Expansion Big rise in Small Players?

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Covertackle

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Unbelieveably GC Suns are 2nd on the ladder. Not only that, they are winning with over a quarter (or more) of their team under, or at 178cm. Last night, a well performing Freo fielded a similar sized team... with a lot of smalls.

Is the game changing to more reliable, quick, agile, skillfull players with less emphasis on height? Or is 16 minutes just more suited to smaller players?

Port is top of the Ladder, and i wonder how many smalls they have been playing? Are the teams playing a lot of smalls doing better this year? Is it a trend? Is 16 minutes of manic footy magnifying the advantages smaller players have?

Is the modern game moving towards smaller players full stop?
 

NoobPie

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Unbelieveably GC Suns are 2nd on the ladder. Not only that, they are winning with over a quarter (or more) of their team under, or at 178cm. Last night, a well performing Freo fielded a similar sized team... with a lot of smalls.

Is the game changing to more reliable, quick, agile, skillfull players with less emphasis on height? Or is 16 minutes just more suited to smaller players?

Port is top of the Ladder, and i wonder how many smalls they have been playing? Are the teams playing a lot of smalls doing better this year? Is it a trend? Is 16 minutes of manic footy magnifying the advantages smaller players have?

Is the modern game moving towards smaller players full stop?

Your last sentence is correct but this shift has been happening for a decade.

Peak "athlete before footballer" was probably 15 years ago. The modern game - with organised team defensive systems and space denial - has removed the premium of raw height and athleticism in the last days of man-on-man positional football where exposure to height and pace disadvantage was more exploitable


About a quarter of the listed players are under 6 foot according to this list...

 

Covertackle

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Your last sentence is correct but this shift has been happening for a decade.

Peak "athlete before footballer" was probably 15 years ago. The modern game - with organised team defensive systems and space denial - has removed the premium of raw height and athleticism in the last days of man-on-man positional football where exposure to height and pace disadvantage was more exploitable


About a quarter of the listed players are under 6 foot according to this list...

Great reply NoobPie. What youve said makes so much sense. Rare on much of BF.
 

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NoobPie

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Great reply NoobPie. What youve said makes so much sense. Rare on much of BF.
Jesus, man, I'm blushing here!

I am no expert but it is pet hate of mine people still pushing the "athletes over footballers" furphy because it seems so wrong to me.

Sam Mitchell was not drafted in his first season out of under 18s despite dominating at under 18 level. Today he would go top 20. I have read multi times on big footy that he wouldn't get drafted at all nowadays which is nonsense.
 
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Covertackle

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The modern game - with organised team defensive systems and space denial - has removed the premium of raw height and athleticism in the last days of man-on-man positional football where exposure to height and pace disadvantage was more exploitable
It was this part of your post that was the light bulb moment. You've put into one sentence what we are all looking at.
 

Covertackle

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Jesus, man, I'm blushing here!

I am no expert but it is pet hate of mine people still pushing the "athletes over footballers" furphy because it seems so wrong to me.

Sam Mitchell was not drafted in his first season out of under 18s despite dominating at under 18 level. Today he would go top 20. I have read multi times on big footy that he wouldn't get drafted at all nowadays which is nonsense.
If you don't mind mate, im going to use your quote as my signature. (Referenced to you of course.)
 

RedV3x

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The modern game - with organised team defensive systems and space denial - has removed the premium of raw height and athleticism in the last days of man-on-man positional football where exposure to height and pace disadvantage was more exploitable
The emphasis on tight defensive systems has further eroded the differences in players.
Over time there have been many influences on our game.
The fast leading full-forward. The high flying full forward. The pocket specialist.
The CHF vs CHB was the scene of an epic battle every week.
Ruck men had a big influence on the game and "followers" had a special knack of reading the play.

The current 'rugby' style of play is going to continue until either.
1. Winning teams demonstrate that moving the ball fast and forward is the way to go.
2. Changes are made to football environment, like making all ruck contests mimic the centre bounce with 5m exclusions.

If the boundary law is amended to kick out/kick in (somewhat likely) then the role of the ruckman will be even further diminished.
We may as well pack down and the umpire feed the scum - at least it wouldn't be so congested.
 

Covertackle

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The emphasis on tight defensive systems has further eroded the differences in players.
Over time there have been many influences on our game.
The fast leading full-forward. The high flying full forward. The pocket specialist.
The CHF vs CHB was the scene of an epic battle every week.
Ruck men had a big influence on the game and "followers" had a special knack of reading the play.

The current 'rugby' style of play is going to continue until either.
1. Winning teams demonstrate that moving the ball fast and forward is the way to go.
2. Changes are made to football environment, like making all ruck contests mimic the centre bounce with 5m exclusions.

If the boundary law is amended to kick out/kick in (somewhat likely) then the role of the ruckman will be even further diminished.
We may as well pack down and the umpire feed the scum - at least it wouldn't be so congested.
I don't understand the game well enough to have an original thought on the congestion issue. But i do like Clarksons idea of paying tackles more often as a way to encourage spread. Its a better idea i think than going to 15 players a side. I cant imagine fans want that?

The less change the better. AFL should hold on to its traditions.
.
 

NoobPie

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The emphasis on tight defensive systems has further eroded the differences in players.
Over time there have been many influences on our game.
The fast leading full-forward. The high flying full forward. The pocket specialist.
The CHF vs CHB was the scene of an epic battle every week.
Ruck men had a big influence on the game and "followers" had a special knack of reading the play.

