The Actim Index was renamed the EA Sports Player Performance Index in 2010 and is the industry official player ranking measurement for The Premier League, The Championship, and Scottish Premier League.
The Player performance EA Index ranks players each week by their position in a list, and the points build as the season progresses, moving players up and down the list. Whilst the algorithm behind how the ratings are calculated are not public, most of the measurements have been disclosed over time.
In 2006/07 season, 2 more measurements were added to the PPI. These were to award points for ‘player assists’, and also for ‘clean sheets’ to help equal out the opportunity for defenders and goalkeepers to be awarded points, since it has historically been strikers that have scored the highest such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Roque Santa Cruz, Fernando Torres, Emmanuel Adebayor and Carlos Tevez.
To formally quantify previous announcements such as a teams ‘best midfielder’, ‘player of the season’, most resilient defender’ ‘most influential on the pitch’ etc the Barclays Premier League developed an official player rating index call the Player Performance Index or PPI which is run by EA Sports.
The data is collected at all Premiership and Championship league matches by an official representative from the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA). They are usually ex-players that know the game in thorough detail to identify when points should be awarded. The official representative is assisted with video footage to help verify information and playback questionable actions. The index is then finalized and published to the public.
As part of the PPI, EA Sports also produce a list of the ‘Top 100 players’ and ‘Top 5 players by position’. This is kept up to date and changes as the season unfold on a Tuesday for all Barclays Premiership league fixtures, and a Thursday for all Coca-Cola Championship fixtures.
Example of top players in the Player Performance Index
How the Player Performance Index is ranked
The Player Performance Index uses 6 key measurements to determine and measure the players ‘contribution’ to the success of his or her team.
By recording player statistics instead of opinion based observations, you can form a view which is non-biased as it’s made from proven statistics which build a picture of performance throughout the season. And as the season progresses, the statistics recorded can create a more and more accurate picture including identifying patterns of performance under different playing conditions.
By having the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index (EA SPORTS PPI) disputes are easily settled when comparing or discussing player performance since the statistics measured create an objective and factually based ranking of the best players.
6 Player Performance Index measurements
Each of the 6 key indices that make up the Player Performance Index have points associated to it to help rank the players. The 6 key indices are:
- 1. Winning Performance
- 2. Player’s Performance per match
- 3. Player Appearances
- 4. Goals Scored
- 5. Player Assists
- 6. Clean Sheets
1. Winning Performance
This index takes into account the players contribution to the winning team calculated by measuring the time spent on the pitch by a player during the match and points won by the team when he/she has played.
Each player receives a number of points for time they have spent playing on the pitch during the game. The longer the player is on the pitch for, the more points he/she will get awarded.
The index is calculated by dividing the league points won by a team into the players according to the number of minutes they have spent on the pitch.
2. Player’s Performance per match
This index takes into account the players performance per match, looking at the ‘positive influences’ on a winning performance. These are:
- Shots on target
Players then have points deducted from their score for negative actions such as:
- Shots off target
- Receiving a yellow or red card
3. Player Appearances
This index awards players with points for the number of minutes that they spend on the pitch during a match.
The total number of points awarded by every team in the Barclays Premier League are then divided into the players in line with the number of minutes they have spent playing on the pitch.
This index is a measurement of player time on pitch only, irrespective of whether the player was on the winning team.
4. Goals Scored
This index is very simple. Players are awarded with points every time they score a goal.
5. Player Assists
This index awards players points for any assists that they have made during their time on the pitch. The player that benefited from the assist (i.e. they scored a goal) is not included in this index.
The assist awarded must be to a player in the same team as the player that scored the goal for it to be considered a ‘contribution’ to the success of the team.
In instances where an assist is made but a player in the opposing team has contact with the ball outside of the penalty box, which alters the direction of the ball, then the assist is not awarded unless the result is an own goal.
If the team is awarded a free kick or penalty, the player that earnt the team the free kick or penalty is awarded with an assist providing that a goal is directly scored by another team mate. If he/she takes the free kick or penalty then no assist is given.
6. Clean Sheets
This index awards points to the whole team for ‘clean sheets’. The points are distributed across the team depending on the players position and time spent on the pitch during a match. For example, a goal keeper is awarded more points for keeping a clean sheet than a forward.
All of the points that can be awarded in the Player Performance Index are rewarded through statistical measurement, and one completed action cannot score higher than another. They are treated equally. For example, a good tackle by a defender cannot be awarded more than a great run by a winger.
The index does not take into consideration opinion based measurements such as:
- Charisma on pitch
- Signs of leadership
- Creative flair
- A top quality goal
Whilst the Player Performance Index does reward players that have ‘contributed’ to a winning team, the team’s success is only part of the final rating. If a player performs well throughout the season but is part of a team that has not enjoyed many wins over the season, they can still rank highly, since they can score points from other areas.
The official EA SPORTS PPI is updated 24hours after a match fixture is played, on the Premier League website: http://www.premierleague.com/en-gb/players/ea-sports-player-performance-index.html
The team of the week is also highlighted using the top performing players from the PPI.
Player Performance Index Rank Codes
The below are the shorthand references for the 6 indexes in the Player Performance Index:
- R Rank
- LR – Last MATCH week’s rank
- APP – APPEARANCES THIS SEASON
- MINS – Minutes played this season
- AV.SC – Average Index score
- H.AV – Average Home Index score
- A.AV – Average Away Index score
- INDEX – Player performance index score