Effective time in J-League 2014: Club impact in J2

Continuing from my previous post, I present the impact of Japan’s second-division clubs on the amount of effective playing time relative to the average in J-League Division Two (J2).

Here’s some summary data on playing time in J2:

  • The mean effective playing time in J2 during the 2014 season was 52 minutes 30 seconds.  This average is almost four minutes less than the mean playing time in J1 matches and almost 45 seconds less than the J2 average in 2013.
  • The standard deviation in effective playing time is almost unchanged from 2013 — 289.3 seconds (4 minutes 49 seconds) as opposed to 291 seconds (4 minutes 51 seconds).
  • The J2 match with the most effective playing time was Consadole Sapporo vs Oita Trinita in matchday 22 (67 minutes 39 seconds), while the J2 match with the least was FC Gifu vs Oita Trinita in matchday 39 (35 minutes 39 seconds!!).  That latter amount was so incredible that I had to check the J-League website to see what could have caused that.  It looks like the match was played in rain; I have no idea how heavy it was but perhaps it had an impact.  It didn’t have an effect on the final score, which ended 3-2 to Trinita.

Below is a table of team impact on playing time relative to the average match:

  EPT Impact (secs) Std Error (secs)
Thespakusatsu Gunma 202.1 44.2
Fagiano Okayama 157.4 43.5
JEF United Chiba 150.2 44.4
Tokyo Verdy 147.6 43.1
Giravanz Kitakyushu 136.4 45.9
Ehime FC 113.9 46.6
Kataller Toyama 100.0 44.0
Consadole Sapporo 43.5 45.3
Tochigi SC 41.5 43.5
Oita Trinita 33.4 43.6
Jubilo Iwata 33.1 42.9
Kyoto Sanga FC 2.2 46.7
Mito Hollyhock -0.7 43.5
Avispa Fukuoka -23.1 41.9
Yokohama FC -82.1 44.7
Kamatamare Sanuki -91.0 44.7
Montedio Yamagata -98.8 43.6
Roasso Kumamoto -115.3 44.1
Shonan Bellmare -123.3 44.2
V-Varen Nagasaki -148.3 44.1
FC Gifu -211.9 42.7
Matsumoto Yamaga FC -268.4 44.7

In contrast to last season, where the majority of the J2 sides had a negative effect on playing time, the number of teams with positive and negative impacts were balanced.  A more significant contrast was that the three promoted teams — Shonan Bellmare, Matsumoto Yamaga, and Montedio Yamagata — were associated with matches with much lower amounts of playing time than the league average.  Matches involving Bellmare or Yamagata tended to reduce effective playing time by 90 seconds to two minutes relative to the league average; Matsumoto Yamaga’s matches saw a four and a half minute drop in playing time.  JEF United Chiba, a playoff side, had a significantly positive impact on playing time (two and a half minutes above league average), but Júbilo Iwata’s impact was minimal.  It is interesting that two of the four sides with the most positive impacts on playing time finished very close to the relegation zone (Tokyo Verdy and Thespakusatsu Gunma).

While impact on playing time is not a predictor of performance, could it be that teams that finish at or near the top of the table are more able to dictate the play, and therefore the amount of playing time, better than their opponents?  It could be dumb luck, but it would be interesting to see if such a trend holds over many seasons.