Analysis The Clarkson Rebuild Model - A Reason For Optimism

Hawk Dork

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Teams are already setup for quick kicks forward. Any ball movement forward is essentially to a position where you are outnumbered which favours congesting the stoppages and winning it back when it is hacked forward. You are essentially advocating putting the ball winners under even more pressure which encourages more reckless disposal. What is the incentive for the defending team to put numbers forward of the ball if they can minimise the risk of a goal by putting numbers behind the ball and around the ball in order to encourage the rushed kick forward? Free kicks rose dramatically with congestion and it didn’t change a thing.
Ball winners under no pressure at the moment if he drops it or throws it no problems
If he cant get rid of it its ball up and bring in the crowd around the ball and set up the crowd for the drop of the ball
 
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thejockey

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They probably have other data to work with but there was a dramatic change in tackles and stoppages that happened after 2006. I’d love to have all the match data for this period and I could potentially demonstrate the incentive for the change in the game. My hypothesis is that it has been driven from the bottom or the middle in order to compete with the best teams as opposed to being lead by premiers.
I think a few things have led to it , but I certainly think that’s a major factor in it all.

Supposed even competition in reality is more ‘average’ to ‘poor’ teams turning games into a scrap , arm wrestle , maul or whatever you want to call it all to stay in the game .

I don’t think it’s a one change job . We probably need a few well thought out subtle changes.
 

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Ball winners under no pressure at the moment if he drops it or throws it no problems
If he cant get rid of it its ball up and bring in the crowd around the ball
Well they are under plenty of pressure as evidenced by the fall in disposal efficiency. But why will teams stop throwing numbers to stoppages if it’s an easy way to win a free kick and if the other team kicks it forward under pressure the defending team is a good chance to win the ball back?

Right now, about 55% of forward fifty entries are rebounded without a score. About 12.5% of all possessions move the ball into forward fifty so only about 5.5% of disposals enter fifty and lead to a score. Assuming some sort of rule change reduces the insentive to throw numbers around the ball without materially changing the game, As soon as congestion is diminished, disposal efficiency will rise (we see that in the data that as contested footy rises, disposal efficency falls). If disposal efficiency rises, all things being equal, scores per inside fifty will also rise. If you are a coach, what do you do to reduce the efficiency of forward fifty entries? Right now, the press is the favoured method because you get less forward fifty against and a better opportunity to score on a turnover than winning the ball back in your defensive half. How do you disencentivse the press, which is a major source of congestion? Will it matter how many times players are done for incorrect disposal? Why would it? You don’t have the ball and so will be tackling players with the ball and winning free kicks. The press works because most players can’t kick over the top of it while under pressure.

Take a look below:

field-overhead-view - Zone 1.png

Imagine a player takes a mark or wins a free kick and within seconds is confronted by four rows of players with two defenders standing guard at the back. Effectively, almost every player is within a 65m radius. Now the player at star tries to kick to a team mate as per the arrow. If the team mate marks the ball, happy days. If not...well then its a contest with lots of players, team mates and opposition players, around the ball. If you win it and quickly kick the ball forward, those two defenders are sitting there waiting. If the opposition wins it and they quickly kick it forward, you probably have it covered and you essentially reset the play to where it was only moments before. Notice, there is no stoppage necessary to create the congestion. And even if there was a stoppage, teams will almost always play an extra defensively so must ensure there is pressure at the stoppage (in the form of numbers) in order to win the ball back.

Paying more or less free kicks will have absolutely no influence on the incentive for congesting the field. You either have to reduce the capacity of teams to defend the middle third of the field (At which point they throw numbers back into fifty) or you try and speed up the play so that the opposition doesn't have time to defend the middle third of the ground. Teams are very efficient at setting up the zone. Its literally there within seconds of a mark or free kick. The afl have tried to reduce tactics of teams to slow the game down. The protected area rules are there to ensure defenders are not rushing past the player who has taken a mark to prevent them from playing on quickly. But there just isn't much else you can do to speed up the transition of the ball because it takes a certain amount of time for players to size up their options and execute a skill.

So to reduce the capacity of teams to defend the middle third, you either take players off the field or you lower the interchange rate so much that fatigue sets in and prohibits teams from maintaining full field defensive structures. If teams can't effectively uphold a full field press across an entire game they will be forced to flood or man on man. I suspect the latter based on history and the fact that it happens even at lower levels of footy which lack the professional level of organisation to maintain effective full field structures. So in short, the source of congestion is defence. Defence benefits by a higher rate of free kicks but not by much more than it presently does. The aFL's attempts to turn a blind eye to indiscretions has not improved the game at all and has no real impact on the stats I posted earlier.
 

