The new FIFA rules are hard: Complexity aspects of sports competitions

Walter Kern, Daniël Paulusma

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Consider a soccer competition among various teams playing against each other in pairs (matches) according to a previously determined schedule. At some stage of the competition one may ask whether a particular team still has a (theoretical) chance to win the competition. The complexity of this question depends on the way scores are allocated according to the outcome of a match. For example, the problem is polynomially solvable for the ancient FIFA rules (2:0 resp. 1:1) but becomes NP-hard if the new rules (3:0 resp. 1:1) are applied. We determine the complexity of the above problem for all possible score allocation rules.
Original languageUndefined
Place of PublicationEnschede
PublisherUniversiteit Twente
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)0169-2690
Publication statusPublished - 1999

Publication series

NameMemorandum / Faculty of Mathematical Sciences
PublisherDepartment of Applied Mathematics, University of Twente
ISSN (Print)0169-2690


  • MSC-03D15
  • EWI-3325
  • IR-65693
  • METIS-141287
  • MSC-90C27

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