Evaluating goal threat in football using player and ball locations

Journal article


Nordahl, O. A, Kim, J, James, N, Gwon, U, Parmar, N, Nicholls, S. and Vuckovic, G 2023. Evaluating goal threat in football using player and ball locations. Kinesiologia Slovenica. 29 (3), pp. 26-48. https://doi.org/10.52165/kinsi.29.3.26-48
AuthorsNordahl, O. A, Kim, J, James, N, Gwon, U, Parmar, N, Nicholls, S. and Vuckovic, G
Abstract

Goal scoring in football is relatively low but vitally important, hence research has considered how goals are created and scored with measures such as expected goals prevalent. The dynamical systems theoretical perspective, considers a collective system, such as football, as existing in two states, stable (no substantive advantage for either team) or unstable (advantage present). Hence, goal scoring events occur when the system has become unstable, with a “perturbation” the event causing the system state change. Here, a “goal threat” value was calculated every second (scaled from 0 to 100) using the XY coordinates of players and the ball, weighted in relation to proximity to the goal (a potential proxy for the degree of system instability). Video recordings and synchronised Amisco 2D representations of goals (n=64) scored in Swansea City AFC English Premier League 2012/2013 matches (n=20) were analysed using Dartfish v10 Pro software. Each goal was analysed from when the play was judged to be stable (no obvious goal scoring opportunity), or the start of possession, until the goal had been scored. Goals were not always preceded by high goal threat values (maximum goal threat values ranged from 13.4 to 99.0). The authors independently subjectively determined that perturbations occurred up to 7 seconds from when the goal threat value increased by at least 40%. Thus, perturbations were not directly related to goal scoring opportunities. This novel method provides a useful, quantifiable, and simple measure of goal threat that may also aid audience engagement and measure defensive effectiveness.

Keywordsplayer and ball locations; football; pertubations; dynamical systems
Year2023
JournalKinesiologia Slovenica
Journal citation29 (3), pp. 26-48
ISSN1318-2269
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.52165/kinsi.29.3.26-48
Web address (URL)https://www.kinsi.si/en/archive/2023/464/vrednotenje-nevarnosti-gola-v-nogometu-z-uporabo-lokacij-igralca-in-zoge
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All rights reserved
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Open
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online2023
Publication process dates
Deposited28 Feb 2024
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