Math on the Field: Soccer

By Renee | Added Mar 31, 2015

Soccer, or Futbol as most enthusiasts call it, takes the crown as the most played and watched sport across the globe. But is soccer just a sport of running and kicking? Is there any strategy to it at all? Soccer requires excellent knowledge, skill and athleticism which can all be converted into mathematical equations. Let’s breakdown math in soccer and determine what scores the winning goal.

Angles for the Goal

As a spectator of the game, we can get caught being mesmerized by the fancy footwork, passing and shooting by the players on the field. In doing so we are ignoring what is actually happening all together, angles. Geometry is a consistent factor throughout the match. 

While running on the field, players must instantly calculate what the best angle to their man and the ball will be. If an improper conclusion is determines in that moment, it could cost their team the match. Once they have found the angle that is to be made, they use their athletic skills to execute their decision

Every shot take is full of geometrical equations. The player taking the shot will adjust their foot and leg to strike the ball at a certain angle to avoid the goal keeper. The goal keeper will make an instantaneous decision on how to prevent the ball from entering the net, thus taking the proper angle with their body.

A Field of Numbers

The field in itself is full of numerical values. Each line that is marked is a representation of a certain distance, measurement or shape. If we take a look from a sky view of a field, it looks as though building block and shapes have been assembled to create the field of play:

[insert image from Higher Visibility - ask them for hi res] 

Each shape on the field is strategically placed to accommodate the players and the match. The measurements are required to be accurate for the field for an even playing field. 

How many shapes can you recognize that make of the soccer field?

Adding up the Numbers

Numbers are all over the place during a soccer match. Each numerical value carries much importance for each team.

The match is measured in time. Each match lasts 90 minutes, with a small amount of added time, in which each team has an opportunity to win. Within that time, each significant moment during the match (goals, substitutions, and injuries) is documented at which time each happened. 

Statistics are kept throughout the match has well. The amount of shots, fouls, saves and much more are kept for each team. These stats will determine many future outcomes for the players and teams in the match. Comparisons will be made between kept statistics for each team in the league.


Soccer only provides more evidence that math is a valuable aspect in all sports. Math can be a component in all sports very existence and how we play them today. So as an athlete, if you want to get better at your craft don’t forget about practicing math. It just might help you get the victory.