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Well they are under plenty of pressure as evidenced by the fall in disposal efficiency. But why will teams stop throwing numbers to stoppages if it’s an easy way to win a free kick and if the other team kicks it forward under pressure the defending team is a good chance to win the ball back?

Right now, about 55% of forward fifty entries are rebounded without a score. About 12.5% of all possessions move the ball into forward fifty so only about 5.5% of disposals enter fifty and lead to a score. Assuming some sort of rule change reduces the insentive to throw numbers around the ball without materially changing the game, As soon as congestion is diminished, disposal efficiency will rise (we see that in the data that as contested footy rises, disposal efficency falls). If disposal efficiency rises, all things being equal, scores per inside fifty will also rise. If you are a coach, what do you do to reduce the efficiency of forward fifty entries? Right now, the press is the favoured method because you get less forward fifty against and a better opportunity to score on a turnover than winning the ball back in your defensive half. How do you disencentivse the press, which is a major source of congestion? Will it matter how many times players are done for incorrect disposal? Why would it? You don’t have the ball and so will be tackling players with the ball and winning free kicks. The press works because most players can’t kick over the top of it while under pressure.

Take a look below:

View attachment 512203
Imagine a player takes a mark or wins a free kick and within seconds is confronted by four rows of players with two defenders standing guard at the back. Effectively, almost every player is within a 65m radius. Now the player at star tries to kick to a team mate as per the arrow. If the team mate marks the ball, happy days. If not...well then its a contest with lots of players, team mates and opposition players, around the ball. If you win it and quickly kick the ball forward, those two defenders are sitting there waiting. If the opposition wins it and they quickly kick it forward, you probably have it covered and you essentially reset the play to where it was only moments before. Notice, there is no stoppage necessary to create the congestion. And even if there was a stoppage, teams will almost always play an extra defensively so must ensure there is pressure at the stoppage (in the form of numbers) in order to win the ball back.

Paying more or less free kicks will have absolutely no influence on the incentive for congesting the field. You either have to reduce the capacity of teams to defend the middle third of the field (At which point they throw numbers back into fifty) or you try and speed up the play so that the opposition doesn't have time to defend the middle third of the ground. Teams are very efficient at setting up the zone. Its literally there within seconds of a mark or free kick. The afl have tried to reduce tactics of teams to slow the game down. The protected area rules are there to ensure defenders are not rushing past the player who has taken a mark to prevent them from playing on quickly. But there just isn't much else you can do to speed up the transition of the ball because it takes a certain amount of time for players to size up their options and execute a skill.

So to reduce the capacity of teams to defend the middle third, you either take players off the field or you lower the interchange rate so much that fatigue sets in and prohibits teams from maintaining full field defensive structures. If teams can't effectively uphold a full field press across an entire game they will be forced to flood or man on man. I suspect the latter based on history and the fact that it happens even at lower levels of footy which lack the professional level of organisation to maintain effective full field structures. So in short, the source of congestion is defence. Defence benefits by a higher rate of free kicks but not by much more than it presently does. The aFL's attempts to turn a blind eye to indiscretions has not improved the game at all and has no real impact on the stats I posted earlier.
Or zones.....
 

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But seriously i find it funny how many people complain about 36 around the balk, everyone inside one half, no forwards leading out of the goal square etc but mention zones and they go ape shit

Especially when they want old footy back with positional play which effectively worked like zones.

Personally im still for get rid of prior opportunity and pay incorrect disposal properly and see what happens
 

Brishawk

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But seriously i find it funny how many people complain about 36 around the balk, everyone inside one half, no forwards leading out of the goal square etc but mention zones and they go ape shit

Especially when they want old footy back with positional play which effectively worked like zones.

Personally im still for get rid of prior opportunity and pay incorrect disposal properly and see what happens
Too similar to netball. And as a reference to netball in relation to afl is about as worse a sledge against the game as you can make, I understand the reluctance to embrace zones :)

I find the concept unworkable and unreconcilable with the general concept of the game.

As i said above in a slightly different way, why would brining in rules that would likely lower disposal efficiency encourage positional play? Lower de favours the team with the most players at the fall of the ball. Hawthorn countered zones and presses by maintaining a high de but most teams are simply not good enough to do that (including the current team).

Edit: the last time we had positional play, de was about 80% despite having a similar ratio of contested possessions to over all disposal. To lower de you play at least one spare in defence and pressure the ball carrier. What we see today is the extreme embodiment of that concept.
 
