Fixture Analysis 2018: Home Ground Advantage | BigFooty

Fixture Analysis 2018: Home Ground Advantage

Discussion in 'AFL - The Australian Football League' started by Final Siren, Mar 2, 2018.

  1. Final Siren

    Final Siren Mr Squiggle

    Aug 09
    Home ground advantage is often overlooked, underrated, or just plain cocked up in fixture analysis. Which is strange, because it's one of the most reliable predictors. We don't know whether a team's double-up opponents will become tougher or weaker in 2018, but we do know it's always better to play interstate opponents at home.

    In theory, all teams should face a balanced fixture, and travel to face interstate opponents the same number of times as they host them at home. But in practice, this doesn't happen. Some teams enjoy home games against interstate opponents while staying local for their away games, and sometimes teams play "away" games at their home ground, with their opponents forced to travel to them.

    This is home ground advantage fixture bias. The AFL does a pretty good job of managing it, but each year there are imbalances, with some sides coming out better than others, playing more games at favourable venues than unfavourable ones. While it's not the only factor in fixture difficulty, I think it's important enough to take a closer look. So in this post, I analyze every team's fixture and discuss why it's good, bad, or break-even.


    Favourabity is the net total of points a team receives from home ground advantage during the season. Throughout 2018, Hawthorn will receive a net benefit of a little over five goals from home ground advantage, while the Suns will be penalized almost the same amount.

    Favourability is calculated by classifying each game as one of three types:

    Interstate advantage (+10): a team hosts an opponent who travels from interstate. This includes Geelong home games against Melbourne-based sides, given the Cats' superb record there.

    Local advantage (+1): a team hosts an opponent located in the same city.

    Limited advantage (+5): a few specific cases: a Melbourne-based team hosting Geelong at the MCG or Docklands, Hawthorn or North Melbourne hosting a Melbourne-based team in Tasmania, and Melbourne hosting a Melbourne-based team in Darwin.

    These numbers are, I think, generally accepted in AFL analytics. That is, it's commonly agreed that interstate home advantage is worth somewhere in the realm of 10 points, while the advantage of playing a local team in your own city is almost negligible. If you want to adjust them a couple of points either way, though, I won't quibble.



    The Hawks travel to face interstate opponents four times, the fewest in the league, while interstate teams have to travel to face them six times, a league-high two-game discrepancy in their favour. On top of that, they play Geelong at home, which is worth +5, and they also have an "away" game against the Cats at the same venue. This effectively gives the Hawks 12 home games for the year, eight of which are against non-Melbourne sides.

    That's a remarkable number, only just short of the ten games that non-Victorian sides typically receive. In fact, it's the same number as Gold Coast, who have to travel seven more times than the Hawks do to face interstate opponents.

    And that's not all: Hawthorn also take St. Kilda to Tasmania, which turns a +1 game into +5. The net result is a 32 point bonus over the course of the season.

    +10 GAMES (x6)
    R8: Sydney @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R10: West Coast @ Docklands (VIC)
    R11: Port Adelaide @ University of Tasmania Stadium (TAS)
    R13: Adelaide @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R14: Gold Coast @ University of Tasmania Stadium (TAS)
    R17: Brisbane Lions @ University of Tasmania Stadium (TAS)
    +5 GAMES (x3)
    R2: Geelong @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R6: St Kilda @ University of Tasmania Stadium (TAS)
    R21: Geelong @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    +1 GAMES (x3)
    R1: Collingwood @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R4: Melbourne @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R20: Essendon @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    -1 GAMES (x6)
    R3: Richmond @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R5: North Melbourne @ Docklands (VIC)
    R7: Essendon @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R16: Western Bulldogs @ Docklands (VIC)
    R18: Carlton @ Docklands (VIC)
    R22: St Kilda @ Docklands (VIC)
    -10 GAMES (x4)
    R9: Brisbane Lions @ Gabba (QLD)
    R15: Greater Western Sydney @ Sydney Showground (NSW)
    R19: Fremantle @ Optus Stadium (WA)
    R23: Sydney @ S.C.G. (NSW)


    Fremantle are the lucky recipient of an "away" game against Gold Coast in Perth due to the unavailability of Carrara due to Commonwealth Games renovations. This transforms the game from -10 to +10, giving the Dockers 11 games with interstate advantage in their favour and only nine against.

