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Title: Evaluating sports tournament predictions Authors:  Claus Ekstrom - University of Copenhagen (Denmark) [presenting]
Abstract: Predicting the winner of a sports tournament has become an ever-increasing challenge for researchers, sports fans and the growing business of bookmakers. Before the start of major tournaments, such as the FIFA World Cup, the Australian Open, or the IHF Handball Championship, the world press is discussing the various predictions. The quality of the predictions is evaluated after the tournaments. A novel way to evaluate the quality and precision of pre-tournament predictions is presented. The best prediction is the one that most closely resembles the actual outcome of the tournament while still avoiding making confident - but wrong - claims about the outcome. This new tournament rank prediction score (TRPS) will be illustrated by comparing different predictions from the 2018 FIFA World Cup. We will discuss how the TRPS can be used to optimally combine various predictions methods by assigning weights to each prediction in such a way that the TRPS becomes maximal.