Possession Performance Analysis

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In the midst of watching so many elements in a game, it frequently passes by even the most trained eye, just how much or how little possession each player has been on.

More significantly, human perception can easily over or under value the significance of the role played by a single player, particularly i they’ve made one or two significantly memorable plays, be they positive or negative.

For example, a player dropping one ball can last long in the memory and grossly colour the player’s overall contribution, as can a single big catch or point.

Possession Performance Analysis logs every single ball contact that each player makes from play and ranks each possession based on its outcome to leave a comprehensive analysis of the player’s role on the ball during the game.

How Possession Performance Analysis Works

This records every time a player takes, could have taken, or should have taken the ball in their hands. It categorizes each of these into one of five basic outcomes with ten sub-sections.

This gives a full and comprehensive account of every ball contact made by each player.

The five basic categories are briefly outlined as follows….


The player has played a lateral pass or has made a play which neither breached the opposition’s line, didn’t even partially go by a player, or play a significant role in helping another player to break the line

Mildly Positive

A play which was more than a neutral play, but not quite a line break (Positive Penetrative).

Positive Penetrative

A line break. Includes taking on and beating a player with the ball in hand, or bypassing opponents/setting up an attack at a higher point up field with a pass. It includes any score, being fouled for any free inside 45 metres, any free converted from outside 45 metres, and any shot blocked out for a “45” within the lines of the large rectangle.


A turnover/possession loss. This includes where a pass has been played to player who might have been the favourite to win it but failed to on account of contact from an opponent, as long as the player wasn’t clearly in front and then slowed down to begin with.

Negative X

This is a turnover or possession loss where the player was attempting a Positive Penetrative play. Therefore, it differentiates between a simple error and an error while trying to make a line breaking move.

The Sub-categories

Linked Play  Where the possession in its own right was no more than Neutral or Mildly Positive, but where the player has made a definite run from ahead of the ball to take possession and allow the attack to move forward without delay.

Fouled for Free If the fouled player player doesn’t play the free, it’s marked as either a “Fouled Free” or a “Positive Penetrative Scoreable Free”. If they take the free and turn it over it’s marked a s a Negative or Negative X. But if they only make a “Neutral” play on the free, it’s marked as a “Foued Free”.

Long Ball Gives weight to the fact that  a long ball into a man on man full forward line is frequently the best option, before the defence get numbers back. If it’s a 50/50 ball, it’s marked as a “Long Ball” to avoid it being regarded as a possession loss.

Goal Shot A missed attempt at goal, it’s a sub-section of “Negative X”

Short Attempt An attempt at a point that drops short and is less than a 50/50 high ball or ends up in opposition hands.

Wide An attempt at goal that goes wide.

Goal A sub-section of “Positive Penetrative”, it marks a goal scored.

Point A sub section of “Positive Penetrative” it marks a point scored.

Scoreable Free A sub section of Positive Penetrative. Where the player with or without possession, has been fouled for a free inside 45 metres, regardless of whether it’s converted or not, has a shot blocked out for a “45” inside the width of the large rectangle, or any free/”45″ from outside those distances that is converted. It’s given as much statistical weight as scoring the point from play.

Fouled for Peno A sub section of Positive Penetrative, where a player is fouled for a penalty.