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Stat Definitions

We use a lot of acronyms on the site. Some of them might even refer to similar things with different denominators. It can be annoying and overwhelming to new readers, and probably turns a lot of people off stuff they might potentially be interested in, if someone could just make things a bit more intelligible.

Thus it is probably a good idea to spit out all the definitions in one tidy place so that people who don’t wade through this stuff every day have some vague clue as to what things mean.

Hence this page!

Note: This is a work in progress. If there is anything you want to know about but don’t see here, please email

Team Section

TSR – Total Shots Ratio

A ratio to explain how teams fare against their average competition in the shots battle. Ex: If Manchester City has 20 shots in the match and Newcastle have 10, City’s TSR for that match is .67, Newcastle’s is .33.

James Grayson has written about this frequently on his website here. We care about TSR for teams because it has a reasonably strong correlation to points and goal difference.

In hockey, this is called Corsi.

ShDom - Shot Dominance
A different way of expressing TSR. Instead of looking at the shots battle as a ratio, we instead look at it centered around an average of 1. Ex: If Manchester City has 20 shots in the match and Newcastle have 10, City’s ShDom is 2.0 and Newcastle’s is .5.

Ted Knutson looked at league shot dominance for previous Champions League Qualifiers here.

SoTR - Shots on Target Ratio

ExpG – Expected Goals
This is shorthand for either the expected goals from a particular input (shots, shots on target, key passes, whatever) or it is often specifically referring to someone’s model.

In our case, that would be the one developed by Colin Trainor and Constantinos Chappas, but others use it for expectation output from their models as well.

SOT – Shots on Target
Used in both player analytics and team stats, it often provides a better layer of accuracy for how effective (or ineffective) a team's attack is than simple shot numbers.

SOTCON or SOTC – Shots on Target Conceded
The defensive side of Shots on Target.

ShAcc, Sh% – Shooting Accuracy
Percentage of total shots placed on target.

Pass% - Passing Accuracy
Usually given as a percent.

Sv% - Save Percent
Percentage of total shots that have been saved.

PDO – Uhhhh…

I’m just going to copy the definition from James Grayson.

PDO is the sum of a teams shooting percentage (goals/shots on target) and its save percentage (saves/shots on target against). It treats each shot as having an equal chance of being scored – regardless of location, the shooter, or the identity or position of the ‘keeper and any defenders. Despite this obvious shortcoming it regresses heavily towards the mean – meaning that it has a large luck component. In fact, over the course of a Premiership season, the distance a teams PDO is from 1000 is ~60% luck.

Time on Pitch percentage. The mins a player plays for their team in competition X divided by total potential minutes.

GD – Goal Difference


Player Analytics Section

Per90 – p90, /90 or just Foo90
Normalization for time, usually used in player stats. Instead of dividing a player’s rate stat by games or appearances, you take all the minutes played and divide them into 90 minute chunks. Then take THAT number and use it as you would games played.

It’s useful in helping to extrapolate player production into more meaningful units. Ben Pugsley wrote a primer on this here.

G - Goals

NPG – Non-penalty Goals
A goal tally for a player after you strip out the penalty goals. Why do this? Read this link. [FOO]

G90 – Goals Per90
A player or team goal tally divided into 90 minute chunks. We do this to normalize for actual time played, as it produces far more accurate rates of goal scoring than using appearances, starts, etc.

NPG90 – Non-Penalty Goals Per90
A player or team’s goal tally with all the penalties stripped out, divided into 90 minute chunks.

A – Assists
Often written that way as part of a quick player stat summary.  Ex: Messi produced 46G/12A in the 2012-13 La Liga season.

A90 – Assists Per 90

G+A90 – Goals + Assists per 90
Used interchangeably sometimes with “scoring contribution.”  It’s a more complete way of measuring an individual player’s total offensive contribution than just looking at either G90 or A90 in a vacuum.

Sh90 – Shots per 90

SOT90 – Shots on Target per 90

PAdj Defensive Stats - Stands for Possession-Adjusted. Essentially, the problem with defensive rate stats is that you can't make a tackle, interception, etc when your team has the ball. Thus teams that have a lot of the ball will have under-represented defensive output compared to a team with low possession. These types of stats attempt to adjust for opportunity, but as of June 30, 2014 are very new and still in development.

The intro article can be found here.

Young Attacking Player Statistical Scout. It's a model developed by Ted Knutson that attempts to use statistics on players that are age 23 or under to find future stars. The introductory piece can be found here and more can be found by searching site articles for YAPSS.


Concepts Section
[Most of these are explained in articles, so click on the name to read the reference piece.]

Defensive Shell
“A defensive shell is a tactical concept that refers when a team largely relinquishes their attacking intent and focuses on protecting the goal. (Also known as turtling.) Teams often do this after taking the lead in a match.”

Clicken ze linken fur more.

Score Effects and/or Game State 
Benjamin Pugsley wrote a primer on this here and Sander Ijtsma (@11tegen11) has a number of strong pieces about it on his site, including this one on Game State and Conversion.

Pace or Shot Pace
Usually referring to the total number of shots taken in an average game, either by team or by league. It’s a proxy for looking at how quickly teams play.

Some teams/leagues exhibit high average paces (like the English Premier League) and some exhibit low ones. Teams also vary within those leagues.

As far as I know, this is the initial article that talked about this concept.

Zone Entries
A hockey concept that unfortunately requires infinite work to record manually. It examines how teams put the ball into the final third, and is thought to provide significant insight into team philosophy and attacking style.