Friday, September 22, 2023

# Anatomy of a goal (part 2)

This is a continuation of the original soccer goal tracking chart and animation posted @: http://flyingsalmon.net/blog/?p=869

It’s recommended that you read that blog first for context.

In this blog, I added actual players involved in that goal (denoted by theirĀ  jersey and individual numbers). The players data are added as an addition series (much like we added defenders’ data as 3 new series in the previous blog). This clearly illustrates: a) who passed the ball from what location to whom from start all the way to finish (GOAL!), b) how many passes each player made c) which players touched the ball in that play more than once, d) and the time it took for fruition among other things. See more on this below.

Then the chart is animated and shared here as a GIF (which can be easily viewed on a web page without any requirements from the users). Here’s the actual output:

I added another important piece of data to the dataset, which is the game clock (since start of the game, not the play) at the time of each player’s touch and release…when he touched the ball, and what point did the ball was received by his/her team-mate upon a pass (until finally, the goal). These figures are in seconds (0 to 5400 for a 90 minute game). With this information, we can track time and player in an unsual way. However, for readability I convert these seconds to minutes and show those more palatable points on the chart below. There, I used a combination of 2 series chart at different scales because one is quantifiable (time) and the other is the player (tracked by the jersey number worn) number which is categorical. This is a tricky one but can be still visually rendered as something like below:

The above chart shows exactly which player touched the ball and released it and at what point. We can easily see the scoring play took 1.07 minutes: start to goal. We can also see 2 players (#9, #11) had the most touches. There are many more ways to dissect this information and more (e.g. who were the players in the final 3rd of the field that was instrumental, which was the critical pass, etc. etc. etc.), but hopefully this gets your noodles churning.