Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Butler, David; Butler, Robert
Soccer and Society
Rule changes and incentives in the League of Ireland from 1970 to 2014
Optional Fields
Rule changes League of Ireland Goals scored Soccer
We consider how five rule changes in the League of Ireland have affected the amount of goals scored in the domestic league from 1970 to 2014. Altering the rules represents a significant departure from the previous season and changes the incentive structure for teams. Numerous individual rule changes were imposed on the league during this period, each with the intention of improving playing standards and incentivizing more attacking football. This paper describes the impact of three new points systems introduced in 1981–1982, 1982–1983 and 1993–1994, the introduction of the First Division League in 1985–1986, and the switch to a single calendar year league with a March–November schedule in 2003 known as Summer Soccer. A retrospective analysis of goals per season and single match outcomes suggests that changes to the points system have not resulted in an increase in the number of goals scored in the Premier Division, nor has the introduction of the First Division.
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