    +10 GAMES (x11)
    R2: Essendon @ Optus Stadium (WA)
    R3: Gold Coast @ Optus Stadium (WA)
    R5: Western Bulldogs @ Optus Stadium (WA)
    R8: St Kilda @ Optus Stadium (WA)
    R10: North Melbourne @ Optus Stadium (WA)
    R12: Adelaide @ Optus Stadium (WA)
    R15: Brisbane Lions @ Optus Stadium (WA)
    R17: Port Adelaide @ Optus Stadium (WA)
    R19: Hawthorn @ Optus Stadium (WA)
    R21: Carlton @ Optus Stadium (WA)
    R23: Collingwood @ Optus Stadium (WA)
    +1 GAMES (x1)
    R6: West Coast @ Optus Stadium (WA)
    -1 GAMES (x1)
    R20: West Coast @ Optus Stadium (WA)
    -10 GAMES (x9)
    R1: Port Adelaide @ Adelaide Oval (SA)
    R4: Greater Western Sydney @ UNSW Canberra Oval (ACT)
    R7: Richmond @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R9: Sydney @ S.C.G. (NSW)
    R11: Collingwood @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R13: Carlton @ Docklands (VIC)
    R16: Melbourne @ Marrara Oval (NT)
    R18: Essendon @ Docklands (VIC)
    R22: Geelong @ GMHBA Stadium (Gee)


    Port Adelaide's otherwise balanced fixture is tilted in their favour by playing Gold Coast at a neutral venue (China) instead of at the Suns' home ground.

    +10 GAMES (x10)
    R1: Fremantle @ Adelaide Oval (SA)
    R3: Brisbane Lions @ Adelaide Oval (SA)
    R5: Geelong @ Adelaide Oval (SA)
    R12: Richmond @ Adelaide Oval (SA)
    R13: Western Bulldogs @ Adelaide Oval (SA)
    R14: Melbourne @ Adelaide Oval (SA)
    R16: St Kilda @ Adelaide Oval (SA)
    R18: Greater Western Sydney @ Adelaide Oval (SA)
    R21: West Coast @ Adelaide Oval (SA)
    R23: Essendon @ Adelaide Oval (SA)
    +1 GAMES (x1)
    R8: Adelaide @ Adelaide Oval (SA)
    -1 GAMES (x2)
    R9: Gold Coast @ Adelaide Arena at Jiangwan Stadium (CHI)
    R20: Adelaide @ Adelaide Oval (SA)
    -10 GAMES (x9)
    R2: Sydney @ S.C.G. (NSW)
    R4: Essendon @ Docklands (VIC)
    R6: North Melbourne @ Docklands (VIC)
    R7: West Coast @ Optus Stadium (WA)
    R11: Hawthorn @ University of Tasmania Stadium (TAS)
    R15: Carlton @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R17: Fremantle @ Optus Stadium (WA)
    R19: Western Bulldogs @ Mars Stadium (VIC)
    R22: Collingwood @ M.C.G. (VIC)


    Collingwood's fixture is mostly balanced, with five interstate home games and five interstate away, but they benefit from playing Geelong at the MCG.

    +10 GAMES (x5)
    R2: Greater Western Sydney @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R11: Fremantle @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R17: West Coast @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R21: Brisbane Lions @ Docklands (VIC)
    R22: Port Adelaide @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    +5 GAMES (x1)
    R8: Geelong @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    +1 GAMES (x5)
    R5: Essendon @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R6: Richmond @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R10: Western Bulldogs @ Docklands (VIC)
    R14: Carlton @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R18: North Melbourne @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    -1 GAMES (x6)
    R1: Hawthorn @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R3: Carlton @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R9: St Kilda @ Docklands (VIC)
    R12: Melbourne @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R16: Essendon @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R19: Richmond @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    -10 GAMES (x5)
    R4: Adelaide @ Adelaide Oval (SA)
    R7: Brisbane Lions @ Gabba (QLD)
    R15: Gold Coast @ Carrara (QLD)
    R20: Sydney @ S.C.G. (NSW)
    R23: Fremantle @ Optus Stadium (WA)


    The Bulldogs' fixture is mostly balanced, with five interstate home games and five interstate away,
    but they also have a game against Geelong at the Docklands, a venue in their favour.

    +10 GAMES (x5)
    R2: West Coast @ Docklands (VIC)
    R4: Sydney @ Docklands (VIC)
    R7: Gold Coast @ Mars Stadium (VIC)
    R8: Brisbane Lions @ Docklands (VIC)
    R19: Port Adelaide @ Mars Stadium (VIC)
    +5 GAMES (x1)
    R15: Geelong @ Docklands (VIC)
    +1 GAMES (x5)
    R3: Essendon @ Docklands (VIC)
    R6: Carlton @ Docklands (VIC)
    R11: Melbourne @ Docklands (VIC)
    R14: North Melbourne @ Docklands (VIC)
    R16: Hawthorn @ Docklands (VIC)
    -1 GAMES (x6)
    R10: Collingwood @ Docklands (VIC)
    R17: Melbourne @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R20: St Kilda @ Docklands (VIC)
    R21: North Melbourne @ Docklands (VIC)
    R22: Carlton @ Docklands (VIC)
    R23: Richmond @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    -10 GAMES (x5)
    R1: Greater Western Sydney @ UNSW Canberra Oval (ACT)
    R5: Fremantle @ Optus Stadium (WA)
    R9: Adelaide @ Adelaide Oval (SA)
    R13: Port Adelaide @ Adelaide Oval (SA)
    R18: West Coast @ Optus Stadium (WA)


    Like Hawthorn, North benefit from dragging a Melbourne-based team to Tasmania, turning what should be a +1 game against the Saints into +5. Otherwise their fixture is balanced.

