceptableresults, it is rather phenomenological and does not lead to an understanding of theunderlying mechanism. In the following paragraphs we are going to propose an
abinitio
approach [8] where the assumptions for the table construction will be clearlystated and will make possible
in fine
a very simple parametrisation.
 
In my modelling courses I always ask the question: "what is the physical equivalentof money?" Eschewing all marxist overtones, we can safely answer that if we seek a physical quantity which could play the role of money then the best candidate is freeenergy
i.e.
the amount of energy which can be converted into work. Extrapolating thesituation in a sports' setting we can decide that the reward of a performance, in termsof points attributed, must be closely related to the work necessary in order to producethe performance. It is thus of capital importance to know the energetic cost of thevarious disciplines.A
caveat 
is in order at this point. It is clear that we will limit our discussion to indi-vidual sports where the performance is essentially conditionned by the energy pro-duced. Sports like athletics or swimming, which depend mainly on physiological fac-tors, fit easily into this frame. Sports where the performance is not just a matter of  physiology but where aesthetic and precision factors enter largely could also be in-cluded in a generalised approach. The notion of free energy and its relation to entropywould have to be clearly defined for these disciplines. This is quite a formidable task and nobody, at least to my knowledge, has addressed this question.In the case of athletics, which will be the focus of the present study, the energeticcosts of the various events are well-known and easily assessed. In the field events themeasured length
 s
is proportional to the (useful) work produced
i.e.
 
ε
=
λ
s
. In the caseof running the measurement of the energetic cost has been the object of detailed stud-ies. Following the analysis of the litera
ture [9] we may well assume that the energyexpenditure
ε
when running a given distance with mean velocity
v
is given by
ε
=
α
+
β
v
+
γ
v
2
(1)where
α
,
β
and
γ
are constants. The precise values of these constants are not impor-tant but one point is remarkable: the coefficient
γ
is very small, typically several hun-dred times smaller than
α
. As a consequence we expect this term to play a role onlyfor the shortest races, where the registered speeds are in excess of 10 m/s. Thus agood approximation of the energetic cost of running could be
ε
=
α
+
β
v
,
i.e.
the energyis a linear function of the velocity. (This is definitely not true in other disciplines inwhich either higher velocities, like cycling, or higher medium resistance, like swim-ming are involved. There, the energetic cost is definitely not a linear function of thevelocity).A (very) simple model of scoring table would thus be one where the number of points
 p
is a linear function of the velocity
v
for running or of the distance
s
for field events.The relation of points to velocity or distance becomes now

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->