Fixture Analysis 2018: Home Ground Advantage

Final Siren

Mr Squiggle
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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.



HAWTHORN

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

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

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

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)

WESTERN BULLDOGS

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)

NORTH MELBOURNE

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

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

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

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)

GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY

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

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 LIONS

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

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

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)

MELBOURNE

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

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)

ST KILDA

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)

GOLD COAST

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:

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Lsta062

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#2
RICHMOND

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)
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?
 

theyellowsash

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#3
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
 

Final Siren

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Thread starter #5
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.
 

Lsta062

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#6
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
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.
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.
Ah yes, that makes sense
 
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#7
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
That adds 9 points to Richmond's overall fixture though, I don't think your fixture is that charitable.
 

Mningasimisonda

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#9
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.
Maybe in the same city it can be, but less familiar ground dimensions, travel, etc. can make a big difference.
 

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Clems Knee

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#13
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.
 

Final Siren

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Thread starter #14
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.
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.
 

theyellowsash

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#15
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.
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.
 

Underarm

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#16
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.
 

BloodySwan

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#17
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?
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

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#18
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
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.
 

kranky al

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#19
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
 

The Swert

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#20
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.
 

HairyO

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#22
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
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.
 

blitzer

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#23
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.
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:
https://afltables.com/afl/teams/allteams/overall_wl.html#1

WinLossRecordsHomevsAway.JPG

 

doppleganger

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#24
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?
 
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