    +10 GAMES (x6)
    R6: Port Adelaide @ Docklands (VIC)
    R9: Greater Western Sydney @ Bellerive Oval (TAS)
    R11: Brisbane Lions @ Docklands (VIC)
    R16: Gold Coast @ Docklands (VIC)
    R17: Sydney @ Docklands (VIC)
    R19: West Coast @ Bellerive Oval (TAS)
    +5 GAMES (x1)
    R4: Carlton @ Bellerive Oval (TAS)
    +1 GAMES (x4)
    R2: St Kilda @ Docklands (VIC)
    R5: Hawthorn @ Docklands (VIC)
    R8: Richmond @ Docklands (VIC)
    R21: Western Bulldogs @ Docklands (VIC)
    -1 GAMES (x5)
    R3: Melbourne @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R14: Western Bulldogs @ Docklands (VIC)
    R15: Essendon @ Docklands (VIC)
    R18: Collingwood @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R23: St Kilda @ Docklands (VIC)
    -10 GAMES (x6)
    R1: Gold Coast @ Cazaly's Stadium (QLD)
    R7: Sydney @ S.C.G. (NSW)
    R10: Fremantle @ Optus Stadium (WA)
    R12: Geelong @ GMHBA Stadium (Gee)
    R20: Brisbane Lions @ Gabba (QLD)
    R22: Adelaide @ Adelaide Oval (SA)


    Richmond host interstate teams only four times, equal fewest in the league, while having to travel interstate themselves five times. But they more than make up for this by receiving two games against Geelong at the MCG, one of which is a nominal away game.

    +10 GAMES (x4)
    R4: Brisbane Lions @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R7: Fremantle @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R15: Sydney @ Docklands (VIC)
    R16: Adelaide @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    +5 GAMES (x2)
    R13: Geelong @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R20: Geelong @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    +1 GAMES (x6)
    R1: Carlton @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R3: Hawthorn @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R10: St Kilda @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R19: Collingwood @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R22: Essendon @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R23: Western Bulldogs @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    -1 GAMES (x5)
    R5: Melbourne @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R6: Collingwood @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R8: North Melbourne @ Docklands (VIC)
    R11: Essendon @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R18: St Kilda @ Docklands (VIC)
    -10 GAMES (x5)
    R2: Adelaide @ Adelaide Oval (SA)
    R9: West Coast @ Optus Stadium (WA)
    R12: Port Adelaide @ Adelaide Oval (SA)
    R17: Greater Western Sydney @ Sydney Showground (NSW)
    R21: Gold Coast @ Carrara (QLD)


    Geelong play just nine games at their true home and 13 games away, which is an enormous discrepancy. But since their Kardinia games are all rated +10 while their MCG and Docklands games are only -5, they come out even on balance.

    +10 GAMES (x9)
    R4: St Kilda @ GMHBA Stadium (Gee)
    R6: Sydney @ GMHBA Stadium (Gee)
    R7: Greater Western Sydney @ GMHBA Stadium (Gee)
    R10: Carlton @ GMHBA Stadium (Gee)
    R12: North Melbourne @ GMHBA Stadium (Gee)
    R18: Melbourne @ GMHBA Stadium (Gee)
    R19: Brisbane Lions @ GMHBA Stadium (Gee)
    R22: Fremantle @ GMHBA Stadium (Gee)
    R23: Gold Coast @ GMHBA Stadium (Gee)
    -5 GAMES (x8)
    R1: Melbourne @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R2: Hawthorn @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R8: Collingwood @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R9: Essendon @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R13: Richmond @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R15: Western Bulldogs @ Docklands (VIC)
    R20: Richmond @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R21: Hawthorn @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    -10 GAMES (x5)
    R3: West Coast @ Optus Stadium (WA)
    R5: Port Adelaide @ Adelaide Oval (SA)
    R11: Gold Coast @ Carrara (QLD)
    R16: Sydney @ S.C.G. (NSW)
    R17: Adelaide @ Adelaide Oval (SA)


    Sydney's fixture is neatly balanced with 10 interstate games away, 10 at home, and 2 local bridge battles or whatever they're called.

