Editorials & Opinion

The draw – does conventional wisdom hold up?

The draw – does conventional wisdom hold up?

With today’s semifinal allocation draw upon us, it seemed like a good time to go digging about in the semifinal numbers. To start with, let me say that I’ve only taken data from the semifinals between 2010 and 2013 inclusive. 2004-2007 were discounted because there was only one semifinal, and almost all countries voted in them; whilst 2008-2009 I left out because they were decided by pure televotes and a jury save. The data from 2010-2013 gives us four years’ worth of solid figures from a two semifinal, 50-50 system. So, what’s lurking in the numbers? Ultimately I set out to prove the logic that you’re better off being drawn in the second half of a semi than the first. Looking back over the past four years, 35 qualifiers came from the first half and 45 from the second – so that holds up. But what is interesting to look at is the average points a country scores in each half. Over three of the last four years, a country has averaged more points in the second half than they have in the first, as you can see on the graph below: It should be noted though that in 2013, …
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