Through various media channels we often hear about the value of sport as entertainment. Part of this entertainment stems from observing closely fought competition. In this paper, we ascertain the most competitive mainstream domestic competition using a generic rating engine which creates output known as "Team Lodeings." Team Lodeings measure the relative performance of sports teams.The motivation for the development of this ratings engine was to predict international rugby results. More specifically, to determine how Team A would fare against Team C given the performance of Team A against Team B and how well Team B went against Team C. Standardisation, converting the match result to a score ratio and an adaptation of the chi-square test of independence, make it possible to apply this methodology to different sports and compare results meaningfully.The method is validated internally and externally using established measures of team performance with data from 23 domestic competitions, from a variety of sports across several countries. As this method enables direct comparison of teams from different competitions it allows examination of issues such as the impact of the salary cap on competition balance.
©2011 Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin/Boston