    +10 GAMES (x10)
    R2: Port Adelaide @ S.C.G. (NSW)
    R5: Adelaide @ S.C.G. (NSW)
    R7: North Melbourne @ S.C.G. (NSW)
    R9: Fremantle @ S.C.G. (NSW)
    R11: Carlton @ S.C.G. (NSW)
    R13: West Coast @ S.C.G. (NSW)
    R16: Geelong @ S.C.G. (NSW)
    R18: Gold Coast @ S.C.G. (NSW)
    R20: Collingwood @ S.C.G. (NSW)
    R23: Hawthorn @ S.C.G. (NSW)
    +1 GAMES (x1)
    R3: Greater Western Sydney @ S.C.G. (NSW)
    -1 GAMES (x1)
    R22: Greater Western Sydney @ Sydney Showground (NSW)
    -10 GAMES (x10)
    R1: West Coast @ Optus Stadium (WA)
    R4: Western Bulldogs @ Docklands (VIC)
    R6: Geelong @ GMHBA Stadium (Gee)
    R8: Hawthorn @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R10: Brisbane Lions @ Gabba (QLD)
    R12: St Kilda @ Docklands (VIC)
    R15: Richmond @ Docklands (VIC)
    R17: North Melbourne @ Docklands (VIC)
    R19: Essendon @ Docklands (VIC)
    R21: Melbourne @ M.C.G. (VIC)


    The Giants have a balanced fixture that is typical for non-Victorian sides, with ten interstate games away, ten at home, and two local bridge busters.

    +10 GAMES (x10)
    R1: Western Bulldogs @ UNSW Canberra Oval (ACT)
    R4: Fremantle @ UNSW Canberra Oval (ACT)
    R6: Brisbane Lions @ Sydney Showground (NSW)
    R8: West Coast @ Sydney Showground (NSW)
    R10: Essendon @ Sydney Showground (NSW)
    R12: Gold Coast @ Sydney Showground (NSW)
    R15: Hawthorn @ Sydney Showground (NSW)
    R17: Richmond @ Sydney Showground (NSW)
    R19: St Kilda @ Sydney Showground (NSW)
    R21: Adelaide @ UNSW Canberra Oval (ACT)
    +1 GAMES (x1)
    R22: Sydney @ Sydney Showground (NSW)
    -1 GAMES (x1)
    R3: Sydney @ S.C.G. (NSW)
    -10 GAMES (x10)
    R2: Collingwood @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R5: St Kilda @ Docklands (VIC)
    R7: Geelong @ GMHBA Stadium (Gee)
    R9: North Melbourne @ Bellerive Oval (TAS)
    R11: Adelaide @ Adelaide Oval (SA)
    R14: Brisbane Lions @ Gabba (QLD)
    R16: West Coast @ Optus Stadium (WA)
    R18: Port Adelaide @ Adelaide Oval (SA)
    R20: Carlton @ Docklands (VIC)
    R23: Melbourne @ M.C.G. (VIC)


    Adelaide's fixture is neatly balanced with ten interstate games away, ten at home, and two local showdowns.

    +10 GAMES (x10)
    R2: Richmond @ Adelaide Oval (SA)
    R4: Collingwood @ Adelaide Oval (SA)
    R6: Gold Coast @ Adelaide Oval (SA)
    R7: Carlton @ Adelaide Oval (SA)
    R9: Western Bulldogs @ Adelaide Oval (SA)
    R11: Greater Western Sydney @ Adelaide Oval (SA)
    R15: West Coast @ Adelaide Oval (SA)
    R17: Geelong @ Adelaide Oval (SA)
    R19: Melbourne @ Adelaide Oval (SA)
    R22: North Melbourne @ Adelaide Oval (SA)
    +1 GAMES (x1)
    R20: Port Adelaide @ Adelaide Oval (SA)
    -1 GAMES (x1)
    R8: Port Adelaide @ Adelaide Oval (SA)
    -10 GAMES (x10)
    R1: Essendon @ Docklands (VIC)
    R3: St Kilda @ Docklands (VIC)
    R5: Sydney @ S.C.G. (NSW)
    R10: Melbourne @ Traeger Park (NT)
    R12: Fremantle @ Optus Stadium (WA)
    R13: Hawthorn @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R16: Richmond @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R18: Brisbane Lions @ Gabba (QLD)
    R21: Greater Western Sydney @ UNSW Canberra Oval (ACT)
    R23: Carlton @ Docklands (VIC)


    Brisbane's fixture is neatly balanced with 10 interstate games away, 10 at home, and 2 local Q-Clashes.

    +10 GAMES (x10)
    R2: Melbourne @ Gabba (QLD)
    R7: Collingwood @ Gabba (QLD)
    R9: Hawthorn @ Gabba (QLD)
    R10: Sydney @ Gabba (QLD)
    R12: Essendon @ Gabba (QLD)
    R14: Greater Western Sydney @ Gabba (QLD)
    R16: Carlton @ Gabba (QLD)
    R18: Adelaide @ Gabba (QLD)
    R20: North Melbourne @ Gabba (QLD)
    R23: West Coast @ Gabba (QLD)
    +1 GAMES (x1)
    R5: Gold Coast @ Gabba (QLD)
    -1 GAMES (x1)
    R22: Gold Coast @ Carrara (QLD)
    -10 GAMES (x10)
    R1: St Kilda @ Docklands (VIC)
    R3: Port Adelaide @ Adelaide Oval (SA)
    R4: Richmond @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R6: Greater Western Sydney @ Sydney Showground (NSW)
    R8: Western Bulldogs @ Docklands (VIC)
    R11: North Melbourne @ Docklands (VIC)
    R15: Fremantle @ Optus Stadium (WA)
    R17: Hawthorn @ University of Tasmania Stadium (TAS)
    R19: Geelong @ GMHBA Stadium (Gee)
    R21: Collingwood @ Docklands (VIC)


    West Coast's fixture is neatly balanced with 10 interstate games away, 10 at home, and 2 local derbies.

