Missing Well: Optimal Targeting of Soccer Shots

15 Pages Posted: 18 Sep 2008 Last revised: 28 Sep 2008

See all articles by Fredrick E. Vars

Fredrick E. Vars

University of Alabama - School of Law

Date Written: 2008


Soccer coaches give contradictory advice about where to aim the soccer ball when shooting on goal. This article proposes an answer to the question of where to aim by asking not how to score but rather how to miss. The answer is then put to the test by examining the performance of top goal scorers in Europe and nearly every player in Major League Soccer. Missing well turns out to be a pretty good predictor of scoring on a high percentage of shots. A postscript considers why David Beckham seems to follow a much different shooting strategy with a high degree of success.

Keywords: Soccer, Shooting, Targeting, Beckham

JEL Classification: C10, C20

Suggested Citation

Vars, Fredrick E., Missing Well: Optimal Targeting of Soccer Shots (2008). University of Alabama School of Law, Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper Series No. 1268872. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1268872 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1268872

Fredrick E. Vars (Contact Author)

University of Alabama - School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 870382
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487
United States

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