The ongoing season has seen an uncharacteristically high number of stalemates.
The Indian Super League (ISL) has been a competition that is fiercely contested every year. Due to the short length, there aren’t many chances to play a safe game, if one needs to achieve their objectives.
As a result, teams used to be extra motivated to secure all the three points up for grabs and play every game for a win, rather than settle for a draw. However, the ongoing seventh edition of the ISL has seen a change. The number of draws has seen a sharp rise.
While observing the factors which could be responsible for the rising number of stalemates, our attention shifted to the past seasons of the league. A question then arose – which season of the ISL has had the most number of draws? Let’s take a look:
ISL 2014 – 21 draws
The inaugural season of the competition had eight teams contesting for the title. A total of 61 games were played, including the playoffs. The total number of draws came up to 21, with ATK having the highest number with seven draws during the league phase.
ISL 2015 – 12 draws
Next year, teams were more settled and had a clearer outlook of their style of play and ambitions. As a result, more clear winners/losers emerged and a lot less number of matches ended in draws. Out of the 61 games, merely 12 ended in draws.
ISL 2016 – 21 draws
The third edition of the ISL yet again saw a rise in the number of draws played out. Different managerial appointments brought a change in culture and tactics. While the players took time to understand the new tactics, a lot of games ended in draws. A total of 21 draws emerged out of 61 games. The highest number of stalemates came from ATK yet again, who played a total of nine draws.
ISL 2017-18 – 19 draws
Post the expansion of the league competition due to the inclusion of Jamshedpur FC and Bengaluru FC, the number of teams rose from eight to 10. The total number of games played also increased from 61 to 95, however, the number of draws played reduced from the previous season. Only 19 draws took place overall.
ISL 2018-19 – 28 draws
Yet another long season, involving 95 overall matches, saw a rise in the amounts of draws played. In fact, excluding the ongoing 2020-21 campaign, this particular year saw 28 total draws, the most in any season of the ISL.
ISL 2019-20 – 26 draws
This season was best known for the inclusion of Hyderabad FC and Odisha FC into the fold. As compared to the previous year, the number of draws were a little less, but still a lot considering the bigger picture. A total of 26 games ended without a winner out of 95 contests. NorthEast United played the most number of draws (8) in the term.
ISL 2020/21* – 41 draws
The ongoing ISL 2020/21 season has seen a sharp rise in the number of draws. Despite being the longest season in history, the frequency of games ending without a winner can be attributed to the teams adopting a safe approach in a season that has been marred by the COVID-19 pandemic. After 104 games played, a total of 41 draws have been observed, making it the season of most number of draws by a huge margin.