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A Proposed Decision Rule for the Timing of Soccer Substitutions


  • Myers Bret R.

    (Villanova University)


Managers in soccer face a critical in-game decision concerning player substitutions. While past research has investigated the overall effect of various strategy changes during the course of a match, no studies have focused solely on the crucial element of timing. This paper uses the data mining technique of decision trees to develop a decision rule to guide managers on when to make each of their three substitutes in a match. The proposed decision rule demonstrates between 38% and 47% effectiveness when followed versus 17% and 24% effectiveness when not followed based on over 1200 observations collected from some of the world’s top professional leagues and competitions.

Suggested Citation

  • Myers Bret R., 2012. "A Proposed Decision Rule for the Timing of Soccer Substitutions," Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-24, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:jqsprt:v:8:y:2012:i:1:n:11

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hirotsu Nobuyoshi & Ito Masamitsu & Miyaji Chikara & Hamano Koji & Taguchi Azuma, 2009. "Modeling Tactical Changes of Formation in Association Football as a Non-Zero-Sum Game," Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, De Gruyter, vol. 5(3), pages 1-15, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Silva Rajitha M. & Swartz Tim B., 2016. "Analysis of substitution times in soccer," Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, De Gruyter, vol. 12(3), pages 113-122, September.

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