Sunday 11 December 2016

'Ball-in-play' stats worry for football

Published 11/10/2011 | 05:00

The ball was in play for an average of 34 minutes and 38 seconds per-match during this year's GAA football championships, it has emerged.

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Statistics compiled by performance analyst Robert Carroll show that Gaelic football championship matches enjoyed just 46pc of action -- inclusive of added-time -- in this summer's championship.

Carroll took his information from the 29 games televised live over the summer and concluded that the figure is considerably lower than the AFL average, which is 60pc.

'Ball-in-play' does not include the time between when a foul is committed and when play resumes or when the ball goes outside the pitch parameters, according to Carroll.

The most action, as defined by Carroll, was seen in the Leinster football final between Dublin and Wexford in July, when the ball remained in play for 41 minutes and 55 seconds. This was the only game where the 40-minute barrier was passed.

The smallest amount of actual playing time was recorded in the Ulster quarter-final between Tyrone and Monaghan, which had just 30 minutes and 39 seconds of action.

"A 46pc figure would be low by comparison to other sports," said Carroll. "The AFL is now 60pc and has probably jumped 10pc over the last decade."

Carroll, from Toca Sports, pointed out that there were 21 more shots at goal in the Dublin's clash with Wexford than there were in the Tyrone and Monaghan game.

"From looking at these games it becomes apparent how persistent fouling is interrupting games," said Carroll. "That is the biggest time-killer."

One of the highest figures of 'ball in play' (38.41) was recorded in the Connacht semi-final between Roscommon and Leitrim in Carrick-on-Shannon, on one of the wettest championship Sundays.

Carroll is hoping to provide a database of such statistics in the coming years which may provide an insight into the changing trends in Gaelic football.

Irish Independent

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