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Lowering interchange will benefit high endurance players/teams. It may even effect the way clubs draft , bringing in elite endurance players.
We have a few elite endurance players but our forward half players would suffer a bit in our current game plan.
 

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Too similar to netball. And as a reference to netball in relation to afl is about as worse a sledge against the game as you can make, I understand the reluctance to embrace zones :)

I find the concept unworkable and unreconcilable with the general concept of the game.

As i said above in a slightly different way, why would brining in rules that would likely lower disposal efficiency encourage positional play? Lower de favours the team with the most players at the fall of the ball. Hawthorn countered zones and presses by maintaining a high de but most teams are simply not good enough to do that (including the current team).

Edit: the last time we had positional play, de was about 80% despite having a similar ratio of contested possessions to over all disposal. To lower de you play at least one spare in defence and pressure the ball carrier. What we see today is the extreme embodiment of that concept.
Who gives a shit about netball

What we see today isn't footy like it was played before, coaches have taken many tactics from other sports.

My point was people just like to complain
 

MrPremiership

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Who gives a shit about netball

What we see today isn't footy like it was played before, coaches have taken many tactics from other sports.

My point was people just like to complain
Change the rules and some will complain about the game
Don't change the rules and some will complain about the game

Oz culture to have a bit of a whinge
 

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Brishawk

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Who gives a shit about netball

What we see today isn't footy like it was played before, coaches have taken many tactics from other sports.

My point was people just like to complain
Yep but there was nothing in the rules that prohibited the current game style. Zones is a big departure and wouldn’t really be the same game.
 

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Well they are under plenty of pressure as evidenced by the fall in disposal efficiency. But why will teams stop throwing numbers to stoppages if it’s an easy way to win a free kick and if the other team kicks it forward under pressure the defending team is a good chance to win the ball back?

Right now, about 55% of forward fifty entries are rebounded without a score. About 12.5% of all possessions move the ball into forward fifty so only about 5.5% of disposals enter fifty and lead to a score. Assuming some sort of rule change reduces the insentive to throw numbers around the ball without materially changing the game, As soon as congestion is diminished, disposal efficiency will rise (we see that in the data that as contested footy rises, disposal efficency falls). If disposal efficiency rises, all things being equal, scores per inside fifty will also rise. If you are a coach, what do you do to reduce the efficiency of forward fifty entries? Right now, the press is the favoured method because you get less forward fifty against and a better opportunity to score on a turnover than winning the ball back in your defensive half. How do you disencentivse the press, which is a major source of congestion? Will it matter how many times players are done for incorrect disposal? Why would it? You don’t have the ball and so will be tackling players with the ball and winning free kicks. The press works because most players can’t kick over the top of it while under pressure.

Take a look below:

View attachment 512203
Imagine a player takes a mark or wins a free kick and within seconds is confronted by four rows of players with two defenders standing guard at the back. Effectively, almost every player is within a 65m radius. Now the player at star tries to kick to a team mate as per the arrow. If the team mate marks the ball, happy days. If not...well then its a contest with lots of players, team mates and opposition players, around the ball. If you win it and quickly kick the ball forward, those two defenders are sitting there waiting. If the opposition wins it and they quickly kick it forward, you probably have it covered and you essentially reset the play to where it was only moments before. Notice, there is no stoppage necessary to create the congestion. And even if there was a stoppage, teams will almost always play an extra defensively so must ensure there is pressure at the stoppage (in the form of numbers) in order to win the ball back.

Paying more or less free kicks will have absolutely no influence on the incentive for congesting the field. You either have to reduce the capacity of teams to defend the middle third of the field (At which point they throw numbers back into fifty) or you try and speed up the play so that the opposition doesn't have time to defend the middle third of the ground. Teams are very efficient at setting up the zone. Its literally there within seconds of a mark or free kick. The afl have tried to reduce tactics of teams to slow the game down. The protected area rules are there to ensure defenders are not rushing past the player who has taken a mark to prevent them from playing on quickly. But there just isn't much else you can do to speed up the transition of the ball because it takes a certain amount of time for players to size up their options and execute a skill.

So to reduce the capacity of teams to defend the middle third, you either take players off the field or you lower the interchange rate so much that fatigue sets in and prohibits teams from maintaining full field defensive structures. If teams can't effectively uphold a full field press across an entire game they will be forced to flood or man on man. I suspect the latter based on history and the fact that it happens even at lower levels of footy which lack the professional level of organisation to maintain effective full field structures. So in short, the source of congestion is defence. Defence benefits by a higher rate of free kicks but not by much more than it presently does. The aFL's attempts to turn a blind eye to indiscretions has not improved the game at all and has no real impact on the stats I posted earlier.

