This will be a short article, but as I’ve created a pretty picture I thought I would share it. The findings are not that very different from this article on blocked shots that footballfactman posted last week. I just had a desire to see how the frequency of blocked shots changed by the smallest variation in shot location.
I looked at the proportion of shots taken in the Big 5 leagues this season that were blocked, and whilst the findings aren’t ground breaking it is always good to confirm what you thought was the case actually does hold true. This is one such case.
In order to get a more granular view of the blocked shots I based my viz on the presentation technique used in this article by @11tegen11. I created a Blocked Shots Heatmap.
The percentages refer to the amount of blocked shots, with 100% meaning that all shots taken from that location were blocked, and 0% meaning that no shots were blocked from that shooting spot. The penalty spot can be seen as it is much greener that the surrounding areas.
Blocked Shots Heatmap
So, what does the Blocked Shots Heatmap tell us?
Generally speaking, the closer to goal the less likelihood there is of getting your shot blocked, it is only for shots from 35 yards or longer that the proportion of blocked shots starts decreasing again.
Take Away Highlights
Inside the 6 yard box, blocked shots only occur approximately once every 8 shots.
The rate of blocked shots increases to approximately 15% between the end of the 6 yard box and the penalty spot.
About 25% of shots are blocked if they originate from the region between the penalty spot and the edge of the area.
As expected, the rate of blocked shots increases again in the first 10 yards outside the penalty area, with the rate increasing to approximately 31%. However, it is important to note that in many of the central locations 5 or 6 yards outside the edge of the penalty area that the rate of blocked shots can be as high as 35% or 37%.
Beyond this point, the rate of blocks decreases to about 25% for shots from the next 7 or 8 yards further away from goal.
Shots (and I have included headers in this analysis) from less than 12 yards out shouldn’t be blocked more than 1 in every 8 attempts on average, whereas if you shoot in the region from the penalty spot to 10 yards outside the penalty area you could expect as much as almost 1 in every 3 shots to be blocked on average. There are certain prime central zones where the amount of blocks almost reach 40% of shots taken.
So whilst it is undoubtedly much easier for a player to shoot from distance than to try to manufacture a better shooting opportunity with an attempted pass, it is clear that such a shot has a considerable chance of being blocked. If this does happen it may then create an excellent counter attacking opportunity for the other team.
That, along with the potential for shots to be blocked upto virtually half of the time suggests that players perhaps shouldn’t be so keen to take those “Hollywood” style shots and instead try to create an opportunity for a better placed teammate instead.