The United States, the winners of the tournament, were also the team that produced the highest number of dives (36 in total). But as finalists, they played more matches than most teams. A more equitable way of comparing teams is to use the Diving Rate, the average number of dives per match. By that measure, Australia comes out as the top diving team (7.3 dives per match). They only got to the round of 16 (4 matches), but had they reached the finals diving at the same rate, they would have accumulated 51 dives in total, surpassing the United States as the top diving team.
Nevertheless, a comparison of the 4 teams who reached either the final or the 3rd place play-off is provided, as they all played 7 matches. Looking through this lens, it is interesting to see that the United States, the Netherlands and England all had diving rates above median. The only finalist team located on the low diving side of the spectrum is Sweden. The United States dived 3.6 times more than them and only Jamaica and Thailand had a lower diving rate.
From the point of view of impact, the story is similar. Australia was the top impacting team, with dives leading to 4 yellow cards. The United States and Netherlands came second with 3 yellow cards each. Sweden was again on the low side of the spectrum, with zero unfair impact created.
Honourable mentions are due to Thailand as the team that dived least (only 1 dive, representing the lowest diving rate in the tournament with zero unfair impact), and 3rd place finishers Sweden as the highest performing low diving team in the tournament.
An unusual but very real account from the #ENGTUN game.More
Our team is committing to measure the diving phenomenon during the 2018 World Cup.More
How to measure dives and their unfair impact.More