The effectiveness of penalty takers' deception: a scoping review

Ran Zheng*, John van der Kamp, Matt Miller-Dicks, José Navia, Geert Savelsbergh

*Corresponding author for this work

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Attackers are supposed to take advantage of producing deceptive actions in competitive ball sports, particularly in penalty situations. We conducted a scoping review of the experimental literature to scrutinize whether penalty takers do indeed benefit from using deceptive actions in penalty situations, especially by increasing the likelihood to score a goal. Studies using video-based and in-situ tasks in which soccer and handball goalkeepers try to save a penalty were evaluated. Results showed that penalty takers' manipulation of spatial information available to the goalkeeper during deception (i.e., by using misleading and/or disguising actions) is less effective in in-situ than video-based studies. We argue that this difference occurs because goalkeepers adapt differently to the spatiotemporal constraints in the video-based and in-situ tasks. Goalkeepers appear to prioritize picking up spatial information in video-based tasks while prioritizing temporal information in-situ tasks. Therefore, the manipulation of spatial information appears to be less effective in the more representative in-situ studies than in video-based studies. In order to deceive, penalty takers are advised to manipulate temporal information during on-field penalty situations.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103122
Number of pages12
JournalHuman Movement Science
Early online date28 Jun 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2023


  • Deception
  • Penalty
  • Task constraint
  • Adaptation
  • Affordance-based control

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