A Probability Analysis of the Playoff System in Sumo Tournaments
If three rikishi are tied at the conclusion of a sumo tournament, then a playoff system is implemented to determine who will be the tournament champion. This system has the interesting property that the two rikishi who contest the first fight have an advantage over the third rikishi. Some probability calculations are presented which analyse this playoff system and which assess the relative advantages and disadvantages of the starting positions. The number of fights needed to determine the champion is also considered, and comparisons are made with a fairer playoff protocol. Extensions are also considered to situations with more than three rikishi.
KeywordsProbability Analysis Probability Calculation Probability Mass Function Balance Case Balance Situation
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