Some sports teams travel a lot more than others. Teams are often geographically aligned, but there are many historical factors (such as the movement of teams from one city to... Who's Online | Find Members | Private Messages
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Algorithmically Realigning Sports Leagues

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8 yrs ago, 8 mos ago - Wednesday 3/20/13 - 7:12:02 PM EST (GMT-5)
Some sports teams travel a lot more than others. Teams are often geographically aligned, but there are many historical factors (such as the movement of teams from one city to another) that make divisions and conferences far from ideal. For example, one of the more extreme examples I am aware of was the inclusion of University of Alaska Fairbanks in the otherwise Upper Midwest-based Central Collegiate Hockey Association. Or that in the NFL, the AFC East consists of Buffalo, New York, Boston, and Miami. Notice an outlier?

Well, a team of mathematicians at West Point set out to find an algorithm that could solve some of these problems. In their article posted on the arXiv titled Realignment in the NHL, MLB, the NFL, and the NBA, they explore how to easily construct different team divisions.
8 yrs ago, 8 mos ago - Wednesday 3/20/13 - 7:14:02 PM EST (GMT-5)
For example, with the relatively recent move of Atlanta’s hockey team to Winnipeg, the current team alignment is pretty weird, and the NHL has proposed a new 4-division configuration.



Wired

Original article on arxiv
8 yrs ago, 8 mos ago - Wednesday 3/20/13 - 7:14:41 PM EST (GMT-5)

8 yrs ago, 8 mos ago - Thursday 3/21/13 - 2:40:19 AM EST (GMT-5)
Problems.

-The proposed configuration is wrong.

-Neglected the fact that the new alignment was made to create something more geographically relevant AND to keep some of the best rivalries in the NHL together AND rekindle legendary rivalries from years past.

-The new finalized set-up is also created with intended room for expansion and relocation.

-Time zones.

Better luck next time math nerds.
8 yrs ago, 8 mos ago - Thursday 3/21/13 - 2:46:24 AM EST (GMT-5)
I love Monyball.
It shows how math nerds ALMOST made a winner.

8 yrs ago, 8 mos ago - Thursday 3/21/13 - 4:16:59 AM EST (GMT-5)
"The NHL may prefer that PHI and PIT remain together, and that other traditional
rivals remain in the same division. In the left of Figure 9, we give the best solution
that keeps the following teams together: TB and FLA; PHI and PIT; NY Rangers,
NY Islanders, and NJ Devils; Calgary and Edmonton; Anaheim and Los Angeles."





8 yrs ago, 8 mos ago - Thursday 3/21/13 - 4:29:07 AM EST (GMT-5)
And it goes on to say that their method could be applied to expansion, but don't go into much detail.
8 yrs ago, 8 mos ago - Thursday 3/21/13 - 4:47:54 AM EST (GMT-5)
We're talking about shaving less than 10% of travel distance to create divisions that retain current time zone issues and still falter on creating four divisions that all meet the excellent balance that has been universally acclaimed by players, media, owners, and fans.

Still problem.
8 yrs ago, 8 mos ago - Thursday 3/21/13 - 4:52:41 AM EST (GMT-5)
And in the most reasonable case, actually higher travel time due to their base proposed deal being wrong.



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