Munich - Foul play was very much on the wane in 2012/13, but referees were still reaching for the cards nonetheless, while on the coaching front the clubs showed marginally more patience than in seasons past. looks back over the national top flight's event-filled 50th campaign...

Overall, 9,227 fouls were committed in the 2012/13 season, which equates to an average of around 30 infringements per game. In the past 20 years, the average number of fouls was over 11,000 - which would mean around 36 fouls were commited per game in recent years. What is also positive is that the number of ‘sliding fouls’ hit a record low in the season just ended with just 650 such incidents occuring.

In spite of fewer fouls being commited, the number of red cards increased. There were 64 dismissals in the Bundesliga in 20012/13, more than any season since 2003/04. It was still way short of the record red-card haul of 98 back in the 1994/95 campaign. The severity of the fouls does not seem to have increased compared to previous years, though. Over 50 per cent of the dismissals came as a result of second yellow cards. In the previous two years, a greater proportion were straight red cards.

There was a clear increase on last season when it comes to the number of penalties awarded for handball. While only seven such penalties were given in 2011/12, it was a much more regular occurrence in 2012/13 with 20 awarded. Rather than there being one every five matches, there was one every other weekend. Players are certainly going to have to adopt a “hands off” approach in the penalty area again in future.

Clubs appear to be showing more faith in their coaches. While in the past three seasons at least ten bosses have had to pack their bags each term, ‘only’ seven coaching changes were made by the 18 top-flight clubs during the Bundesliga's 50th season. One of those was SV Werder Bremen’s parting of ways with Thomas Schaaf, which was atypical insofar as it was a change made before the end of the campaign, but with the long-term in mind.

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