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Mathematical Analysis of a Soccer Game. Part I: Individual and Collective Behaviors

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Detailed time series analysis of a soccer match is given based on the detailed data of the 2D motions of all 22 players and of the ball for the match. The whole analysis includes two parts. In Part I, the individual and collective behaviors of the players of the two teams as well as the motion of the ball are presented as various time series. Geometrical centers, radii, expansion speeds, possession functions of the two teams are defined and calculated as functions of time. Major ranges of all players as well as of different groups of players (defenders, midfielders, forwards) of the two teams during the entire first half, the attacking phase of team A and the attacking phase of team B are calculated, respectively, showing the structures of the two teams during different phases. Distance coverage of each player and the mean distances covered by different groups of players (defenders, midfielders, forwards) during different phases are calculated. The time portions of possession of the ball by each team and the time portions of different phases are also calculated. In Part II, energy and spectral analysis and various correlations will be derived. The relation between various parameters and potential indicators will be discussed. The major purpose of the present study is to offer some general mathematical tools for the detailed analysis and to reveal some general features of soccer match when the detailed 2D data are available. The results would offer the raw materials for various potential indicators which may eventually be used in the coaching process to enhance the performance and in the prediction of the results of soccer matches.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: German Sport University CologneBayer 04 Leverkusen Fussball GmbH

Publication date: October 1, 2008

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