    +10 GAMES (x10)
    R1: Sydney @ Optus Stadium (WA)
    R3: Geelong @ Optus Stadium (WA)
    R4: Gold Coast @ Optus Stadium (WA)
    R7: Port Adelaide @ Optus Stadium (WA)
    R9: Richmond @ Optus Stadium (WA)
    R11: St Kilda @ Optus Stadium (WA)
    R14: Essendon @ Optus Stadium (WA)
    R16: Greater Western Sydney @ Optus Stadium (WA)
    R18: Western Bulldogs @ Optus Stadium (WA)
    R22: Melbourne @ Optus Stadium (WA)
    +1 GAMES (x1)
    R20: Fremantle @ Optus Stadium (WA)
    -1 GAMES (x1)
    R6: Fremantle @ Optus Stadium (WA)
    -10 GAMES (x10)
    R2: Western Bulldogs @ Docklands (VIC)
    R5: Carlton @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R8: Greater Western Sydney @ Sydney Showground (NSW)
    R10: Hawthorn @ Docklands (VIC)
    R13: Sydney @ S.C.G. (NSW)
    R15: Adelaide @ Adelaide Oval (SA)
    R17: Collingwood @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R19: North Melbourne @ Bellerive Oval (TAS)
    R21: Port Adelaide @ Adelaide Oval (SA)
    R23: Brisbane Lions @ Gabba (QLD)


    Carlton's otherwise symmetrical fixture is tarnished by having to travel to Tasmania to play North Melbourne, turning what should be a -1 game into a -5 game.

    +10 GAMES (x6)
    R2: Gold Coast @ Docklands (VIC)
    R5: West Coast @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R13: Fremantle @ Docklands (VIC)
    R15: Port Adelaide @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R20: Greater Western Sydney @ Docklands (VIC)
    R23: Adelaide @ Docklands (VIC)
    +1 GAMES (x5)
    R3: Collingwood @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R8: Essendon @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R9: Melbourne @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R18: Hawthorn @ Docklands (VIC)
    R22: Western Bulldogs @ Docklands (VIC)
    -1 GAMES (x4)
    R1: Richmond @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R6: Western Bulldogs @ Docklands (VIC)
    R14: Collingwood @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R17: St Kilda @ Docklands (VIC)
    -5 GAMES (x1)
    R4: North Melbourne @ Bellerive Oval (TAS)
    -10 GAMES (x6)
    R7: Adelaide @ Adelaide Oval (SA)
    R10: Geelong @ GMHBA Stadium (Gee)
    R11: Sydney @ S.C.G. (NSW)
    R16: Brisbane Lions @ Gabba (QLD)
    R19: Gold Coast @ Carrara (QLD)
    R21: Fremantle @ Optus Stadium (WA)


    This analysis may be too optimistic on Melbourne, even though they're ranked fourth-last. That's because the Demons host Adelaide and Fremantle in the Northern Territory, and these are classified as +10 games in Melbourne's favour (hosting an interstate side at an alternative home ground), even though in practice, geography and history suggests it may not be deserved.

    +10 GAMES (x5)
    R10: Adelaide @ Traeger Park (NT)
    R16: Fremantle @ Marrara Oval (NT)
    R20: Gold Coast @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R21: Sydney @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R23: Greater Western Sydney @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    +5 GAMES (x1)
    R1: Geelong @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    +1 GAMES (x5)
    R3: North Melbourne @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R5: Richmond @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R12: Collingwood @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R15: St Kilda @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R17: Western Bulldogs @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    -1 GAMES (x5)
    R4: Hawthorn @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R6: Essendon @ Docklands (VIC)
    R7: St Kilda @ Docklands (VIC)
    R9: Carlton @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R11: Western Bulldogs @ Docklands (VIC)
    -10 GAMES (x6)
    R2: Brisbane Lions @ Gabba (QLD)
    R8: Gold Coast @ Gabba (QLD)
    R14: Port Adelaide @ Adelaide Oval (SA)
    R18: Geelong @ GMHBA Stadium (Gee)
    R19: Adelaide @ Adelaide Oval (SA)
    R22: West Coast @ Optus Stadium (WA)


    Essendon host interstate teams only four times but must travel away six times. They get a game against the Cats at the MCG, which helps, but not enough.

