How Are Points Calculated in Football
The points system in football is the most common way to assess the success of a team.
This is a transparent and objective way to judge how well teams are doing because points are given out based on a team’s performance on the field of play.
Most competitions make use of this points system, whether it’s a league format or tournament football where group stage football is played. Points are assigned based on the results you get in a match.
Three points are assigned for a win to the victorious team, one point each to both teams for a draw, and zero points for a loss.
Today we will look at how points are calculated and the different competitions in which they play a crucial part in determining the winner.
How points are calculated in football league system
A league competition is a form of football competition whereby you play various teams, home and away, over the period of a season, usually lasting 9-10 months.
Winners of a league tournament are determined by the team who has been able to amass the most points over the course of the campaign.
The points, like all competitions, are 3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, and 0 point for a loss.
In a football points table, W stands for wins, D stands for draws, and L stands for losses.
The points for various teams are usually added up after all the official league matches have been played, with the team with the most points declared the winner.
Leagues like the English Premier League, Spanish La Liga, Italian Serie A, German Bundesliga, and French Ligue 1 are examples of competitions that employ this point system.
Tournament football also follows the same pattern, especially at the group stage of the competition or qualifiers.
Four teams are usually grouped together in the same group and play each other, with the team having the highest points emerging winner.
Competitions like the FIFA World Cup, UEFA Champions League, and Olympic soccer tournaments deploy this system, especially in the group stages.
Sometimes when points have been calculated, teams might still finish with the same number of points. This is where a tiebreaker will be used.
A tiebreaker is another criterion used to separate teams when they finish level on points.
The first tiebreaker most commonly used is the head-to-head results. This is a situation where the results between the two teams on level points are checked to see if one team had a positive result against the other.
If they can’t be separated based on the head-to-head rule, another way is goal difference, when a team scores more goals and concedes less than its rival.
If that still doesn’t separate the teams, then looking at the disciplinary record of both teams or drawing of lots will be the final determinant.
A good example was what happened to Senegal at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Senegal was on the receiving end of this kind of tiebreaker in the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Despite finishing on the same level of points as Japan and scoring the same number of goals, the Teranga Lions were eliminated at the group stage due to the fact that they amassed more yellow cards than their Asian counterparts.
In general, points in soccer are calculated in a widely accepted way. However, the tie breaker when two football team are tied on points varies from competition to competitions.