Creating equal leagues in grassroots football

How we determined the quality level of every player and team in the Dutch football pyramid to create exciting leagues.

Visualisation of a football stadium at night in SciSports style used as background.

The Dutch Football Federation (KNVB) and SciSports formed a partnership to create leagues with teams of equal strength, resulting in more excitement and fun for the players.

eQuality Index

By creating the opportunity to create equal leagues in an efficient way we helped the KNVB to let 1.2 Million KNVB members play on the best suitable level where they develop best.

The challenge

Due to the lack of insights in the quality level of players, there was a mismatch between the strength of a team and the league level. Consequently, meaning less enjoyment and performance improvement among football players in the Dutch football pyramid. This resulted in less enjoyment and performance improvement among the footballers.

Our solution

We formed a partnership with the KNVB to develop the eQuality Index to measure the quality of all individual football players and teams in the Netherlands. This resulted in determing the quality of more than 1 million players and 65,000 teams by using match sheet data since 2014. The data used includes: teams, results players and competition level.

What the KNVB have to say about SciSports

The eQuality Index gives us the opportunity to create equal leagues in the most efficient way, the index helps us to let all 1.2 Million KNVB members play on the best suitable level.
Jan Dirk van der Zee
Director Grassroots Football at KNVB

The results

Since 2014, we know the quality level and development for all football players in the Netherlands. Because the KNVB knows who is playing in which team, also the strenght of each team is known. The index is implemented in different regions for different age categories and has led to:

  • 33% decrease in number of games with big goal difference (>7 goals)
  • 52% decrease in number of leagues where champion wins all games

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