Axiomatic Design Applied to Play Calling in American Football

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The objective of this paper is to learn if the use of functional metrics and the use of parent-child equations can guide design decompositions for winning games. This study is performed in the context of designing play calling strategies in American football. The top level functional metric for FR0, outscore your opponent, is "point differential", which is controlled through the child metrics that comprise it. Using an on-line game simulator based on statistics from the 2015 season, in over 96 simulated games, two design solutions are tested statistically against last year's results in the National Football League (NFL). The results show that the solutions based on the application of functional metrics increase the number of wins compared with the actual results from 2015. This suggests that whatever system the NFL coaches were using in 2015 was not the best for winning.




Henley, R., & Brown, C. A. (2016). Axiomatic Design Applied to Play Calling in American Football. In Procedia CIRP (Vol. 53, pp. 206–212). Elsevier B.V.

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