Great analysis Brishawk. I find that unless it is a Hawthorn game it is almost unwatchable due to holding the ball/incorrect disposal interpretation and the scrums.

I'd like to throw this into the ring regarding paying more free kicks for holding the ball and incorrect disposal. If more frees were paid there would be more disposals that weren't rushed/under extreme pressure created by the scrum, players would have to dissipate from the pack quickly and in time less would be drawn in. Teams may in time be more inclined to kick medium to long to a contest or strong marking forward as the player with the free has more time to kick precisely to a leading player.
This would in turn pull the game back to what we remember it as and be more available to marking players than pure brute athletes that can run up and down the ground all day.

All of this (potentially) without having to change a single rule, just the interpretation.
 

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I'm not sure why there would be a massive outcry re zones. I'm all in favour of three players having to remain in the forward and back arcs at all times. That would ease congestion and is how footy used to be played.

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I'm not sure why there would be a massive outcry re zones. I'm all in favour of three players having to remain in the forward and back arcs at all times. That would ease congestion and is how footy used to be played.

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How do they get off the ground to be interchanged? and what happens if the ball stops short of the 50m arc? And how do you know which players have to stay in the arc and which don’t? And how can the game be played at lower levels given how hard it will be to adjudicate the ‘off side’ rules? ;)
 

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How do they get off the ground to be interchanged? and what happens if the ball stops short of the 50m arc? And how do you know which players have to stay in the arc and which don’t? And how can the game be played at lower levels given how hard it will be to adjudicate the ‘off side’ rules? ;)
Gee, I haven't given it that much thought, but they already do a more stringent three zone model in junior footy. Three players (no need to specify who they are) must be in the arcs for each team all game, if one of the many umps pics up that a team doesn't have three players in their arc the offending team gets penalised by a free kick. Interchange wouldn't change. It really wouldn't be a big deal to adjudicate.

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Simple solution if low scoring is seen as the problem.

Have an additional incentive for scoring points.

Idea 1: Teams equal on points at the end of the year are separated by highest total points for, rather than percentage. It's then better to have a game in which you score 120 to opponent scoring 90 compared to scoring 70 and holding the opposition to 45.

Idea 2: give the first team to 100 in a game 1 bonus point (keep all other points for winning games and draws the same). I wouldn't give it to both teams if they both get +100 because once one team scores above 100 they'll go ultra defensive to deny the opposition a bonus point.

I actually have no problem with low scoring, contested games, as long as they're close and skilled . Quite enjoyed the Sydney /eagles GFs. It's different if both teams are poorly skilled though or both sides have little intensity at the ball - but these are highly subjective factors.


(BTW looking forward to Brishawk taking this idea apart :p)
 
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Yep but there was nothing in the rules that prohibited the current game style. Zones is a big departure and wouldn’t really be the same game.
It's never the same game though

People just like to complain and tear down ideas

We can't do that is a classic way to go out of business and we are a pretty conservative bunch

We have an over umpired game that become to complex with interpretations designed to manufacture a look.

I'd prefer they started by simplifying the rules and umpiring them consistently but the "I'll stop watching if they do that" does my head in
 

yeahmate

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I hate the idea of zones or any fundamental change to the rules. Im actually fearful of what the clowns at the AFL may come up with. Maybe lowering interchange numbers would be OK but I'm not that sure it will be the answer.

I'm still hopeful that coaches will come up with better offensive tactics to counteract the current over success of the zone defence. One idea I've been wondering about (borrowing from American football) is whether or not trying some set plays on attack would work, to have a better co-ordination between the kicker and the forwards? Just a random thought.
 

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How do they get off the ground to be interchanged? and what happens if the ball stops short of the 50m arc? And how do you know which players have to stay in the arc and which don’t? And how can the game be played at lower levels given how hard it will be to adjudicate the ‘off side’ rules? ;)
From the youtube on zones
It seems as though it was 6 in the 50s for the bounce and 2 wings on each true wings but only for the bounce.
It would favour a good ruck mid combo

 
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I actually have no problem with low scoring, contested games, as long as they're close and skilled . Quite enjoyed the Sydney /eagles GFs. It's different if both teams are poorly skilled though or both sides have little intensity at the ball - but these are highly subjective factors.
Despite being on the losing end, our games against Sydney and West Coast this season were rippers even being low scoring.

