Thread: Football: value of a timeout View Single Post
#9
01-25-2011, 07:33 PM
 Superhal Guest Join Date: Sep 2009 Location: The Internet. Since '84. Posts: 6,460
Imho, a timeout saves time on the clock, which is essentially priceless at the end of a game.

Examples:

1. There are 5 seconds left on the clock. You need a minimum of 12 seconds to run your field goal unit out on the field, set up, and go for a field goal try. Without a timeout, there is no try.

2. Your team has to go 80 yards down the field with 5 seconds left. The fastest players in history run a 40 yard dash in 4 seconds.

3. The other team is winning and they are trying to run out the clock. Each down, they can waste 45 seconds, or a total of 2.5 minutes, plus whatever seconds it takes to run each play. If the opponent can call a time out, this saves 2.5 minutes of game time.

But statistically, if you wanted to gauge the value of a timeout, I would imagine the formula would include:
a. Whether you are ahead or behind in the score,
b. How much you are ahead or behind in the score,
c. How far you need to move the ball to get into scoring range,
d. The total remaining time.

The farther you are behind in the score and the more yards you have to move the ball, the higher a timeout's value is. As the time gets lower and lower to around say 20-30 seconds left, this multiplies that value. However, with around say 10 seconds left, the value starts decreasing again, because a single play takes a minimum of 5-10 seconds to run anyway, so regardless of how many timeouts you have, you can only do 1 more play.

Last edited by Superhal; 01-25-2011 at 07:36 PM.