Determining the Effectiveness of Your Play Calls

Determining the Effectiveness of Your Play Calls

How effective is your play calling? This is something that every coach needs to look at when the season wraps up. The issue is that this can be a very difficult.

Determining the Effectiveness of Your Play Calls

There are a variety of different ways to measure the effectiveness of a play call. Some teams go based solely on yards gained. While this can be an effective measure in most scenarios, there are lots of special circumstances (like the Red Zone, 3rd and 1, and any 4th Down Play) where this is not an effective tool to measure if a play was effective. In these situations a first down is the goal of the play, sometimes it might mean making a yard, other times it might mean making 10 yards but the measurement is still the same, first downs. At the same time though, it’s hard to say a first down play isn’t effective just because it didn’t get a first down.

To create a uniform way to measure the effectiveness of a play call we rely on determining if a play is efficient. The measurement for efficiency can vary based on the down but once you understand how it works you are left with a very clean, effective way to measure your play calls.

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For any first down play call we say the goal is to get at least four yards. We believe if you are able to get 4 yards on first down you are in a position to get the first down. On second down the goal is to cut the amount of yards you need in half. This means that if it is second and 6, you would need to get 3 yards for a play to be considered efficient. Third and fourth down are treated as the same down. The goal is to get a first down. If the play gets a first down it is considered efficient, if it does not get a first down then it is not efficient.

The major thing that calculating your efficiency does it allow you determine what plays are effective and what are not. This can vary from formation to formation and even from side to side. When we break down our plays we break them down by concept, concept in each formation and concept to each side. By comparing the different levels of efficiency for each of these we can see where the breakdown is. Many times we find that a play might be effective to one side of the formation. Normally this is due to better athletes being on one side, but sometimes it’s because of natural right/left biases. For example, most quick passes are better to the left because it is easier for a right handed Quarterback to throw that way. Once you have found this information you can use this to tailor your game plan for the future.

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