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May 8, 2012

Get to Know Your... Subjective Point Graphs

The gist: I track points throughout the game then tally them up. The metaphorical sperm impregnates the egg and graphs are born.

More exhausting: Throughout the game, we give plays point values based on three threats. From least weighted to most...
  • threat of a ball played 
  • threat of a player with possession of the ball
  • threat of the shot.
These are calculated up and are called called subjective points. Again, these points are completely subjective (duh) but in an attempt to explain a game to someone who didn't witness the match, you couldn't help but be subjective.

Why subjective points? The main goal is to explain what happened in the game. Through these points, we can tell who controlled the game, how well a team capitalized on their chances, and maybe what the score really should have been. Soccer statistics are misleading enough as it is. Seeing a team maintain possession or have a ridiculously high passing rate doesn't necessarily mean they controlled the game. And how many times have we heard "Well it was 2-0 but it should have been 1-1 because their goal was just a mistake on our end and we missed an easy chance,"? Subjective points are an attempt to combat these claims.

So what's a "Subjective Point Graph"? This:

Couldn't help but put one of America doing well.

The x-axis has the respective minute while the left is subjective points. The great thing about the points is that you don't really need a reference of what's good, like in most sports. A .300 batting average is great but what does 40 subjective points mean? Don't think of it as a milestone number. Think of it as a comparative number. Just by looking at the lines we can see that America created more chances than Venezuela.

(But if you just have to know, an average half has 60 combined subjective points. Whether it's 30-30, an even half, or 40-20, it usually totals to 60, which makes sense. If a team is attacking more than another, the lesser team is losing chances to score. Give and take.)

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