An appearance point is awarded to any goalkeeper or defender who is on the pitch for at least 45 minutes (a full half), excluding injury time. Thus, a starting defender either subbed off or sent off during first half injury time will not qualify for an appearance point.
If a defensive player completes 75 minutes or more of a game (again excluding injury time) and no goals are conceded whilst he's on the pitch, then that player will be awarded two extra points for a ‘clean sheet’ (three points total). Therefore a starting player must be on the pitch at 75:00 to qualify for a clean sheet. Fantasy League use Press Association sources for the timing of substitutions
Players lose one point for every goal that is conceded by their team while they are on the pitch. Consequently, a player who completes a full 90 minutes and concedes one goal will score zero points. A player who completes thirty minutes of a game and concedes one goal will scoring minus one point.
A player is considered to be “on the pitch” if he was included in the starting line-up or came on as a substitute, but has not been officially substituted off. Hence, a player is still liable for a points deduction even if receiving treatment at the time the goal is scored or the player has been taken off and not substituted (their team may have already used the maximum permitted number of substitutions).
Goalkeepers and defenders receiving red cards will lose points after they are sent off. If a player is sent off and his team concedes goals after his dismissal, he continues to lose the points that his team-mates do. If the goalkeeper/defender is sent off and his team keep a clean sheet then he keeps the points as at the time he was sent off.
Generally, assists are awarded to the team-mate who provided the last 'clean pass' to a goalscorer. A clean pass is defined as a pass, cross or shot that goes directly to the goalscorer without the intervention of another player.
Once there is a measure of interference from another player (be it a team-mate or an opponent) then the assist may be taken away (in the case of significant defensive intervention), or additional assists added (in the case of a flick-on by a team-mate).
Please note that assists during live updates are provided by a feed - they do not include assists for goalkeeping parries, own goals or fouls for penalties. All goals are subsequently reviewed by our assist panel and confirmed shortly after all of day’s matches are completed.
What happens if an opposition player gets a touch on the ball?
If the last touch is by an opposing player (accidental or otherwise) and significantly alters the speed or direction of the ball (excluding a goal-line clearance) then the assist is removed and no assist is credited. This could result from a defensive deflection, a blocked shot, a dodgy back-pass or a poor clearance.
Assists are most commonly removed for significant changes in direction on a horizontal plane and not for changes in height. The Fantasy League Assist Panel will remove an assist for a significant direction change if any televised angle confirms any one of the below factors to be true:
- A touch from another player allows the goalscorer to receive the ball when they would not have been able to otherwise
- The touch means the goalscorer has to dramatically alter the direction or speed of which they are running, either making or halting a run, having to take a stride backwards rather than a slide forwards or if the player received the ball on an opposite side. (i.e. on their left side rather than their right)
- The touch means that the goalscorer receives the ball in a different area of the pitch, affecting the goal scoring chance that they are then presented with
A change of speed will also result in the removal of assists if it is significant in the following ways:
- A touch changes the speed enough to obviously remove/add the need for a first touch
- The change of speed means the goalscorer has to dramatically alter the direction or speed of which they are running
A dramatic change of height could also be judged as a significant change of speed, given the additional time the ball takes to reach the goalscorer, when the above principals are considered.
Furthermore, the position of other players is not taken into account when deciding upon assists. Instead, a comparison is made between the direction the ball was originally heading (before the offending touch) and where it ended up in relation to the goalscorer.
Benefit of the doubt
If there is not sufficient evidence or enough available television angles to confirm that any of the above requirements apply, then the attacking player will be given 'the benefit of the doubt' and the assist awarded. This principal is often applied to immediate deflections when the exact direction in which the original ball was heading is not clear.
If a goalkeeper parries a shot or drops a shot/cross and a goal is then scored, then the player making the original shot or cross is awarded an assist. There is no assist given if the goalkeeper punches or kicks (not including a save with his feet) the ball away, the difference being that he is deemed to be in control of his actions and, no matter how pathetic the attempt, has cleared the ball away. If the goalkeeper catches and has control of the ball then, this also removes any assist.
It's off the line!
If a defender makes a goal-line clearance and it is then turned in, an assist is awarded in the same way that it is awarded for a goalkeeping parry. This only happens with goal-line clearances and when the defender is closer - or as close - to the goal-line than the goalkeeper. It does not apply to shots blocked in front of the goalkeeper.
The 'last pass to goalscorer' rule
If the defensive intervention occurs after the goalscorer has already received the ball from a team-mate (after a 'clean' pass) then the assist will stand, as the assist, by definition, is awarded for the last pass to the goalscorer. For example, if a player feeds the ball to the eventual goalscorer on the edge of the box and that player shoots, but hits a defender before scoring at the second attempt, the player making the initial pass will still be awarded an assist, as the goalscorer had already received the ball before the deflection occurred.
He's hit the bar!
A player who has a cross/shot which comes off the woodwork and rebounds back to the goalscorer will be deserving of an assist. If the same player hits the bar and then scores from the rebound, the assist will be awarded to the player who provided the last pass to the goalscorer (as above).
When a penalty is awarded, a player fouled earns an assist if the penalty is subsequently converted.
However, the player drawing the foul also scores the resulting penalty then no assist is given.
If the penalty is for a handball on a goal-bound shot (which has already passed the goalkeeper), then the player taking the shot is awarded the assist. No assist is awarded for a handball that is not a goal-line clearance.
If a goalkeeper parries a penalty and the penalty taker scores from the rebound, then the assist remains as above. If a different player converts the rebound, then the penalty taker gets the assist.
Unlike penalties, there is no assist given to a player earning a direct free-kick even if a goal arises directly from it.
What happens if a team-mate gets a slight touch on the ball (flick-ons and double assists)?
If the last touch before the goalscorer receives the ball is from his own team mate but does not significantly alter the speed or direction of the ball then two (or more - in the event of a flick-on of a flick-on) separate assists are given - one to the player with the initial cross and one to the player providing the flick-on. These typically occur as a result of near post corners, long throw-ins and goal-kicks.
Again, the determining factor in whether two or more assists are awarded is whether or not the additional touch (the flick-on) has a significant impact on the direction of ball on a horizontal plane. Any change of height is not taken into consideration unless it significantly affects the time taken to reach the goalscorer (the speed of the ball).
Thus a flat corner driven in at head height towards the near post, flicked-on to the back post by an attacking player, where it is nodded over the line, would attract two assists. However, an in-swinging corner to the near post, headed outwards to the edge of the six-yard-box, from where it is turned home, would result an assist only being awarded to the attacking player making the second touch - as the headed intervention changes the horizontal direction of the ball by a significant amount.
In the event of an own goal, the player from the attacking team who crosses/shoots is awarded the assist. However, if the ball takes two or more significant deflections off defenders before going into the net, then no assist is awarded.
Deciding on assists
Assists are awarded by virtue of a decision from the highly experienced Fantasy League Assists Panel. The decisions of the panel are in line with the framework laid out above in order to maintain consistent adjudication. However, if you still have a query about an assist please send us an email using the 'Contact Us' page. Decisions made by Fantasy League are final.