    +10 GAMES (x4)
    R1: Adelaide @ Docklands (VIC)
    R4: Port Adelaide @ Docklands (VIC)
    R18: Fremantle @ Docklands (VIC)
    R19: Sydney @ Docklands (VIC)
    +5 GAMES (x1)
    R9: Geelong @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    +1 GAMES (x6)
    R6: Melbourne @ Docklands (VIC)
    R7: Hawthorn @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R11: Richmond @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R15: North Melbourne @ Docklands (VIC)
    R16: Collingwood @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R21: St Kilda @ Docklands (VIC)
    -1 GAMES (x5)
    R3: Western Bulldogs @ Docklands (VIC)
    R5: Collingwood @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R8: Carlton @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R20: Hawthorn @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R22: Richmond @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    -10 GAMES (x6)
    R2: Fremantle @ Optus Stadium (WA)
    R10: Greater Western Sydney @ Sydney Showground (NSW)
    R12: Brisbane Lions @ Gabba (QLD)
    R14: West Coast @ Optus Stadium (WA)
    R17: Gold Coast @ Carrara (QLD)
    R23: Port Adelaide @ Adelaide Oval (SA)


    At least there's a plausible explanation for Gold Coast's terrible fixture: the unavailability of their home ground. What's behind St. Kilda's shafting, I can't say. Firstly, the Saints host interstate sides only four times while traveling six times, which is a heavy imbalance in itself. But whereas Essendon are compensated for the same issue with an MCG game against the Cats, there's no such balm for the Saints, who are bound for Kardinia Park. They also must travel to Tasmania to play Hawthorn, which turns a -1 game into -5.

    +10 GAMES (x4)
    R1: Brisbane Lions @ Docklands (VIC)
    R3: Adelaide @ Docklands (VIC)
    R5: Greater Western Sydney @ Docklands (VIC)
    R12: Sydney @ Docklands (VIC)
    +1 GAMES (x7)
    R7: Melbourne @ Docklands (VIC)
    R9: Collingwood @ Docklands (VIC)
    R17: Carlton @ Docklands (VIC)
    R18: Richmond @ Docklands (VIC)
    R20: Western Bulldogs @ Docklands (VIC)
    R22: Hawthorn @ Docklands (VIC)
    R23: North Melbourne @ Docklands (VIC)
    -1 GAMES (x4)
    R2: North Melbourne @ Docklands (VIC)
    R10: Richmond @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R15: Melbourne @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R21: Essendon @ Docklands (VIC)
    -5 GAMES (x1)
    R6: Hawthorn @ University of Tasmania Stadium (TAS)
    -10 GAMES (x6)
    R4: Geelong @ GMHBA Stadium (Gee)
    R8: Fremantle @ Optus Stadium (WA)
    R11: West Coast @ Optus Stadium (WA)
    R13: Gold Coast @ Carrara (QLD)
    R16: Port Adelaide @ Adelaide Oval (SA)
    R19: Greater Western Sydney @ Sydney Showground (NSW)


    The Suns immediately drop 20 points by playing a home game against Fremantle in Perth, which turns what should be a +10 game into -10. Then there's a home game against Port Adelaide in China, knocking down a +10 game to +1 (nominal home team in neutral venue). It leaves them with 11 games where interstate advantage will work against them and only eight when it will be in their favour.

    +10 GAMES (x8)
    R1: North Melbourne @ Cazaly's Stadium (QLD)
    R8: Melbourne @ Gabba (QLD)
    R11: Geelong @ Carrara (QLD)
    R13: St Kilda @ Carrara (QLD)
    R15: Collingwood @ Carrara (QLD)
    R17: Essendon @ Carrara (QLD)
    R19: Carlton @ Carrara (QLD)
    R21: Richmond @ Carrara (QLD)
    +1 GAMES (x2)
    R9: Port Adelaide @ Adelaide Arena at Jiangwan Stadium (CHI)
    R22: Brisbane Lions @ Carrara (QLD)
    -1 GAMES (x1)
    R5: Brisbane Lions @ Gabba (QLD)
    -10 GAMES (x11)
    R2: Carlton @ Docklands (VIC)
    R3: Fremantle @ Optus Stadium (WA)
    R4: West Coast @ Optus Stadium (WA)
    R6: Adelaide @ Adelaide Oval (SA)
    R7: Western Bulldogs @ Mars Stadium (VIC)
    R12: Greater Western Sydney @ Sydney Showground (NSW)
    R14: Hawthorn @ University of Tasmania Stadium (TAS)
    R16: North Melbourne @ Docklands (VIC)
    R18: Sydney @ S.C.G. (NSW)
    R20: Melbourne @ M.C.G. (VIC)
    R23: Geelong @ GMHBA Stadium (Gee)
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2018
    laam, JG13, ShanDog and 49 others like this.

