Experts say that the implementation of penalty kicks in football depends more on science than chance

A sport with almost unlimited economic resources should be allowed to include scientific teams to advise technicians.
Christian Garavaglia

Christian Garavaglia Argentina meteorite 9 minutes

In a football that is becoming increasingly professional around the world, with millions invested in player recruitment, facilities, food and advanced physical and mental recovery systems, Is it reasonable for us to continue to believe that determining the winner of a decisive match on penalty kicks is merely a matter of chance?

According to specialists Javier Gálvez González and José Manuel Cenizo Benjomea, professors at the Faculty of Sports Sciences of the Pablo de Olavide University, no. In an interesting column written for ConversationThe authors state that the final outcome is not always predictable and depends on multiple factors, however If we apply scientific evidence, the chances of victory increase dramatically.

Some numbers to clarify the importance of penalty kicks in football

In the last two European Championships, 23% of elimination stage matches were decided on penalties, and this percentage rose to 28% in the last two World Cups. In the last two Copa America matches, out of 16 matches in the elimination stage, six matches (37.5%) were decided by penalty kicks.. With such a high percentage probability of reaching this moment, preparation must be intense for those who aspire to win, the authors say.

According to statistics, It seems like soccer teams don’t put enough effort into their preparationsBecause in those European Cups I missed 23 shots out of 52 (44.2%). In the last two World Cups, out of 52, 28 (53.8%) failed. In the case of the last America’s Cup, the percentages were somewhat lower (43 correct answers and 15 incorrect, 34%).

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This ratio of successes and failures varies greatly in club matches. In the Champions League From 2022 to 2023, 39 of them were launched, and only 11 (28.2%) failed. What could this difference be due to? Clubs have one or two specialists responsible for all team starts. Thus, efficiency increases.

We must also take into account that implementing a penalty kick in an isolated match in a regular competition, in which many people win or lose, is not the same as implementing a penalty kick in a penalty shoot-out for the final stage of a major tournament, where Failure means elimination. In these cases, the emotional burden can completely affect performance.

A duel between the attacker and the goalkeeper in the penalty kick

The penalty point is located 11 meters from the goal line and the goal is 7.32 meters wide. The shooter must strive to avoid the goalkeeper and an interesting strategic duel is created.

If we look at the statistics of most matches, we find that approximately 70% of penalty kicks are scored, which indicates that the attacker has the advantage.. This includes penalties for fouls committed inside the zone during playing time. However, in the penalty shootout that decides the qualifiers if extra time ends in a draw, The capabilities of both are equal.

Independent strategy for the shooter

here, The shooter shoots off-center and fast enough so that it doesn’t hit. Most saves occur in the central areas of the goal and most goals scored are scored near the goalposts, although almost all shots occur outside the goal as well. Is it worth the risk of shooting close to the limits of the arc? In analyzing the English Premier League, the risk of failing to shoot in the upper corners outweighs the number of stops in the lower and central areas, the authors say.

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Penalty kicks, football, luck, chance, science, sports
If we look at the statistics of most matches, we will find that approximately 70% of penalty kicks are successful.

In this strategy, launches are a battle against time. When shooting at 80 kilometers per hour (km/h) to the base of the goal, a goal will be scored in 520 thousandths of a second (ms). It takes a goalkeeper between 0.8 and 1 second to reach the ball located 70 cm from the goal post. If the shooter slows down, the goalie has more time to move and stop him. At 70 km/h, the ball takes 590 milliseconds, and at 60 km/h, it takes 690 milliseconds. With these values ​​a goalkeeper can never stop him. To achieve this balance between speed and accuracy, the archer must practice enough to achieve automation of the actions.

Goalkeeping strategy

However, the former strategy is not the one most chosen by shooters In 70% of the attempts, they chose the strategy of relying on goalkeeping. That is, being able to trick him into throwing himself somewhere other than the ball.

How can we believe that the archer will be fooled? It’s very simple, because he already knows that if he waits to see where the ball goes, he won’t be able to catch it. Therefore, he will try to anticipate and thus buy time to reach the goal.

There are studies that indicate that shooters move an average of 220 milliseconds before shooting, and some do so up to 600 milliseconds before that.

With this time gained, they can stop the ball 520 milliseconds before the ball takes flight. Slower shots, greater advantage for the goalkeeper.

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In this goalkeeping strategy, Shooters are absolutely right if the goalie moves 400 milliseconds earlierBut effectiveness decreases when the archer waits up to 150 milliseconds before firing.

What is the psychological and emotional burden resulting from penalty kicks?

To understand this we have to start from the axiom: the goalkeeper is always the same and can use different strategies during a round. but, The pitcher only has one attempt, hence the emotional burden he bears. There is always talk about the mistakes of shooters and the successes of goalkeepers.

According to the specialists, These are just some brief statements of some strategies that have been analyzed by the scientific community. It all sounds very simple, even though it’s not. Penalty kicks in the final stages of tournaments are of great importance in the results, therefore, It must be carefully prepared. Not developing a strategy among the many strategies that exist, and not training it adequately, will reflect the presence of… Lack of professionalism among techniciansmentioned by the authors.

Professional sports, which have almost limitless economic resources, can do this Allowing themselves to integrate scientific teams that advise technicians on advances in sports science.

News reference:

https://theconversation.com/el-lanzamiento-de-penaltis-en-el-fútbol-tiene-mas-de-ciencia-que-de-loteria-229154

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