What is it about?

When we think about sports, we believe they are the perfect examples of how talent and hard work are eventually repaid. However, we tend to forget that many unpredictable events could affect the career of successful athletes. This work explains how luck influences a specific sport, fencing, where you face an opponent in knock-out tournaments.

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Why is it important?

This work questions our naive belief in the myth of meritocracy. We should recognize that we often fail at rewarding the most talented ones.


Quantitative studies about sports, from a data science perspective, are underrated in the scientific community. Instead, every sport should be in the spotlight, as they all are fundamental for our well-being.

Chiara Zappalà
Budapesti Corvinus Egyetem

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: On the role of chance in fencing tournaments: An agent-based approach, PLoS ONE, May 2022, PLOS,
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0267541.
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