Scoring by pitch segment

So after all that bluster how about some numbers. The below shows how the pitch in every game was divided using the 21m, 45m lines as well as the large parallelogram. Forgive the basic graphics but the segmentation of the pitch is important as will be shown by the various success rates

GAA pitch

The percentage of shots taken from within the 9 segments can be found in the below table

Segment 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
% of shots 0% 2% 1% 21% 21% 18% 10% 20% 8%

I was surprised by how relatively few shots were taken inside the 21m line as opposed to between the 21m & 45m lines (38% of all shots versus 60%) however in the context of the recent trend towards massed defences this probably shouldn’t be too unexpected.

The below table shows the success rate of all shots taken in the 9 segments. The success rate is divided into shots from deadballs (frees, 45s & sidelines) and shots from play

Segment 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Deadballs 100% 51% 36% 51% 86% 55% 76% 94% 91%
From play 44% 31% 60% 34% 49% 37% 41% 59% 40%

There are a few points that struck me immediately on compiling this data

  • Don’t foul, don’t foul, don’t foul!! The success rates from frees within the 45m line far outstrips shots from play in all sections. Make the opposing team work for their scores – put them under as much legal pressure as possible but if you foul you immediately increase their chance of scoring.
  • The relatively poor return from play – only 44% of all shots end in a score. Now when we get into individual team’s data there will be some big discrepancies between both where they shoot from and how successful they are. But 44% –  hadn’t expected it to be that low
  • The returns from deadballs outside the 45m line (segments 1-3) fluctuate hugely due to the very low volumes involved

We have now introduced the two major determinants in whether a shot is successful or not – is the shot from play or a deadball and where on the pitch was a shot taken from. There are other determinants (was the player under pressure, weather etc.) but these are subjective and much harder to monitor to any degree of uniformity.

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4 Responses to “Scoring by pitch segment”

  1. Rob Says:

    Nice article and some great stats. What do you use to collect all the information?

    • dontfoul Says:

      Unfortunately I’m limited to TV games but once I have the games charted I use a data mining tool called SAS – you can slice & dice the database however you want

  2. Donegal V Down preview « dontfoul Says:

    […] The reason for Donegal’s success rate, and the higher than average return, may lie somewhere in the below table. This table outlines where abouts on the pitch the team’s shots have emanated from (for a refresher on the breakdown on the sectors see https://dontfoul.wordpress.com/2012/05/07/scoring-by-pitch-segment/) […]

  3. Impact of Game Situation | dontfoul Says:

    […] that where the shot is taken from is of huge importance. Dividing the pitch into 9 segments (see here for details) we can see that as expected the closer in to goal, and the more central the shot, the […]

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