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Evaluating team performance
SoccerSTATS.com - updated on: 18 Jun 2020
In league competitions, team performance is often evaluated according to well-known indicators such as Total Points, Points per Game or Winning Percentage. To help provide more context in evaluating team results, the Relative Performance Index evaluates Points Per Game in light of an additional factor: played opponents' Points Per Game.
"It all evens out at the end of the season". We know the tune, whether it means arguing about how unlucky our team has been
in regards to points lost, suspensions, refereeing decisions, or regarding the fact that other teams have been lucky not to have
faced as many tough opponents so far.
Overrated or underrated?
Let's say our team is ranked just one point behind their direct competitors, with a home game in hand against a lower-level team.
Are we on course? Pending a win in that game to catch up, we would think we pretty much are. Shame for those 2 points dropped last week
against that supposedly easy opponent though.
Evaluating the opposition
To evaluate the opposition's level, we use the same metric described on the Run-in analysis page: an average value taking into account the home Points Per Game (PPG) of all the opponents faced away, and the away PPG of all the opponents played at home. The resulting value is labelled as "Opponents PPG" on the Relative Performance table.
Calculating the Relative Performance Index
Example of a weighted grading system
The Relative Performance Index (RPI) can be compared to an average "grade" a student might get when taking a series of exams to validate a degree.
Depending on the nature of the studies, the exam's grading system will likely allocate more weight to grades related to assignments or subjects that are
critical to the degree's field.
The final combined grade will then be calculated by giving more weight to the grades or points obtained in the crucial subjects. In that example, the assumption was that, for a science degree, a good grade in Mathematics is more meaningful than the same grade in History.
Applying weighted grades to football team results
The RPI calculation also attempts to come up with a rating that provides more weight to the team's more meaningful results. For example,
if the last two matches played by a team are (1) a home win against a low-level team, and (2) an away win at the league leaders', both results will be valued
exactly the same in the league table and in the Points Per Game calculations, yet the latter can be seen as more meaningful in terms of performance.
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