Penalty shootouts are tough, but the alternating order is fair

Silvan Vollmer and David Schoch and Ulrik Brandes



We compare conversion rates of association football (soccer) penalties during regulation or extra time with those during shootouts. Our data consists of roughly 50,000 penalties from the eleven~most recent seasons in European men’s football competitions. About one third of the penalties are from more than 1,500 penalty shootouts. We find that shootout conversion rates are significantly lower, and attribute this to worse performance of shooters rather than better performance of goalkeepers. We also find that, statistically, there is no advantage for either team in the usual alternating shooting order. These main findings are complemented by a number of more detailed analyses.

Arxiv 2310.04797