Strategic rule breaking: Time wasting to win soccer games

Autoři: Henrich R. Greve aff001;  Nils Rudi aff002;  Anup Walvekar aff003
Působiště autorů: INSEAD, Singapore, Singapore aff001;  Yale School of Management, New Haven, CT, United States of America aff002;  National University of Singapore Business School, Singapore, Singapore aff003
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(12)
Kategorie: Research Article


Rules regulate behavior, but in competitive contexts they also create incentives for rule-breaking because enforcement is imperfect. Sports is a prime example of this, and one that lends itself well to investigation because strategic rule-breaking is often measurable. Professional soccer is a highly competitive team sport with economic rewards for winning given to teams and players. It has a set of rules to ensure fair play, but the enforcement is incomplete, and hence can lead to strategic behavior. Using newly available data, we examine strategic time-wasting, a behavior that help teams win games, or tie games against superior opponents, but is contrary to the objective of game play as entertainment for the spectators. We demonstrate that strategic time-wasting is widespread and is done through delayed restart of the game after goalie capture of the ball, goal kick, throw-in, free kick, corner kick, and substitution. The strategic time-wasting has substantial magnitude, and models of the value per minute predict time-wasting well. Because this time-wasting is a result of incentives created by not stopping the game clock, we predict that a change to rules with stopped game clock when the play is stopped would make game play more time efficient.

Klíčová slova:

Behavioral economics – Decision making – Gambling – Games – Law enforcement – Sports – Cognitive heuristics


1. Scherer FM, Ross D. Industrial market structure and economic performance. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Academy for entrepreneurial leadership historical research reference in entrepreneurship. 1990;.

2. Palmer D, Yenkey CB. Drugs, sweat, and gears: An organizational analysis of performance-enhancing drug use in the 2010 Tour de France. Social Forces. 2015;94(2):891–922. doi: 10.1093/sf/sov046

3. Becker GS. Crime and punishment: An economic approach. In: The economic dimensions of crime. Springer; 1968. p. 13–68.

4. Garoupa N. The theory of optimal law enforcement. Journal of economic surveys. 1997;11(3):267–295. doi: 10.1111/1467-6419.00034

5. Greve HR, Palmer D, Pozner JE. Organizations gone wild: The causes, processes, and consequences of organizational misconduct. The Academy of Management Annals. 2010;4(1):53–107.

6. Groenevelt H, Rudi N, Uppari BS. In-play football prediction. Manuscript INSEAD. 2012;.

7. Tversky A, Kahneman D. Judgment under uncertainty: Heuristics and biases. science. 1974;185(4157):1124–1131. doi: 10.1126/science.185.4157.1124 17835457

8. Arrow KJ, Forsythe R, Gorham M, Hahn R, Hanson R, Ledyard JO, et al.. The promise of prediction markets; 2008.

9. Wolfers J, Zitzewitz E. Prediction markets. Journal of economic perspectives. 2004;18(2):107–126. doi: 10.1257/0895330041371321

10. Forrest D, Goddard J, Simmons R. Odds-setters as forecasters: The case of English football. International journal of forecasting. 2005;21(3):551–564. doi: 10.1016/j.ijforecast.2005.03.003

11. Goddard J, Asimakopoulos I. Forecasting football results and the efficiency of fixed-odds betting. Journal of Forecasting. 2004;23(1):51–66. doi: 10.1002/for.877

Článek vyšel v časopise


2019 Číslo 12
Nejčtenější tento týden