In my previous post I looked at how important the missing vowels round was in terms of the total points scored along with how often it allowed a team to come from behind and win (spoilers: not very). Here I'll be going into a bit more detail about round-by-round scoring, specifically how individual teams have scored. The graphs below show the points scored by each team across the four rounds of the show for the first seven series (I've not included any statistics from series eight as it's ongoing). With 99 shows in total you're looking at data for 198 teams in each graph. You'll probably want to right-click and open in a new tab to get a bigger version; there are a lot of delicious numbers here.
|Distribution of round-by-round scores by each team|
It is of course fun to single out a few 'records' that these data reveal:
Round 1 (connections) highest score: 12. Achieved by the Alesman (vs. the Pool Sharks) in a series 4 first round match.
Round 2 (sequences) highest score: 10. Achieved three times: Gamblers (vs. Bowlers, series 3 second round), Wintonians (vs. Quitters, series 6 first round), and Francophiles (vs. Cartophiles, series 7 semi-final).
Round 3 (walls) lowest score: 1. Achieved by the Second Violinists (vs. the Footballers) in the first round of series 6.
Round 4 (missing vowels) lowest score: -3. Achieved by the Geocachers (vs. the Brit Poppers) in the first round of series 4.
Round 4 (missing vowels) highest score: 22. Achieved by the Epicureans (vs. the Courtiers) in an incredibly long missing vowels in the first round of series 4.
It's only fair to add that the Geocachers' -3 should be put into context; they had some ground to make up and so needed to be a bit trigger-happy. Curiously their opponents in that game, the Brit Poppers, faced similar misfortune in their next episode scoring -1 in missing vowels against the Radio Addicts. This gives the Brit Poppers the fairly impressive distinction of appearing on the only two shows in Only Connect history to see a negative score recorded in the final round.
It came as some surprise to me, when putting these together, that the Board Gamers' round two score of 11 in our opening match this series is a new record for sequences. I have subsequently reminded our captain that, had he listened to the two people shouting "point!" at him (and not inexplicably said "warhead") on a throwover, this 'achievement' would be even harder to surpass.
Another idea that interested me was whether certain rounds are more or less likely to be won by the team that go on to win the match. It turns out there is some variation across rounds in this regard, albeit not much. At the top end, it's round 2 (sequences) that best indicates which team will win; being carried by the eventual winners 70% of the time. Missing vowels comes in second, falling to the match winners in 64% of episodes, while the connections round is much more of a toss-up at 59%. The team that wins the match only wins the wall 52% of the time, but this is mainly thanks to a large number of draws; 28% of wall rounds end in a tie.
There are, of course, still plenty of fun questions to look at, and I'm planning to do some slightly more analytical work on these data at some point soon(ish). In the meantime, if you have any burning Only Connect related questions (and let's be honest, who doesn't?), feel free to ask (either in the comments or on Twitter @statacake) and I'll see what I can do!