I really feel we desperately need to avoid zones and anything that involves the word 'substitute'.
Unless zones is limited to starting positions at centre bounces following goals. What an absolute cluster-you-know-what it would be if players were required to be in certain areas of the ground at all stoppages. Who would police this? What would be the penalty? How much does it slow the play down trying to check if every player is where they are meant to be? How does it work filtering down to county and lower leagues? Just a massive can of worms that needs to be avoided.
And I saw someone on the board saying we should abolish the interchange and have 4 substitutes. So essentially, the bottom 4 players from all teams could be restricted to playing (at best you would imagine), about half a game. Not to mention the players they replace. You would be taking games off guys careers and destroying the possibility of players fulfilling performance based portions of their contracts.

How TO fix the 'problems' though?

The goal square idea I really like. Extend it out. Would make goal kicking even more important so you don't give the opposition a 25 metre head start from the kick out.
Blow the whistle far quicker for ball ups so the scrum doesn't have time to evolve.
Allow the third man up to potentially clear the congestion should it occur.
Pay dropping the ball and incorrect disposal more often.
If you want to reduce the interchange, do it a small amount. Just enough so recruiters don't feel the need to keep recruiting athletes over pure footballers. That is also where the poorer skill level comes in.
 

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Despite being on the losing end, our games against Sydney and West Coast this season were rippers even being low scoring.

I really feel we desperately need to avoid zones and anything that involves the word 'substitute'.
Unless zones is limited to starting positions at centre bounces following goals. What an absolute cluster-you-know-what it would be if players were required to be in certain areas of the ground at all stoppages. Who would police this? What would be the penalty? How much does it slow the play down trying to check if every player is where they are meant to be? How does it work filtering down to county and lower leagues? Just a massive can of worms that needs to be avoided.
And I saw someone on the board saying we should abolish the interchange and have 4 substitutes. So essentially, the bottom 4 players from all teams could be restricted to playing (at best you would imagine), about half a game. Not to mention the players they replace. You would be taking games off guys careers and destroying the possibility of players fulfilling performance based portions of their contracts.

How TO fix the 'problems' though?

The goal square idea I really like. Extend it out. Would make goal kicking even more important so you don't give the opposition a 25 metre head start from the kick out.
Blow the whistle far quicker for ball ups so the scrum doesn't have time to evolve.
Allow the third man up to potentially clear the congestion should it occur.
Pay dropping the ball and incorrect disposal more often.
If you want to reduce the interchange, do it a small amount. Just enough so recruiters don't feel the need to keep recruiting athletes over pure footballers. That is also where the poorer skill level comes in.

Good post, you make some good points.
Leave the damn rules alone!

One thing I’d love to see but will never happen: criticise the teams that play ugly footy. Don’t get the media to make a pretence about teams like Freo and Sydney.

So get rid of the “Paul Roos/Ross Lyon is a master coach” narrative and admit that Roos been a major initiator of the crap, defensive, negative footy, which is happily continued by his disciples Lyon and Longmire.

Name and shame the bastards!

Won’t happen tho.
 

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Lowering interchange will benefit high endurance players/teams. It may even effect the way clubs draft , bringing in elite endurance players.
We have a few elite endurance players but our forward half players would suffer a bit in our current game plan.
lowering interchange has only resulted in lower scores, making football more boring to watch imo, but if you think thats a good idea then i disagree...

the scrums will continue as football has evolved to have athletes playing instead of pure footballers, if this becomes too much of a problem(scrappy unattractive football) then a rule saying there has to be 4 players(from each team) in each 50m zone at all times kindve like an offside rule will clear up the congestion in the middle and allow for stay at home forwards who can lead and mark more valuable....

P.S. i would raise interchange numbers and create a rule that 4 players from each side must be in the 50m area at all times or the team that breaks this rule gives away a free kick at the place the ball is at to the other team...

(these rules would increase scoring as players would be fresher and also clear up congestion also allowing for more scoring opportunities and maybe football will return to the 90's where 140 - 120 wasnt an oddity but a more normal score line)
 
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Things have to change.

If you had of said in the 90's that in 18 years time we will no longer have the need for KPP people would have called B.S, but with all the rubbish flooding that occurs, that is exactly what has happened.

There are very few one on one contests now, and you regularly see the ball being kicked into a vacant 50 or players kicking backwards because there is no one in the 50.

Regardless of what was or wasn't permitted back in the day, the game has morphed into something that is almost unrecognisable and it isn't enjoyable to watch.

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