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General Ability and Specialization: Evidence From Penalty Kicks in Soccer

Listed author(s):
  • Florian Baumann

    (University of Tübingen)

  • Tim Friehe

    (University of Konstanz,

  • Michael Wedow


Registered author(s):

    This article revisits the 2 × 2 penalty kick game and seeks to explain differences in mixed strategies associated with different player types and the relative performance of these player types. The authors show that (a) a kicker’s general ability is a reliable indicator of his success rate, (bi) a kicker’s specialization rate increases with his general ability, and (c) left-footed kickers who present a minority within the total population are characterized by a higher success rate. Consequently, the authors establish that more able kickers show a higher degree of specialization. Their greater specialization, however, has neither an adverse nor a beneficial impact on their success rate. All the theoretical predictions are in line with empirical evidence from the German national soccer league.

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    Article provided by in its journal Journal of Sports Economics.

    Volume (Year): 12 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 1 (February)
    Pages: 81-105

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    Handle: RePEc:sae:jospec:v:12:y:2011:i:1:p:81-105
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