Can someone explain to me why this question was closed?

Football penalty shootouts: Germany wins 71% of the time, England 17% only. Any reason?

It looks like a good question to me, and has a very thoughtful answer. I don't really understand gbianchi's comment.

Why was this closed?

2 Answers 2


I feel that it is a legitimate question, and the answer explains the data correctly. For someone like me, who knows very little about soccer, it is an interesting question and answer.

A downvote is certainly warranted if you don't find the question interesting or compelling. However, I don't see any grounds for closure.

The question merely presents data that was found in a chart on a website, and asks for an explanation. There is nothing off-topic about that, and, as it sounds like there is only one legitimate explanation for the data (the sample size is too small for the statistics to be meaningful), the question is not too broad.

  • 1
    I tend to agree with this. I've reopened the question but am open to further discussion. Jul 19, 2014 at 0:03

For one thing, as the answer points out, its an abysmally small sample, there isn't really anything we can learn from the data.

More importantly though, there really isn't a way to tease out a narrative from comparing two country's PK experiences. The best we can do is say

  • Sample size warning
  • Stats show PK shootouts are crapshoots

Neither of those things is particularly interesting, and more importantly, neither of those support the preconceived desired narrative of the question itself.

Essentially, the question is "map a story onto this random statistical anomaly" and I (personally at least), don't find that to be a particularly compelling style of question.

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    I don't see any "preconceived desired narrative" in the question. See my answer for a response.
    – Ben Miller
    Jul 18, 2014 at 15:21
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    You cannot close a question based on an answer. The sample size may be way too small, but that doesn't make the question bad beforehand.
    – Bernhard
    Jul 22, 2014 at 20:25
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    @Bernhard you can close a question based on possible answers. Nothing wrong with the existing answer.
    – wax eagle
    Jul 22, 2014 at 21:11
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    @waxeagle Sorry, but that is just ridiculous. The question is very clear, not vague. "Any reason?" Apparently the answer can be "Sample size can explain the difference". That is still a perfect Q&A combination in my eyes. You don't think it is interesting, so what, just ignore the question. I found it very interesting, and was highly surprised that the question got closed. Personal preference should not be a reason to close the question. Also, "random statistical anomaly" is not that obvious to everyone.
    – Bernhard
    Jul 23, 2014 at 5:41

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