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Qualitative observation tools to analyse soccer

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Over the last 10 years, there has been a growing interest in matchanalysis of soccer. Usually, notational analysis uses numerical data to study and assess the quality of a match. But as far as the analysis of the tactical aspects of the game is concerned, there is a dearth of published research with regards to their theoretical bases. The purpose of this presentation is to contribute to the construction of a knowledge base about soccer using some qualitative observational tools. In a soccer match, structures and configurations of play should be considered as a whole rather than examined a piece at a time. Systems with many dynamically interacting elements can produce of rich and varied patterns of behaviours which are clearly different from the behaviour of each component considered separately. To that effect, effective space game, action zone, and configurations of play will be examined to show that this type of analysis is complementary more than opposed to the numerical data analysis systems.

We shall also pay special attention to the study data bases about the evolution between two or more configurations of play. To deal with such data, we used a methodology that makes possible the qualitative study of configurations of play.

Observation tools for the analysis of team sports, such as the one discussed in this presentation seem to offer a viable and pertinent basis for explaining the evolution of the rapport of strength during a match.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2001

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