Shot & Success Rates

In addition to focussing on the two most important determinants for any shot (was the shot a deadball/from play and where was the shot taken from) the outcome of each possession was also tracked. Possession is many things to many people – if you ask a room full of coaches to define what possession is, and when a possession ends, you would more than likely get a vast array of answers.

For the returns below, and for all future discussions, a possession is defined as a member of the attacking team having control of the ball inside the opposition’s 45m line. The possession ends when (a) the opposing team gets control of the ball or (b) a shot is taken. The examples are infinite but the below gives a flavour of how this was implemented
Example 1. Paul Galvin picks up the ball in his won half and launches a high ball into Kieron Donaghy. The ball goes over the endline – this is not a possession as a Kerry player never had control of the ball inside the opposition’s 45m
Example 2. Same play except this time Donaghy gets his hand to the ball but it goes wide. Again no possession as, even though the result is a kick out, a Kerry play never had control of the ball inside the opposition’s 45m
Example 3. Same play except the ball goes wide off of the defender’s hand. A Kerry possession ensues from when the ball is struck from the subsequent 45 as a Kerry player is in control of the ball

From the possession and shot data we can produce two telling team stats – how many possessions end in a shot (shot rate) and how many shots end in a score (success rate). As an example the returns for the four semi-finalists from 2010 are shown

Team Shot Rate Success Rate
Cork 76% 47%
Down 75% 51%
Dublin 69% 46%
Kildare 72% 55%
All teams 68% 50%
  • All 4 teams got off more shots than the average – the more shots you take the more you can afford to miss
  • Cork’s shooting was below average but because they converted more of their possessions into shots they could afford the extra wides.
  • In all analysis Kildare do not have the forwards required to win Sam Maguire – yet of the 4 semi finalists that year their players were the most accurate.
  • Dublin struggled up front in 2010. They really only had one player firing – Bernard Brogan won player of the year – and that can be seen in how poor their shooting was.

Cork & Dublin’s shooting success rate was poor but it looks worse again when we split it out by play & deadballs. Both Cork & Dublin only converted 40% of their shots from play (as we have each shot recorded by pitch segment we can see whether this was due to poor shooting or taking on especially difficult shots – that’s for another entry!). Again Kildare’s shooting from play is well above the average.

Team From play From deadballs
Cork 40% 65%
Down 49% 57%
Dublin 40% 69%
Kildare 52% 64%
All teams 44% 66%

We are starting to slowly build up a picture of what teams did with the ball in attack. From combining the possession & shot stats we can see how successful teams were in converting their attacks to scores. From the shooting stats we can breakdown both the teams’, and individual players, accuracy & efficiency when shooting. We now have a baseline upon which we can measure every attack, shot & team.


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