On-field Performance Evaluation in Soccer Based on Network Data Envelopment Analysis

Suggested Citation
Thanasis Bouzidis (2019), “On-field Performance Evaluation in Soccer Based on Network Data Envelopment Analysis”, Data Envelopment Analysis Journal: Vol. 4: No. 2, pp 187-206. http://dx.doi.org/10.1561/103.00000027
Publication Date: 12 Dec 2019
© 2019 T. Bouzidis
Operations Research,  Performance measurement,  Economic Theory: Microeconomic Theory
Two-stage network DEA, on-field production process, sub-process, soccer teams, offensive/defensive/athletic efficiency, league season


In this article:
1. Introduction
2. Theoretical Framework
3. Data Description
4. Empirical Results
5. Discussion
6. Concluding Remarks
Conflicts of Interest


In this paper, we present for the first time the on-field production process of soccer teams as a mixed (serial and parallel) structure two-stage network system. According to this, the first stage consists of two distinct sub-processes (offense and defense) that operate in parallel. These respectively use players’ offensive and defensive actions as inputs to produce two different intermediate measures, namely, goals scored and prevention of goals conceded. These, in turn, are the inputs of the second stage (points’ accumulation sub-process) that produces accumulated points. Furthermore, based on a two-stage network Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) model, we estimate the offensive, defensive, and athletic efficiency of soccer teams during a league season. According to our proposed framework, these three different efficiency scores are provided (for each soccer team under evaluation) by a single linear programming problem. For this purpose, aggregate-over-games statistics from the 2013–14 Greek premier soccer league are used.


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