Friday, December 23, 2011

Mid-Season Bundesliga Prediction Contest Update

Before the season started I invited readers to participate in a season-long Budesliga prediction contest. we are now at the mid-season break, which provides a convenient time to evaluate where things stand.

Before getting to the results, let me explain the methodology used to evaluate the predictions. I identified the final standings at the end of the 2010-2011 season as the baseline evaluation of skill. Skill refers to the ability to out-perform a naive baseline. The choice of naive baseline is arbitrary. Specifically, for each place in the table, I take the difference between that place and a predicted place and square it. So if you predicted Bayern in 4th and they are in 1st, then the difference is 3, and squared is 9. I then add up the squared differences for all 18 places, and then take the square root of that sum. That gives a measure of the total error in the prediction.

Here are the results at mid-season:

Max 10.7
Roger 14.7
Spiegel 15.1
rjtklein 21.7
Reiner 23.5
SKILL 27.8
ob 28.1
Werner 30.3

Four of the six participants show skill, if last year's table is used as the naive baseline, but only two show skill if Der Spiegel's pre-season prediction is used as the naive baseline.

There is also a preliminary conclusion that suggests being located in Colorado is correlated with extreme skill, but I think we'll need more data to confirm the association! ;-)

Stay tuned, I'll provided the skill table for the Premier League contest next week!


  1. nice! my sentimentality for Chelsea will likely get in the way of my success in the EPL prediction a certain level of detachment can help

  2. re my above comment; perhaps it is better called a 'conflict of interest'?

  3. Hi Max,

    If you've got money riding on Chelsea then you have a COI, otherwise just a bias. If you are as bias/conflicted as college football coaches, then you can expect that your sentimentality will cost you as much as 20 points in the EPL contest, which seems to me like a fair handicap for the rest of us!