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Superleague Case Study: The Pitch is to Blame!

Where are the most goals scored in the UCD AFC Superleague?Super_League_Logo


Research Brief

To find out on which Superleague pitch the most goals are scored.



Pore over all Superleague results from October 1st 2011 to February 5th 2012. Complex counting plus addition and subtraction.



A bad workman blames his tools is the old adage, when something goes wrong it is not the fault of the human, the blame lies with the inanimate object employed to allow the task occur in the first place. Most walks of life will dismiss this as a poor excuse for human failings but not in the UCD Superleague. It is here where excuses thrive, grow legs and often prevent certain league victories.


In days gone by the Superleague pitch bore the brunt of the blame but with the advent of astro turf, surely it has made the playing surface more equal. Not the case. "The Soccer Astro is too small, the GAA Astro is too big, the Rugby Astro has too many lines on it, I'm not used to playing on grass pitches anymore", an anonymous Superleague player said recently.


If goals win games, and winning games means three points, and three points means winning leagues then lets have a look at where the most goals are scored and on which pitches. Does the expansive nature of the GAA Astro allow for more goals, or are the tight confines of the Soccer Astro more likely to provide the most thrilling moments, I think you can see where this is going.



Taking the average goals per pitch as our initial yardstick.

In the Premier Saturday Division the Owenstown 1 pitch has seen the most goals with 20 goals in 3 games, averaging 6.67 goals a game. The Soccer Astro has played host to 226 goals in 41 games, creating an average of 5.51. Old Merville comes in third place with 58 goals in 11 games, a 5.27 average. Statistics are there to be interpreted so lets have a go, the modern day player prefers playing on grass, in the Premier Saturday Division anyway.


Sunday Premier football in the Superleague flies in the face of Saturday's findings. More goals are scored on the Astros than the grass pitches. The Rugby Astro has played host to an average of 6 goals a game, 66 goals in 11 games. The GAA Astro has seen 176 goals in 35 games, averaging 5.02 goals a game. The Soccer Astro comes in third place with an average of 4.83 goals, 203 goals in 42 games. How do we interpret these findings? Using the previous approach, the modern day player in the Premier Sunday Division prefers Astro pitches.


In Division 1 Saturday the grass pitches reign supreme. Old Merville has seen the most goals scored per game with an average of 7.33, 88 goals in 12 games. The Soccer Astro comes in second place with an impressive 6.97 goals, 244 goals in 35 games. In third place is Owenstown 1 with an average 5.33 goals, 16 goals in 3 games. How can we present this? It might be fair to say that the more traditional players play on a Saturday. That makes it sound like they prefer to get dirty, another days work perhaps.



Averages can skew research studies such as this one. If you were the sort of person to chose a day and a pitch to spend hours watching football, a real fan, where would you get value for money. The answer of course is the Soccer Astro on a Saturday. For the price of the bus fare to Belfield, you would have been treated to 470 goals of varying quality on the Soccer Astro on a Saturday. Even if you took a taxi from Greystones this would still be value for money.


In pure balls in the back of the net terms, you are more likely to score on a Saturday afternoon than at any other time in Belfield. Educational and informative no doubt but why? Are the strikers better on a Saturday afternoon? Are the defences meaner on a Sunday? A can of worms has been opened.




*Counting may be wrong

*Addition may not be accurate

*Subtraction was not actually needed

*Division was done with the aid of a calculator

Premier Saturday: 527

Rugby Astro: 134 (28 Games) Average: 4.78

Soccer Astro: 226 (41 Games) Average: 5.51

GAA Astro: 89 (20 Games) Average: 4.45

Old Merville: 58 (11 Games) Average: 5.27

Owenstown: 20 (3 Games) Average: 6.67


Premier Sunday: 446

Rugby Astro: 66 (11 Games) Average: 6

Soccer Astro: 203 (42 Games) Average: 4.83

GAA Astro: 176 (35 Games) Average: 5.02

Old Merville: 1 (1 Game) Average: 1

Owenstown: 0 (0 Games) Average: 0


Division 1 Saturday: 581

Rugby Astro: 126 (25 Games) Average: 5.04

Soccer Astro: 244 (35 Games) Average: 6.97

GAA Astro: 107 (24 Games) Average: 4.46

Old Merville: 88 (12 Games) Average: 7.33

Owenstown: 16 (3 Games) Average: 5.33