What is the conversion rate of penalties in football versus ice hockey?

I realise that it would be different between, and dependent on the league but any two major leagues of comparable level would be interesting, for example, the NHL versus Premier League or La Liga.

  • I think it would help future and current readers like myself to define or provide a link on what is a penalty conversion or penalty conversion rate
    – Huangism
    Commented Jan 22, 2015 at 14:33
  • 3
    NHL penalty shot conversion rates since the 2005-2006 NHL season hovers around 30%. More information can be found here.
    – user527
    Commented Jan 22, 2015 at 14:40
  • 3
    Asking "how big of a deal are penalties are in hockey?" is an interesting question. I suggest asking that. Comparing it to another sports, alas, seems arbitrary, at best.
    – DA.
    Commented Jan 25, 2015 at 18:09

1 Answer 1


It's way higher in soccer than ice hockey. In soccer, a penalty kick is quite close to an automatic goal, averaging around 85% in the English Premier League (source: My Football Facts), whereas in ice hockey, a penalty shot has a conversion rate of around about 30% (source: official NHL stats, via this excellent answer).

However, I'm not sure this is really an interesting comparison as the criteria for awarding penalty shots are very different between the two sports, so them having very different conversion rates doesn't indicate anything is "wrong". For example, what would result in a penalty shot in ice hockey (fouling a player on a breakaway) would get you sent off in soccer, potentially a much more serious penalty, particularly as in most professional leagues that would result in the player being banned for at least one match as well.


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