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  2. Lsta062

    Lsta062 Norm Smith Medallist

    Jul 14
    Other Teams:
    I like the analysis (good job!) and I agree but one question. How is the Richmond vs Sydney at Etihad Stadium a +10 for us if both teams equally play there 4 times for the season? The travel factor is there for sure so I wouldn't say it is completely a neutral game, but wouldn't it be more of a +5 or something like that?
  3. theyellowsash

    theyellowsash Norm Smith Medallist

    Feb 09
    I like the effort but playing at eihad for an MCG Tennant should be -5 and visa versa. Home ground advantage is as much about the shape and feel of the ground, and it's been shown that the teams who call one of those grounds home struggles at the other as much as any other ground. I agree is Vs sydney should be +5 only and us Vs stkilda and north at Docklands should be -5
  4. Lsta062

    Lsta062 Norm Smith Medallist

    Jul 14
    Other Teams:
    At least Richmond's overall +1 fixture this year is better than our -18 fixture last year according to these calculations.
  5. Final Siren

    Final Siren Mr Squiggle

    Aug 09
    The reason for using broad categories instead of something more specific like "+5 for Richmond v Sydney at Docklands but +10 at the MCG" is that the more specific you get, the less statistical evidence there is. So while I agree as a footy watcher that Richmond seem to play interstate sides better at the MCG than they do at Docklands, this is really only based on a handful of matches (with plenty of counter-examples).

    To be able to tease out a factor with a statistical influence of only a few points requires a pretty big data sample; otherwise it's guesswork. So I've stuck to the three categories that we have reasonably good evidence for.
  6. Lsta062

    Lsta062 Norm Smith Medallist

    Jul 14
    Other Teams:
    Even though the MCG tenants Melbourne, Richmond and Collingwood have shown struggle at Etihad Stadium in the past, the Etihad tenants haven't really shown significant issue playing at the MCG for some reason. Especially Bulldogs and North Melbourne.
    Ah yes, that makes sense
  7. Ricky Vaughn

    Ricky Vaughn Club Legend

    Feb 15
    That adds 9 points to Richmond's overall fixture though, I don't think your fixture is that charitable.
  8. CrowsFlag2018

    CrowsFlag2018 Team Captain

    Dec 17
    Home ground advantage is a myth. If a team doesnt win on the day its just because they are shit and the other team brings far more pressure.
    XXRL, Grin and Contador like this.
  9. Mningasimisonda

    Mningasimisonda Premiership Player

    Oct 05
    Other Teams:
    Tampa Bay Lightning
    Maybe in the same city it can be, but less familiar ground dimensions, travel, etc. can make a big difference.
  10. Lions_Prid3

    Lions_Prid3 Debutant

    Brisbane Lions
    Jan 18
    Great post! I would not have the Hawthorn games against the Cats at the MCG +5 though. Pretty neutral ground for the two over their respective runs.

    On [device_name] using mobile app
    Luv_our_club and TheMissingLink like this.
  11. Gydafud

    Gydafud Premium Platinum

    Sep 07
    Other Teams:
    Tottenham Hotspur
    Good to know that Geelong does things fair and balanced. Plays the game the way it should be played.

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  12. SilentHunter_

    SilentHunter_ Brownlow Medallist

    Sep 14
    Terra firma
    Nice analysis FS. Always love your posts/threads.
    Dr Tigris and Final Siren like this.
  13. Clems Knee

    Clems Knee Norm Smith Medallist

    Aug 09
    I wish you’d used some of the stats available to you in this analysis. The numbers you’ve used are pretty arbitrary and only work in the broad sense.

    Wouldn’t the results from the last 10 years (differences in results between home and away) be enough to give some statistical idea of the home advantages rather than just +-10,5 or 1?

    Surely quirky sized grounds provide a greater home ground advantage than you’ve presented.
    dazza68 and DaveLister like this.
  14. Final Siren

    Final Siren Mr Squiggle

    Aug 09
    Maybe. I can say quirky-sized grounds don't provide so much home ground advantage that it's easily apparent despite the small sample size.

    The thing to appreciate is how radically the sample size shrinks when you shift from looking at broad categories to specific teams and grounds. We only get 198 games each year. Around half will involve interstate team advantage, so that's about 100 data points from which to divine the influence of the venue.

