Measurement of the Distance at which a Defender Feels Pressure in One-on-One Situations - the Relation with the Theory of the Personal Space -

Masanori Yoshikawa, Nobuyoshi Fumoto and Michitaka Nakagawa

[Received August 1, 2013; Accepted June 15, 2015] 

The distance between players in soccer games is very important. Many instruction books refer to this concept as "Comfort Space." These indications are based on empirical rule. However, actual distance of the space has never been measured and there is no theoretical explanation.
In this paper, we measured the Comfort Space between attackers dribbling the ball and defenders marking the attackers. Subjects were 14 intermediate level members of the university soccer team. The defender who was standing at the corner of penalty area made a signal to indicate when he felt the need to respond to the attacker. At that moment, the distance between players was measured using video images.
Average distance measured was approximately 6m, and the results of measurement indicated that the five defenders who preferred a significantly greater Comfort Space compared to other players also demonstrated higher defensive ability than their teammates. The relevancy of the
measured distance and the theory of the personal space were discussed.

Keywords: Soccer, Interpersonal distance, Personal space

[Football Science Vol.12, 67-73, 2015]