Effectiveness of Amendments of the Laws of the Game to the Goal Keeper in Soccer

Kosaku Ito, Masamitsu Ito, Ryosuke Wakasugi, Takashi Takemiya, and Toshio Asami

[Received September 10, 2004 ; Accepted December 10, 2004] 

Field players had been frequently seen to gain time with deliberate back passes to the goalkeeper to keep the ball in safe possession in football matches. Aiming to eliminate this tactic, a series of rule amendments have been implemented since 1990. The present study tries to confirm the effectiveness of these amendments, empirically analyzing changes in the performance of goalkeepers with enforcement of the amendments, by examining data gained from matches in the 4 most recent FIFA World Cups. The result shows the rule amendments substantially reduced the number of back passes to the goalkeeper, and the goalkeeper's ball possession time, which unnecessarily delayed matches. In addition, it was confirmed that the importance of the goalkeeper's performance increased in such situations as when the goal keeper converts a pass to a teammate without using hands, which had seldom been seen before the amendments came into force.

Keywords: Soccer, Rule amendments, Goalkeeper

[Football Science Vol.1, 1-7, 2004]