    But once you shift to something like "West Coast games in Perth," it's an order of magnitude smaller (10 games). And for something like "Richmond at Docklands," forget about it: That's 3 games this year. You can guess at what home ground advantage might be, but you can't objectively measure it, because there are dozens of factors that might influence the result of each game, and there's just not enough data to separate those from home ground advantage.
    iluvparis, Andre, the harry and 4 others like this.
  15. theyellowsash

    theyellowsash Norm Smith Medallist

    Feb 09
    fair enough but if thats your logic, its then not fair or consistent to consider geelong playing in melbourne as a -5 for them. the 1 hour on the freeway doesn't classify as a trip considering it can take longer to get to the G or docklands from suburban melbourne, and so the only difference is the ground and weather. if the dome isnt different enough from the G to be considered a +/-5 then neither is kardinia, and all geelongs games in melbourne should be -1 not -5. The G is more neutral for them than the dome is for us considering they play 7 games at the G and we only play 2 at the dome.
  16. Underarm

    Underarm Norm Smith Medallist

    Feb 11
    I disagree with your assesment of Geelong games at the MCG being worth more points than dogs/north/saints matches. I would argue they all should be +/-5, along with the Sydney and Queensland derbies.

    but other than that its a good visual representation.
  17. BloodySwan

    BloodySwan Premiership Player

    Oct 16
    He's basing it off of travel more than anything else. Taking into the "versing a local team" it'd be a +9 in favour of Richmond
    Lsta062 likes this.
  18. Lsta062

    Lsta062 Norm Smith Medallist

    Jul 14
    Other Teams:
    Yeah I understand now. It kind of makes sense as the game is in Richmond's home state. But it seems that Final Siren wants to keep it to what has statistical evidence, so a +10 makes sense.
    iluvparis likes this.
  19. kranky al

    kranky al Brownlow Medallist

    West Coast
    Jun 09
    Other Teams:
    east perth
    Little surprised that teams hosting geelong at the g get a boost

    The g is a home away from home for geelong.

    Any interstate club would love to actually play all their mcg tenant games at the g rather than the south pole or etihad
  20. The Swert

    The Swert Premiership Player

    May 09
    If only playing Geelong at the MCG gave us an advantage...

    Geelong request some of their home games to be at the MCG.

    That's why we've only played them twice at Kardinia Park since 1999.
  21. TheFourPillars

    TheFourPillars Norm Smith Medallist

    May 09
    On this basis Hawthorn Top 4?
    Holy Rioli likes this.
  22. HairyO

    HairyO Brownlow Medallist

    Jul 15
    This. Docklands are not our home ground. And the MCG is only our home ground because the AFL forced us to go there.

    Interstate teams get a real home ground advantage, and Hawthorn and Kangaroos get some advantage with the games in Tassie. Any ground where pretty much every team plays often can hardly be called a home ground advantage.
  23. blitzer

    blitzer Norm Smith Medallist

    Aug 06
    Totally wrong. Look at home ground advantages over decades against interstate teams. When you have such an enduring statistic over that kind of period you cannot dismiss its significance or put it down to events 'on the day'. Every single team since their inception wins a higher % of games at home than they do away. You can't say that's a myth.

    Stats taken from:

  24. doppleganger

    doppleganger Brownlow Medallist

    Jun 05
    Other Teams:
    Good effort

    But a few interesting inconsistencies for mine.

    Saints get a -10 for going to Geelong, but only a -5 for going to Tassie?

    Why?? If Port are getting a -10 for a game at Tassie against Hawks, why is it somehow easier for the Saints?

    The counter to that is, if you only bump up Tassie games from a +1 to +5, then surely it should be dropped down if playing a non-vic team there? Ie Hawks should have got a +10 for playing Port in Melbourne, but because it is in Tassie it is just a +5.

    Why are Geelong getting -5 for coming to Melbourne, when Gold Coast only get a -1 for heading to the Brisbane? Both involve same state teams heading along a highway? Difference being Geelong do it more often.

    Also surely it is more difficult for a non-vic team in Geelong than a team like Carlton?

    Melbourne get a +10 for games in NT?? That is clearly a nonsense, why isn’t it treated the same way you have treated Gold Coast in China?

    You are not actually creating any consistent application of how you have allocated your points.

    ‘Home’ games at your nominated home ground

    v non state team +10
    v same state, but diff city +5 ie Brisbane v Gold Coast or Geelong v Melbourne
    V Home v same city +1 derbies

    But then you have sold ‘home’ games, they can’t easily fall in those same categories

    Y is Suns only getting a +1 for China, yet Dees a +10 for NT?

    Dogs playing in Ballarat, surely that more of a +5 - same state different city

    Tassie, they aren’t games in your own state, for mine fit more the +5 category. Similar to Giants home games in canberra, they aren’t as big an advantage for them.

    I don’t get the +1 stuff, as that isn’t travel related?

    It should be based on ground.

    Coll playing StK at the G is a +1 for the ground, and if we play StK at Etihad then it is -1 to us.

    Coll v Richmond, that is 0.

    That also flags that Rich v Syd at Etihad, is that really a 10 or should they knock off of 1 for a foreign ground in the same city apply? So it becomes a +9 to Tigers and -9 for Sydney?
  25. STPer18

    STPer18 Premiership Player

    Feb 17
    Great read. Geelong just the 9 home games and 13 away is a bit of a farce.
    dazbroncos, Whiskers and Strange Cat like this.
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