Tag Archives: math

Euro2012 to Learn Math

I am a big soccer fan and there has been some debate on whether Cristiano Ronaldo should have been one of the first four penalty kick takers. I used to coach soccer at the high school level, but never was in a penalty shootout so I’m not sure what I would. The coach of Portugal has some valid reasons, saving the best player for last, for having Ronaldo kick last, but statistically is that the best option?

I don’t teach math so I may not have a clue about what I am talking about here, but I think that this could turn into a project. Any student that is a soccer enthusiast could research the length (number of rounds) of penalty kick shootouts in major tournaments the last 10 – 30 years. The can determine the average number of rounds a shootout lasted to determine where the best player should kick. If the majority of shootouts last 5 rounds, than maybe the Portugese coach was right. If not, maybe he needs a student to run some statistics for him.

I don’t know the answer to this problem….but that is why I hope a student would be interested in tackling this problem.