World Cup Science

As the US prepares to play its first game in Brazil at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, I had a chance to peruse the most recent Scientific American and several soccer related articles.  This is available online, and for the science oriented fan of the beautiful game it’s worth a look.  Here are a few factoids I found fascinating:

  • Red uniforms seem to lend a slight competitive advantage in one vs. one sports.  I’ve no idea how this relates to team sports like soccer.
  • Not really news but soccer players have evidence for traumatic brain injury similar to American Football players.  There are several articles discussing various aspects of this topic.
  • The use of goal line sensors in this year’s FIFI World Cup should markedly reduce the chance of errors in referees deciding if a goal has been scored or not. The Article referenced in Scientific American discusses the two technologies that can be used for this purpose.
  • Smog in San Paulo can be so bad that it may be unhealthy for fans and players.  How bad? A study suggests that the pollution there may cause 3x as many deaths as traffic accidents in the city! A video on their web site talks about this pollution.
  • A new mathematical model for analyzing the statistical odds of teams winning has been developed.  Bookies beware.


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