Definition – What is Steal Percentage?
Steal percentage is the percentage of opponent team possessions that end with a steal by a specific player.
Formula – How to calculate Steal Percentage
Steal Percentage is calculated as:
(100 x Player Steals x Team Minutes) ÷ (Player Minutes Played x Opponent Team Possessions)
A player has 2 steals and 39 minutes played, on a team that has played 48 minutes. The opposing team has had 94 possessions in this time.
Steal Percentage = (100 x 2 x 48) ÷ 39 x 94
Steal Percentage = 9600 ÷ 3666
Steal Percentage = 0.219
Therefore, this player’s steal percentage would be 0.2619, 2.62% of total opponent possessions.
Sources and more Resources
- Wikipedia – Basketball Statistics and Steal (basketball) – Wikipedia entries on stealing in basketball.
- Statistical leaders from Sports Reference and Basketball Reference.
- More on steal percentage from FiveThirtyEight Sports – “The Hidden Value of the NBA Steal” and SI – “The art of the steal: College basketball’s best defenders explain their methods”
- Glossary entries from Sporting Charts on possession and steal.