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Glossary of terms for SICS data collection, season 2019-2020


It is an index that measures the ability shown by each team to create situations potentially dangerous for the opponent during the game and thus quantifies the offensive dangerousness of a team. Born from an idea of Maurizio Viscidi, coordinator of the Italian national youth teams, with the collaboration of Antonio Gagliardi and Marco Scarpa (technical managers of Italy’s National Team) and developed by SICS, the Offensive Index is calculated as a weighted sum of the offensive actions created by the team during the game. Goal Opportunities, Promising Actions, Shots, Corners, Crosses, Key Passes can give an objective evaluation of the attacking work of a team, whose incomplete analysis is often limited to the merepresenceor otherwise of the goal. While in football the goal can spring from chance situations but become decisive for victory, in other team sports (for example in basketball) the number of shots not necessarily determines who is the strongest, but certainly which team has played a better game. The evaluation of all those situations (starting with goal-scoring opportunities) which bring a team closer to the score, certainly provides a more complete and reliable information of the game performance than the simple scoreboard.


Quick game overturning, with swift transition from defensive to offensive phase.

Goal Chance:
Offensive situation in which the player (forward) finds himself able to kick (or to head) from a central position within the penalty area, with no opponent
(defender) before him. In this situation, the chance of scoring a goal is tactically high and depends solely on the execution of the shot (technical factor). Set play situations are included. Therefore, the conditions that define a goal-scoring opportunity are:
- Player within the penalty area (facing the space in goal).
- In 1 vs 1 situation with the opposing goalkeeper.
- No opposing player (defender) to oppose/obstruct him directly at the moment of conclusion.

Promising action:
A promising action can be defined as any goal opportunity (man in front of goalkeeper) fallen through at the time of the assist,
due to inaccuracy of the passage or as a result of a decisive defensive action. Promising actions are also situations in which the attacker kicks from a close central position (up to 20 meters) with only one defender
between himself and the goalkeeper. Ultimately, we could define it as an action that could become a goal-scoring opportunity but ends just a step before, or is hampered by a defender who prevents one-on-one with the opposing goalkeeper.

Collective and medium-high pressing situation in which the action of the opposing team is sensibly slowed down at the start or ends with ball recovery.


The key pass is a ball pass which makes a significant contribution to the development of the attacking action.
Key passes are those verticalizations that reach and unmark a teammate by going beyond at least one opposing line of defense. Key passes are also those particular game changes that reach a teammate unmarked in the 'attacking third', which has enough time and space to make a dangerous play (game changes with lined up defense are not considered). Key passes by players and by goalkeepers are both tagged.The 'Key Pass' term and its definition have been conceived by Antonio Gagliardi, manager of the FIGC Match Analysis Area and Match Analyst of Italy's National Team (Nazionale A).

It is a pass (even if deflected) before a shot. The assist is winning if it leads to the goal. An assist is considered successful even if a first shot is hit back and a second immediate shot by the same player leads to the goal.
anche nel caso in cui un primo tiro venga ribattuto e un secondo tiro immediato da parte dello stesso giocatore porti alla

Third Pass:
It is a key pass before the assist. The third pass is winning if it leads to the goal.
NOTE: while all assists or third passes are key passes, not all key passes are assists or third passes.

Give-and-go: exchange between two players (to and back) which 'involves' at least one opposing player.


Specific situations where a player contributes significantly to a goal of his own team even without making a successful assist or a third pass.
The situations which determine an obtained goal are as follows:
Dummy that overcomes one or more defenders by unmarking the teammate who scores the goal.
Shot blocked:
Shot blocked by the goalkeeper or a defender (near the goal-area) and immediately kicked back in the net by a teammate.
Personal Action:
A player, by way of a manifest individual action, creates a dangerous situation to the opposing team (without turning into an assist)
which is then exploited by a teammate who scores the goal.
Own Goal:
A player causes the opponents’ own goal through a shot, a key pass, a cross or a personal action.
Penalty kick:
A player obtains a penalty kick which is then scored by a teammate.


Conclusion made towards the goal. The rejected conclusions are excluded as long as they are not pushed clear on the goal-line or in its immediate vicinity.


1vs1 situation, in which a player in possession of the ball tries to overtake a direct opponent.
The dribbling is positive if the opponent is outmatched while maintaining the ball possession; if one fails to overtake the defender or loses ball possession, the dribbling is negative.
Each dribbling is also a duel.


Decisive action is an action carried out in the defensive phase related to a goal-scoring opportunity or a promising action.
The decisive play is positive if the defender prevents the completion of the goal or a promising action with a save, a clearance, a tackle.
The decisive play is negative if the defender causes a goal-scoring opportunity or a promising action with a back pass, a lost ball, a striking error.


1 vs 1 situation with aerialor ground tackle. A duel is won when a player in tackle gains or maintains ball possession.
All dribbles and fouls are also considered duels.


Any ball recovered which involves a definitive change of possession.
The possession is considered definitive if the retrieving player retains full control or makes at least one pass that reaches a teammate.


Any ball lost that involves a definitive change of possession.
The possession is considered final if the retrieving player retains full control or makes at least one pass that reaches a teammate.


Cross: a pass made from the side area in the last 30 meters towards the penalty area. It will be positive if it reaches a teammate, negative otherwise. A cross can be an assist or a third pass.

Cross-behind: a side ball (starting either inside or outside the area) that passes or gets behind the defensive line, between the defense and the goal-mouth (excluding the opponent obstructing the player who performs the crossbar). It will be positive if it reaches a teammate, negative otherwise. A crossbar can be an assist or a third pass. It is always a forward ball.

Cut Back: a side ball which starts from the post at the side edge of the penalty area and is back-passed to a hypothetical teammate tagging along. It will be positive if it reaches a teammate, otherwise it will be negative. A cut back can be an assist or a thirdpass.


All short and low passes (positive and negative) made by the goalkeeper.
A pass is considered positive if it reaches a teammate, negative otherwise.

Long Balls:
all long and high ball passes (positive and negative) made by the goalkeeper.
It is considered positive if it reaches a teammate, otherwise it is negative.


Start of action carried out by the goalkeeper with hand or foot.


Action made by the goalkeeper, who leaves the goal posts and moves forward inside the penalty area or, less frequently, out of the said area;
it can be low, to stop a striker or to catch the ball before of the approaching of an opponent,
or high, to intercept a cross or a throw.


Action of the goalkeeper to block a shot towards the goal


Player caught in an irregular position as, on a pass forward, there aren’t at least two opponents between him and the goal line.
e la porta.


The foul is a rule violation liable to a free kick; it is committed by a player against an opponent on the field of play and while the ball is in play.
Excluding handballs and play-acting, the foul always involves two players from opposing teams and generates a duel.


Ratio of total time of ball possession by a team’s players to the actual total time of the game.


Percentage that indicates the amount of goals scored compared to the total number of shots (on and off target).
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