Time to Scrap %. Points For Only.

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Soberian Tiger

'67 '69 '73 '74 '80; '17 '19 '20 +++
Jul 25, 2018
904
5,057
AFL Club
Richmond
The 1972 grand final saw fifty goals and a winning margin of just over four goals..

I hated it though.

Richmond were favourites but Carlton won.

The next year, Richmond had wised up and the tables were turned.
 

Lavender Bushranger

Norm Smith Medallist
Aug 25, 2005
6,631
10,211
Grogansville
AFL Club
Gold Coast
100% this.
Leave the game alone and let the tactical side evolve naturally. The more you try and control it the worse the game gets as a spectacle.
Interestingly, they changed the % system in 1933.

It's a bit of a myth that the game just evolves on its own. Significant rule changes have been implemented fairly steadily over the last 150 years to address perceived issues with the game.
 

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Lavender Bushranger

Norm Smith Medallist
Aug 25, 2005
6,631
10,211
Grogansville
AFL Club
Gold Coast
FWIW under the old % system (before it was changed in 1933), West coast would have finished 4th instead of Geelong, and North would have won the Wooden Spoon over Adelaide.

Port's % would have dropped from 136 to 73 - whilst Essendon's would have jumped from 79 to 126. Adelaide's would have been 155!

So the concept of tweaking the % system to encourage scoring has actually been done before. It's not that far fetched and outrageous at all.
 
Last edited:

Final Siren

Mr Squiggle
Aug 18, 2009
4,102
16,871
AFL Club
Richmond
FWIW under the old % system (before it was changed in 1933), West coast would have finished 4th instead of Geelong, and North would have won the Wooden Spoon over Adelaide.

Port's % would have dropped from 136 to 73 - whilst Essendon's would have jumped from 79 to 126. Adelaide's would have been 155!

So the concept of tweaking the % system to encourage scoring has actually been done before. It's not that far fetched and outrageous at all.
I'm not sure you have that right... the AFL's page says:

Screenshot from 2020-11-29 14-45-56.png

... but that's the same thing, just the inverse - so instead of a percentage of 200, you'd have a percentage of 50, and lower would be better. But it wouldn't change anything about the order of the teams.
 

YippeeYiYeo

Norm Smith Medallist
Jun 21, 2015
8,931
13,958
AFL Club
West Coast
Agree with the OP. All the counter-arguements regarding high scoring grounds and weather are no different to every other slightly unbalanced aspect of a season: fixture, playing against a team crippled with injuries vs fully fit, playing against a team in form vs a team out of form, etc.

Encouraging teams to be attacking atm is a good thing.
 

Wallaby

Norm Smith Medallist
May 8, 2007
9,369
11,861
vic
AFL Club
Richmond
An interesting idea I heard once (and I have mentioned it before) is to have 'quarters won' as the tie-breaker, rather than %age.

Good points are:
1. It takes away differences in playing conditions between grounds, weather etc.
2. It gives fans of a team being thrashed (say, 7 goals down at 3/4 time) some incentive to keep watching.
3. It increases the number of critical 'kicks after the siren' by a large factor - apart from having 5 times as many opportunities (4 end-of-quarters + total end-of-game), there would be more end-of-quarter opportunities because there is less scoring in a quarter than a game - so closer scores.
4. I once did a quick analysis on a season - it doesn't wind up with a significantly different order to %age.
5. When a team HAS to win the last game & improve %age to make finals, it's easy to work out exactly what they need to do, rather than have to recalculate after every opposition score.

Bad points:
1. Increases chance of a 'tie-breaker' tie at the end of the season.
 

Final Siren

Mr Squiggle
Aug 18, 2009
4,102
16,871
AFL Club
Richmond
An interesting idea I heard once (and I have mentioned it before) is to have 'quarters won' as the tie-breaker, rather than %age.

Good points are:
1. It takes away differences in playing conditions between grounds, weather etc.
2. It gives fans of a team being thrashed (say, 7 goals down at 3/4 time) some incentive to keep watching.
3. It increases the number of critical 'kicks after the siren' by a large factor - apart from having 5 times as many opportunities (4 end-of-quarters + total end-of-game), there would be more end-of-quarter opportunities because there is less scoring in a quarter than a game - so closer scores.
4. I once did a quick analysis on a season - it doesn't wind up with a significantly different order to %age.
5. When a team HAS to win the last game & improve %age to make finals, it's easy to work out exactly what they need to do, rather than have to recalculate after every opposition score.

Bad points:
1. Increases chance of a 'tie-breaker' tie at the end of the season.
They have this in Super Netball and I really dislike it.

It feels artificial - the commentators always try to hype it up but it's just a sideshow to the main business of, you know, who's going to win the freaking game.

Also occasionally you get bizarre outcomes where one team thrashes the other, but because they did their damage in one particular quarter, the other team comes away with more bonus points.

The whole purpose of percentage is that it's a pretty accurate method of separating two teams who are otherwise equal. Once you introduce some razzle-dazzle, it fails at that and becomes something different.
 

Lavender Bushranger

Norm Smith Medallist
Aug 25, 2005
6,631
10,211
Grogansville
AFL Club
Gold Coast
kind of backs up my point
Does it though?

That year Docklands only averaged 3 goals more than the other grounds' combined averages. If you take the SCG's average out of it (cause, you know, Sydney), it's only about 15 points more.
And given Geelong were a freakishly dominant team and played 7 games there averaging 141 points - the rest of the comp is pretty even across all grounds.



On a side note.. man the scores were big that year! The average Points For was 95.5!! In 2020 it was 65.5! If you forget the shortened quarters and use 2019 instead - it was only 80. That's 6 goals per game difference.
 

00Stinger

Duel Group 1 winner
May 8, 2007
25,281
27,819
@ HOME
AFL Club
Melbourne
Other Teams
Liverpool & San Francisco 49ers
Does it though?

That year Docklands only averaged 3 goals more than the other grounds' combined averages. If you take the SCG's average out of it (cause, you know, Sydney), it's only about 15 points more.
And given Geelong were a freakishly dominant team and played 7 games there averaging 141 points - the rest of the comp is pretty even across all grounds.



On a side note.. man the scores were big that year! The average Points For was 95.5!! In 2020 it was 65.5! If you forget the shortened quarters and use 2019 instead - it was only 80. That's 6 goals per game difference.
It's more of the unfairness of four teams playing on the same day in Melbourne in pouring rain

Two play outside in a wet slog fest and the other two play in perfect conditions indoors
 

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