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02-25-2013, 06:55 PM
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Some of you might be familiar with the empirical work on basketball players. Basically they found that a shooters likelyhood of scoring was, in no statistically significant sense, dependant on them sinking the previous bucket. IE: cold streaks and hot streaks are about as common as landing 8 straight heads on a coin flip or 10 straight tails, that is to say, they happen, but scoring the next basket is no more likely if you landed the previous 4.

Im watching the Leafs play the Flyers the commentators are talking about 'ketchup bottle guys' (with reference to Kessel) when they score one they keep scoring, they say everyone is like that, they say it has to do with confidence.

is this the case empirically?

or do some guys just go 8 games without a goal and then score in 5 straight
like you might land 8 heads straight
and then 4 tails

Maybe there are ketchup bottle guys, but that might be because once a guy scores 1 or 2 they get more ice time, better line mates etc...
you gotta control for things like ice time, if youre cold you might get less ice time, be deployed in less dangerous scoring situations...
So after that is the 'ketchup bottle guys' thing still valid?
Are streaks related to confidence? Or are they simply random.

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02-25-2013, 07:03 PM
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It's almost always random. The thing is, people love to see something more in what is essentially pure variance. That's how things like the "hot hand fallacy" (which is what you're referring to) are born.

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02-25-2013, 10:39 PM
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Streaks are the perceived result of variable player health, and normal statistical variance.

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02-26-2013, 06:08 PM
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In a loose sense I do think streaks are a real thing in athletics. Athletes get "in the zone" and if you've played sports you've probably experienced it yourself. Good luck predicting it though.

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