Forum for Science, Industry and Business
Search our Site:

Topic (optional):

# Statistic Phenomenon on the Pitch: Often Two Players with the Same Birthday at the World Cup

## The German defender Philipp Lahm and the Portuguese midfield star Maniche were both born on 11. November – and they were both playing in the game for the third place at the World Cup 2006.

Anzeige

Anyway, in more than half of the games at the World Cup 2006 at least two persons on the field had the same birthday. That is what Yanina Lyesnyak found out within the scope of her bachelor thesis supervised by Prof. Walter Krämer.

And for the European Championship 2008 which has just started, the graduate of the study program “data analysis and data management” prognosticates a similar result. The reason is the so-called birthday paradox.

It implies that the probability to find two persons with the same birthday within a group of 23 people chosen at random amounts to more than 50 percent. Yanina Lyesnyak discovered her interest in this phenomenon rather accidentally: “Two friends of mine are both called Katharina and share the same birthday – I always thought this to be fascinating”, explains the graduate. During her study she started to deal with this topic and wanted it to become the subject of her final thesis. Then she only needed an object of investigation. “I looked for something that involves 23 people to examine the birthday paradox. A soccer game already involves 22 players – and I just added the referee”, she reports.

And then she examined all 64 games of the Soccer World Cup 2006 in view of the birthday paradox. The result: in 53 percent of the games there were actually at least two people on the field who shared the same birthday. Sometimes even three; for example, in the game Argentina versus Serbia-Montenegro. And the game Netherlands versus Argentina was especially striking as there were three pairs with the same birthdays. In her analysis Yanina Lyesnyak just dealt with the initial team line-ups, the players taken off were not considered. “But the result would have been the same as the number of people being together at random would again be 23”, she explains.

To further substantiate her results, she also examined the Women’s Soccer World Cup 2007; and here the paradox was validated again. “To get an almost 100 percent hit rate one has to examine 66 persons. With 66 persons, picked at random, the probability that two of them share the same birthday is nearly 100 percent”, says Lyesnyak. She regards the season pattern of births as the reason for this phenomenon.

“Most of the children are born at the end of summer or at the beginning of spring. An the fewest in December and February”. This can at least be applied to Europe – and with 14 teams most of the teams at the World Cup came from Europe. It therefore has to be seen whether the birthday paradox will appear during more than 53 percent of all games of the European Championship in Austria and Switzerland.

Ole Luennemann | Source: alphagalileo
Further information: www.tu-dortmund.de

##### next article

More articles from Statistics:

More than 400,000 higher education graduates in 2012
17.09.2013 | Statistisches Bundesamt

Share of women among professors increases to over 20% in 2012
11.07.2013 | Statistisches Bundesamt

All articles from Statistics >>>
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Overview of the latest five Focus news of the innovations-report:
###### In the focus: Three-dimensional view helps laser in building new molecules

International team of scientists develops new feedback method for optimizing the laser pulse shapes used in the control of chemical reactions

In many ways, traditional chemical synthesis is similar to cooking. To alter the final product, you can change the ingredients or their ratio, change the method of mixing ingredients, or change the temperature or pressure of the environment of the ingredients.

Like an accomplished chef, chemists have become very skilled ...

###### In the focus: Resistant against the flu

A genetic defect protects mice from infection with influenza viruses

A new study published in the scientific journal PLOS Pathogens points out that mice lacking a protein called Tmprss2 are no longer affected by certain flu viruses.

The discovery was made by researchers from the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) in Braunschweig in collaboration with colleagues from Göttingen and ...

###### In the focus: Light quality in offices - Global study gets underway with online user survey

The Light: Global study gets underway with online user survey

Light has a fundamental impact on our sense of well-being and performance. In cooperation with Zumtobel, a supplier of lighting solutions, Fraunhofer IAO has launched a global user survey of lighting quality in offices. The objective is to identify the best lighting conditions for a variety of spaces and lighting ...

###### In the focus: ‘Spooky action’ builds a wormhole between ‘entangled’ particles

Quantum entanglement, a perplexing phenomenon of quantum mechanics that Albert Einstein once referred to as “spooky action at a distance,” could be even spookier than Einstein perceived.

Physicists at the University of Washington and Stony Brook University in New York believe the phenomenon might be intrinsically linked with wormholes, hypothetical features of space-time that in popular science fiction can provide a much-faster-than-light shortcut from one part of the universe to another.

But here’s the catch: One couldn’t actually ...

###### In the focus: Explosive growth of young star

A star is formed when a large cloud of gas and dust condenses and eventually becomes so dense that it collapses into a ball of gas, where the pressure heats the matter, creating a glowing gas ball – a star is born.

New research from the Niels Bohr Institute, among others, shows that a young, newly formed star in the Milky Way had such an explosive growth, that it was initially about 100 times brighter than it is now. The results are published in the scientific journal, Astrophysical Journal Letters.

The young ...

All Focus news of the innovations-report >>>

## B2B Search

Product / Service
Company / Organisation

## Latest News

06.12.2013 | Materials Sciences

06.12.2013 | Life Sciences

06.12.2013 | Life Sciences

## Event News

05.12.2013 | Event News

04.12.2013 | Event News

12.11.2013 | Event News