Yellow Cards: Do They Matter?
Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, Vol. 7:Iss. 1, Article 9, January 2011
Kurt W. Rotthoff, Ph.D.
Department of Economics and Legal Studies
Using data from the Bundesliga, the top German football league (American ‘soccer’), we analyze the effects of yellow and red cards on the probability of victory for a team. For the team receiving the cards, we find that yellow and red cards decrease the probability of victory. However the number of fouls called increases the probability of victory for that team. We therefore find that aggressive play is valuable, but pushing too hard is detrimental. We also find that the probability change is different for the home and away teams.