Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Points system used in soccer games encourages dirty play, study finds

Date:
June 25, 2010
Source:
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology
Summary:
The change in the system used to reward wins in the European leagues, going from two to three points, has led to an increase in dirty play in football (known as soccer in the US) matches, a new study has found. Researchers used the number of red cards issued in each match during the 94/95 and 95/96 seasons, when the change was made in the scoring system, as an indicator of "sabotage" in the matches.

The points system used in football matches encourages dirty play, a new study has found.
Credit: SINC

A study by the University of Oviedo has shown that the change in the system used to reward wins in the European leagues, going from two to three points, has led to an increase in dirty play in football matches. The researchers used the number of red cards issued in each match during the 94/95 and 95/96 seasons, when the change was made in the scoring system, as an indicator of "sabotage" in the matches.

"If football teams achieve greater relative value for winning a match, this incentive can have unanticipated and negative effects on the game, as has happened in the Spanish league," Juan Prieto, co-author of the study and a researcher at the University of Oviedo, said.

The experts compiled data on Spanish league matches during the 94/95 season (the last season in which the winning team received two points) and in 95/96 (the season when a win started to be assigned three points) using official match data, which show the number of yellow and red cards per match, as well as the minutes when these were given and information about the minutes in the match when goals are scored.

"This information allows us to monitor not only the match itself, but also the development of the game over the course of the 90 minutes of each. This allows us to find out the precise moment at which a red card was given, and also to observe whether this happened when the receiving team was behind or ahead on the scoreboard, if they were losing or making a comeback," points out the expert.

The study confirms that the change in football league regulations, which spread throughout almost all of the European leagues in the 1990s, led to a change in the relationship between the cost and benefit of red cards, with the modification to the number of points given for winning (which started to be worth 50% more with the change to three points) having negative effects on the form of play.

More send-offs when a team is doing well

"There was a significant change in the number of red cards given during the second season in comparison with the first. We can see there has been an increase in red cards given to teams that are winning, and this can easily be attributed to the change in the points system," the study explains.

Juan Prieto adds: "The objective was to give greater incentives for attacking play and goal-scoring, but the change has had unexpected negative effects, such as the increase in dirty play."

This kind of point system is also used in the current World Cup. "If wins are important in a league of 38 matches, with 20 teams playing, even though they account for little more than 2% of the total of the league, then they take on much greater importance in a World Cup, given that only three matches are played in the first round, meaning that drawing or winning has much more impact," the researcher concludes.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. J. del Corral, J. Prieto-Rodriguez, R. Simmons. The Effect of Incentives on Sabotage: The Case of Spanish Football. Journal of Sports Economics, 2009; 11 (3): 243 DOI: 10.1177/1527002509340666

Cite This Page:

FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology. "Points system used in soccer games encourages dirty play, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100625101502.htm>.
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology. (2010, June 25). Points system used in soccer games encourages dirty play, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100625101502.htm
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology. "Points system used in soccer games encourages dirty play, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100625101502.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program

NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program

AP (Apr. 15, 2014) The New York City Police Department has ended a program that once kept tabs on the city's muslim population. (April 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins