Penalty kicks in soccer: An empirical analysis of shooting strategies and goalkeepers' preferences

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60 Scopus citations

Abstract

The outcomes of penalty kicks in soccer have assumed the utmost importance in the last few decades. However, it seems that shooting strategy is often based more on intuition than on careful research. To find out what should be the kicker's best strategy, two studies were conducted. In the first one, data about 311 penalty kicks in top leagues and championships worldwide were collected and analysed. The results suggested that kicks to the upper area of the goal are the hardest to stop. A second study, in which top goalkeepers were surveyed, revealed that goalkeepers were most satisfied when they stopped a high kick - especially to the top corners - whereas missing such a kick caused the least dissatisfaction. Based on these studies, we suggest that the best shooting strategy of penalty kicks may be to aim to the upper two corners. Proper training should help in reducing the possible miss rate of such kicks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-191
Number of pages9
JournalSoccer and Society
Volume10
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science

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