Figuring Footy is a collection of my forays into AFL statistical analysis.
First and foremost, it’s a place for me to collect and compile some thoughts on the AFL and how the game of Aussie Rules is played. I’m a firm believer that every ‘game’ is solvable. Aussie Rules (and really every sport for that matter) is far too complicated and has far too many ‘luck’-related variables to ever have any ‘certain’ outcomes. But it’s certainly solvable in the sense that if we know enough of the variables and we know their importance to the outcome of a match, we can assign accurate probabilities to different outcomes.
This is really just a fancy description of what all footy fans do instinctively. Imagine it’s mid-season; the reigning premiers are up against the bottom of the table easy beats. What do you think will happen? Well the premiers have got that big dominant ruckman feeding that lightning-quick mid-field that seem to crush all that they face, plus they haven’t lost at home in nearly 4 years and the weather forecast is for sun. Meanwhile, the soon-to-be ‘spooners have an undermanned defence due to a couple of key injuries and their forwards have been making a meal of their chances in recent weeks. I reckon we might be in for a pretty one-sided affair.
A similar set of circumstances in 2011 conspired to a pretty one-sided affair. In fact the second most one-side in VFL/AFL history.
On Figuring Footy I do the same analysis as this but attempt to quantify all the different factors to a precise numerical probability rather than the plain English “probably” or “possibly” type probabilities we use in every day life. It is my goal to make the articles posted on this site understandable to any footy fan. Even those without any background in statistics. More advanced statistical analysis and discussion is often removed from the body of the article and placed in a specially designated area at the end to make for easier reading. Please let me know if you don’t understand any concepts and I will be happy to rewrite them in a simpler way.
As a light at the end of the tunnel, if the numerical probabilities and predictions become accurate enough, there is even the possibility of making a profit through sports betting. But we’ll deal with that hurdle when we get to it. Just getting to a level of match prediction accuracy greater than the average footy fan is a long and finicky process. The archives of Figuring Footy are my step-by-step attempts at doing this.
I post round-by-round tips based off ratings from the Figuring Footy Scoring Shots (FFSS) system. If you are new here, a good place to find out about FFSS is this introductory post.