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Commentary on Magnitude-Based Inference Under Attack

Martin Buchheit

Sportscience 18, 48, 2014 (
Performance Department, Paris Saint-Germain Football Club, Paris, France. Email.

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This item highlights clearly the advantages of the MBI approach and presents welcome reassuring rebuttals of the Welsh and Knight criticisms. Scientists and practitioners should not rely on the all-too simple yes-or-no approach of statistical significance when making decisions about an effect. What really matters to us is the magnitude of the effect and the likelihood that it represents something useful. While many roads lead to Rome, the MBI approach clearly meets our needs. It has therefore changed the sports discipline for me and many others, both in academic and applied settings.

The freely-available spreadsheets at the Sportscience site are extremely helpful and have allowed many scientists and practitioners to run stats on their data efficiently, which is remarkable. I donít know of any stats package that comes close to these spreadsheets in terms of availability, ease of use and, of course, relevance of analysis. Will Hopkins and Alan Batterham should be congratulated for their constant efforts to develop and democratize the MBI approach. While the Welsh and Knight paper could be seen as an obstacle for the further development of MBI, it has actually allowed Will and Alan to better defend and highlight the quality and interest of their work.

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Published November 2014