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J Sports Sci. 2002 Oct;20(10):771-81.

Sport competition as a dynamical self-organizing system.

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University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, Canada.


The existence of structure in sport competition is implicated in the widespread practice of using the information gathered from a past contest to prepare for a future contest. Based on this reasoning, we previously analysed squash match-play for evidence of signature traits from among the stochastic relations between the various types of shot. The mixed findings from these analyses led us to re-analyse squash match-play as a dynamical system. Here, we extend this line of investigation with some suggestions as to how various sports might be described further within this theoretical framework. We offer some examples of dynamical interactions in dyadic (i.e. one vs one) and team (e.g. many vs many) sports, as well as some predictions from a dynamical systems analysis for these types of sports contests. This paper should serve to initiate further research into the complex interactions that occur in sport competition.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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