The influence of tactical and match context on player movement in football

Journal article


Gregory, Sam, Robertson, Sam, Aughey, Robert and Duthie, Grant. (2022). The influence of tactical and match context on player movement in football. Journal of Sports Sciences. 40(9), pp. 1063-1077. https://doi.org/10.1080/02640414.2022.2046938
AuthorsGregory, Sam, Robertson, Sam, Aughey, Robert and Duthie, Grant
Abstract

Player movement metrics in football such as speed and distance are typically analysed as aggregates, sometimes outside of any specific tactical or match context. This research adds context to a player’s movement over the course of a match by analysing movement profiles s and bringing together tools from the sport science and sports analytics literature. Position-specific distributions of player movement metrics: speed, acceleration and tortuosity were compared across phases of play and in-game win probability using 25 Hz optical player tracking data from all 52 matches at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Comparing the distributions using the Kolmogorov–Smirnov test and Wasserstein distances, differences were identified in these movement profiles across, in and out of possession phases, with small negligible overall positional trends across in-game win probabilities. In-game win probabilities are used in tandem with phases to present a player specific case study. The results demonstrate how sports analytics metrics can be used to contextualise a subset of movement metrics from sport science and provide a framework for analysis of further movement metrics and sports analytics modelling approaches.

Keywordssports analytics; sport science; football; performance analysis; tactics
Year2022
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Journal citation40 (9), pp. 1063-1077
PublisherRoutledge
ISSN0264-0414
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/02640414.2022.2046938
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85126132332
Page range1063-1077
Publisher's version
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All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online07 Mar 2022
Publication process dates
Accepted18 Feb 2022
Deposited01 Mar 2023
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