Archive for September, 2013

Getting Less Personal

Sunday, September 22nd, 2013

Personal foul penalties called per game are down 25.9% through the first four weeks of the 2013 season compared to the 2012 season.  Here is the breakdown of personal foul penalties called per game from 2005 to 2013, the seasons for which I have data.  The data includes all personal fouls called, whether they were accepted, declined, or offset.

          G    Per Game
+------+-----+----------
  2005   718     1.81
  2006   792     1.53
  2007   792     1.60
  2008   804     1.68
  2009   808     1.66
  2010   808     1.84
  2011   812     1.79
  2012   838     2.01
  2013   268     1.49

The average personal fouls called per game from 2005-2012 was 1.74, so the 2013 average of 1.49 is down 14.4% from the average of those seasons.  The only season before 2013 that is close in personal foul penalties per game is 2006, but the games for that season were shortened by the rules that caused the game clock to run more often.

Is the drop in personal foul penalties in 2013 a result of the new targeting rules?  Since we’re only four weeks into the 2013 season, there may not be enough data yet to draw that conclusion.  I’ll check back in the coming weeks to see where the numbers stand.