The K League - Developing Football in South Korea
The K League exists to provide a great experience for fans in the country and overseas, but also has a key role to play in the development of South Korean football and the performance of the national teams.
Therefore being able to measure player and team performance is important to not just the individual teams competing, but also those running the league itself. Much of this work falls to the K League’s Technical Study Group, who spend time using their footballing expertise to help teams and players improve to the benefit of both their team, the league and South Korean football. This team is made up of current and former coaches and analysts who have experience of working at the highest level.
An example of their work is the season report they create to provide all those interested with a data-driven overview of the previous season, focused on K League 1 and 2. This detailed document provides anyone interested with a deeper look at what happened over the season, all supported and explained through data. From the standout individuals, to insights on every team, to the key stories from the season, relevant data is used to add context and insights that maybe weren’t immediately obvious or readily available during the season.
”There are two main objectives in publishing the technical report. One is to internally update tactical trends and data of each K League club, and two, to satisfy the fans' everlasting needs for analytical content. With the development of the online fan community, the conversations regarding technical analysis have boomed unprecedentedly. With easy access to key insights from European football panels and experts, fans no longer blindly heed the words of the K League panels, data has become more important than ever to persuade fans and increase the credibility of its analysis. Football data is no longer the domain of the experts but an element of entertainment for fans to enjoy the game we love.”
Tae-ha Park, K League Technical Study Group Chief
Insights from Football Data
In order to create their technical report, the K League used Data Reports from BEPRO to provide the detail they needed to produce an in-depth overview of the 2022 season that went beyond what is generally available in other media. For example Passes Per Defensive Action, which can indicate pressure, was included to show how teams pressed with greater intensity in the 2022 season compared to 2021.
Styles of play were also measured more objectively through Sequence Metrics, which consider the number of passes and direct speed of each sequence (a sequence is a passage of play belonging to one team that is ended by defensive actions, stoppages in play or a shot). This allowed the technical group to look at the differences between each team and also consider the changes from 2021 to 2022.
BEPRO data was also used by the group to look at goalkeepers, which is a key focus area for the KFA, with each K League team required to have a Korean as their keeper. Passing statistics were analysed to show an increase in the volume of short passes being played overall as teams look to play out from the back on more occasions, a trend seen in many other leagues around the world. A ‘Saving Index’ was also created using BEPRO Expected Goals data (specifically xGOT), to indicate how many goals a keeper prevented based on the quality of chances they faced.
A range of data also provided the basis for team profiles, considering possession, average position, Expected Goals, PPDA and more. Insights from BEPRO data also made it easier for the technical team to create key features for every team to summarise how they played throughout the 2022 K League season.
”BEPRO provided a variety of accurate data collected from K League matches throughout the season, aiding our Technical Study Group with matches and players analysis from multiple angles for report creation. It also presented wide-angle footage suitable for match analysis, helping to create video materials to be inserted into reports. A separate dashboard was also provided, allowing more advanced data to be shared more efficiently. BEPRO were professional in collecting and utilising K League data, and has efficiently fed them to fans and relevant stakeholders at the K League. We are satisfied with the work and collaborative approach it has shown and are looking forward to achieving great results together this season as well.”
Chi-jun An, Head of Football Operation
Our Data Report service is ideal for any team, league or federation looking to get a deeper, data-powered understanding of team and player performances.