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Coaches / Analysis / Details

Quantitative analysis (1)


Trends in the number of attacks performed per match

{23db897f-1d89-42c2-a834-09c6fdc01bee,Figure 1} shows that there continues to be a downward trend in the number of attacks per game (based on the results of the teams ranked 1st to 8th). Between 2011 and 2019, the number of attacks was reduced by a total of 15%.

The teams performing the highest number of attacks were:

  • Spain: 53.3 attacks per match
  • Norway: 53.2 attacks per match
  • Sweden: 52.4 attacks per match

World champions Denmark played an average of only 49.8 attacks per match, but achieved by far the highest attack effectiveness (63.7%).

There are several reasons for this development:

  • The decrease in the number of attacks is certainly due to an overall improvement in the teams’ retreat behaviour. By quickly turning attack into defence – players often anticipate the emerging finishing situation and start moving into their own half of the court before the final shot on goal – today’s teams try to force the breaking opponents into positional attack.
  • During fast play, the teams still mostly use first and second phase counter-attacks, especially with fast wing players. Third phase counter-attacks (that is, tactically continuing playing against a regrouping defence) are used much less often. Here, we observed only few tactical playing concepts.
  • This ultimately also reduces the risk whenever counter-attacks are discontinued in favour of clearly structured and tactically well-prepared positional attacks.
  • In addition, considerations regarding the planned playing speed in a game also play an important role, especially in a tournament, in which the best placed teams play a total of 10 matches.

The duration of attacks per match has inevitably increased as well; the average duration of an attack currently amounts to 35.3 seconds! This value is still considerably lower than the demands of some experts, who would like to set the general time limit for attacks to 45 seconds or even one minute.


Trends in the attack effectiveness ({e6fc3b7b-baf2-439e-a0ee-45e41cafcd41,figure 2})

Since the 2011 World Championship, the attack effectiveness has been consistently increasing (+15.5%). The best eight teams at the 2019 World Championship achieved 57.5% – the by far highest value in the last 12 years.

The teams (ranking 1st to 8th) showing the best attack effectiveness (see {db553b1c-9ffb-4a92-aedb-bf2b969c9f4c,figure 3}) are:

  • Denmark: 63.7%
  • Norway: 61.1%
  • Sweden: 57.8%

At 63.7%, the attack effectiveness of the new world champions Denmark is particularly high. The immensely high quality of their attacks is caused by a tactically clearly proportioned pace in attack (see number of attacks per game) and technically/tactically very precise positional attacks.


Trends in the number of goals scored per match ({28b5a761-3736-4edc-a75e-685d76e628a9,figure 4})

The number of goals scored per match has only changed slightly. An average of 59 goals per match are scored (by both teams together), and the top teams are rather above average:

  • Norway: 32.5 goals per game
  • Denmark: 31.7 goals per game
  • Spain: 30.4 goals per game


Trends in the shot effectiveness

In general, the shot effectiveness (goals/shots ratio) is higher than the attack effectiveness (attacks finished with a goal, a missed shot or a technical fault).

As far as the overall result of the eight best teams is concerned, the shot effectiveness has improved only slightly at the last Word Championships. Now, things are completely different: at almost 65%, the 2019 World Championship saw the by far highest shot effectiveness:

  • 2007 World Championship: 59.2%
  • 2009 World Championship: 58.8%
  • 2011 World Championship: 60.2%
  • 2013 World Championship: 61.7%
  • 2015 World Championship: 62.7%
  • 2017 World Championship: 62.3%
  • 2019 World Championship: 64.7%

{db553b1c-9ffb-4a92-aedb-bf2b969c9f4c,Figure 3} gives an overview of the shot effectiveness of the eight best teams. Here, too, the two finalists Denmark (67.9%) and Norway (68.4%) reached the best result by far.


The 2019 World Championship was characterised by high-quality attacking play. Today, the top teams generally manage to score from more than two-thirds of all shots on goal.