The current 'rugby' style of play is going to continue until either.
1. Winning teams demonstrate that moving the ball fast and forward is the way to go.
2. Changes are made to football environment, like making all ruck contests mimic the centre bounce with 5m exclusions.

If the boundary law is amended to kick out/kick in (somewhat likely) then the role of the ruckman will be even further diminished.
We may as well pack down and the umpire feed the scum - at least it wouldn't be so congested.

I admire your passion for the sport but I don't think you have much of an understanding or appreciation for the modern game.
 

RedV3x

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I admire your passion for the sport but I don't think you have much of an understanding or appreciation for the modern game.
I don't "appreciate" the modern game but i do fully understand the modern game.
If you were more specific then i could answer specifically.
 

RedV3x

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I don't understand the game well enough to have an original thought on the congestion issue.
I think that you undersell yourself. Congestion is basically caused by teams having the time to place many players within one kick of the kicker
and thus making every kick involve a contest.
Congestion also exists around field bouncedowns because they are not spaced like centre bouncedowns.

But i do like Clarksons idea of paying tackles more often as a way to encourage spread..
To every action there is a reaction. More tackles paid means less possessions attempted.
it's a fine line of interpretation. At least it isn't a law change.

Its a better idea i think than going to 15 players a side. I cant imagine fans want that?
Yes, reduced numbers doesn't actually change anything but makes rebounds and turnovers much easier and lethal.
Thus the game becomes like basketball.

The less change the better. AFL should hold on to its traditions.
Well, clever coaching strategies have changed the game. There have been huge changes in the appearance of the game over the ages.
The most attractive era of football was in the SANFL and WAFL where players drop kicked and stab passed to perfection.
The VFL, because of the poor state of their grounds used handball and push the ball onwards at any cost strategy.
Then came the stop and prop strategy followed by the stupid keep possession strategy.
Today, coaches are using a mixture of those strategies to overcome congestion with the switch probably being the most common.

I see rationalisation of the laws in reducing the number of laws as a way to reduce congestion.
 

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Covertackle

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I think that you undersell yourself. Congestion is basically caused by teams having the time to place many players within one kick of the kicker
and thus making every kick involve a contest.
Congestion also exists around field bouncedowns because they are not spaced like centre bouncedowns.



To every action there is a reaction. More tackles paid means less possessions attempted.
it's a fine line of interpretation. At least it isn't a law change.



Yes, reduced numbers doesn't actually change anything but makes rebounds and turnovers much easier and lethal.
Thus the game becomes like basketball.



Well, clever coaching strategies have changed the game. There have been huge changes in the appearance of the game over the ages.
The most attractive era of football was in the SANFL and WAFL where players drop kicked and stab passed to perfection.
The VFL, because of the poor state of their grounds used handball and push the ball onwards at any cost strategy.
Then came the stop and prop strategy followed by the stupid keep possession strategy.
Today, coaches are using a mixture of those strategies to overcome congestion with the switch probably being the most common.

I see rationalisation of the laws in reducing the number of laws as a way to reduce congestion.
We know once a penalty is given players spread. Often the congestion is a result of consecutive tackles from ball ups. The ball just cant get out and draws players in. I dont know how long grabbing an arm in a tackle has been taught and part of the game? Is it a modern strategy?

As soon as an arm is wrapped its pretty hard to pass the ball. Crappy kicks from a slung player leads to ground contests that continue the congestions are a result. Players are also injured when an arm is held and then slung.

Could something be done to discourage arm holding? Be it a tweak to the 'incorrect disposal' law, outlaw arm holding, or some other strategy?
 

RedV3x

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We know once a penalty is given players spread.
Absolutely. That's why it's imperative to move the ball on as quickly as possible but too many players hesitate looking for the switch
and the opportunity is lost.

Often the congestion is a result of consecutive tackles from ball ups. The ball just cant get out and draws players in.
And that's why i suggest all ballups mimic the centre bouncedown with a 5m radius exclusion allowing ruckman more options.

I dont know how long grabbing an arm in a tackle has been taught and part of the game? Is it a modern strategy?
AFL players are experts at disguising holding the man even though it's a penalty if seen.
The laws are quite clear on holding - no holding any time unless a player has gained possession of the ball.
Bumping or blocking is only allowed within 5m of a grounded ball.


Crappy kicks from a slung player leads to ground contests that continue the congestions are a result. Players are also injured when an arm is held and then slung.
I don't know the exact wording of a tackle now. But it is something along the lines that a tackle must be controlled and not dangerous.
Thus slings, chicken wing tackle and pounding the head into the ground are all illegal.
 

Engimal v3

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This thread inspired me to put together some data. I've scraped the details of all players to have played a game between 2000 and 2020.

Over the past 20 years, we can see that the average height of players has increased by 2-3cm. Interestingly, the average weight has dropped in the same period.

1594287917401.png
 

NoobPie

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This thread inspired me to put together some data. I've scraped the details of all players to have played a game between 2000 and 2020.

Over the past 20 years, we can see that the average height of players has increased by 2-3cm. Interestingly, the average weight has dropped in the same period.

View attachment 909095
Nice work

The distributions would be interesting. Some positions (inside "bull", key forwards) have probably got taller on average which masks the number of players under 6 foot

Also, there is a lag affect here. The set of players in a given year were drafted over the previous decade

A graph of the number of players under 6 foot would be great
 

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