Tournament Incentives in Professional Bowling

Michael L. Bognanno

in The Oxford Handbook of Sports Economics

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780195387780
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Tournament Incentives in Professional Bowling

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  • Econometrics and Mathematical Economics


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This article explores a seven-year period of Professional Bowling Association tournaments to examine the effectiveness of the incentive structure in bringing about effort and performance. It also draws implications from tournament theory regarding the influence of dispersion and skewness in the prize structure on effort. The two most distinct portions of bowling tournaments are studied separately. Estimations are first performed on the qualifying and match play rounds and then on the televised match play, elimination championship round. The trend coefficient indicates that players' scores were generally rising during the sample period. Increases in the number of games in a tournament reduce average scores, perhaps because of player fatigue. There was no evidence found that increases in the percentage of the total prize money going to first place or in the coefficient of skewness increased player scores. Skewness decreased the scores of even those players in contention for top prizes.

Keywords: Professional Bowling Association; incentives; tournament theory; dispersion; skewness; prize structure; player fatigue

Article.  7052 words. 

Subjects: Economics ; Industry Studies ; Econometrics and Mathematical Economics

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