Passing #Networks in #Football [#dataanalytics #bigdata #sport #performance]

Submitted by Irene on Wed, 2013/08/07 - 14:07
Commonly used football statistics, such as the number of goals scored or the number of shots on target, are obtained through measuring individual events performed by a single player. The problem with these stats is that they do not describe how the shots were taken or how the goals were scored, therefore not providing the reader with much insight into a team's playing style.

Of all the events that are tracked on a football pitch, passes are by far the most frequent. By comparison, goals are very rare and shots marginally less so. It is rightly argued that apart from Barcelona (who seem to be playing their own form of the game) the number of passes a team makes during a match is hardly correlated with either the match result or with the number of points a team will accrue by the end of the season. However, the number of passes that a team makes during a match has a higher self-correlation than any other individual event, whilst retaining a large variation across teams. This makes the passing distribution one of the least random team qualities, even if at first sight, not well suited for results prediction.


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