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Effects of the rule change from three to five substitutions in the Bundesliga

Alexander Dilger () and Lars Vischer

No 7/2023, Discussion Papers of the Institute for Organisational Economics from University of Münster, Institute for Organisational Economics

Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to massive restrictions and changes in many areas of life, including professional sports. In football, many games were cancelled and then five instead of three substitutions were allowed with the unchanged maximum of three time-outs. This initially temporary, but now permanent rule change affects the possibilities and thus the decisions of the coaches of the teams. We analyse 836 games with three possible substitutions and 1,000 games with five possible substitutions in the six seasons from 2017/2018 to 2022/2023 of the Bundesliga (first division of German men's football). In addition to team statistics, data on substitutions was collected. The results show that the rule change changed the behaviour of coaches regarding the number of substitutions made and, in some cases, the timing of substitutions. More substitutions generally have a positive effect on the result of the game.

Keywords: Bundesliga; Football; Ghost Game; Rule Change; Substitution (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Z20 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2023
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-spo
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