Injury time solution is a sledgehammer looking for a nail

New guidelines to increase ball in play time in football matches through increased added time is a clear case of placing too much importance on what is easy to measure – ball in play time – rather than measuring what is actually important – the quality of the on-field product.

The single biggest driver of effective playing time is the on-field technical quality of play – not time wasting, as is commonly believed. This is why the Premier League has 15% more ball in play time than League Two, and the Champions League 5% more than the Premier League. Better players and teams keep the ball in play.

Maximising the quality of technical play is therefore the biggest lever law-makers and competition organisers can pull to improve effective playing time. Extending the physical demands on players through longer matches will almost certainly not do this.

By Omar Chaudhuri
Chief Intelligence Officer

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