Evolution of game-play in the Australian Football League from 2001-2015

Woods, Carl T., Robertson, Sam, and Collier, Neil French (2017) Evolution of game-play in the Australian Football League from 2001-2015. Journal of Sports Sciences, 35 (19). pp. 1879-1887.

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This study investigated the evolution of game-play manifested via team performance indicator characteristics in the Australian Football League (AFL) from the 2001 to 2015 seasons. The mean values for 18 performance indicators were collated for every AFL team over 15-seasons. A multivariate analysis was used to uncover temporal trends in the dataset. Compared to the 2004 season, the 2005 to 2010 seasons were characterised by large growth in the counts of handballs (d = 0.83; 90% CI = 0.22–1.43), disposals (d = 1.24; 90% CI = 0.59–1.87), uncontested possessions (d = 1.37; 90% CI = 0.71–2.01), clangers (d = 2.14; 90% CI = 1.39–2.86) and marks (d = 1.43; 90% CI = 0.76–2.07). Contrastingly, the effective disposal percentage declined rapidly during the same period. The number of inside 50 m counts remained stable throughout the 15-season period. The ordination plot of league-wide performance indicator characteristics illustrated a distinct cluster from the 2001 to 2004 seasons, an abrupt shift from the 2005 to 2009 seasons, and an emergent (re)stabilisation from the 2010 to 2015 seasons. The results demonstrate the synchronous league-wide evolution of game-play in the AFL from the 2001 to 2015 seasons. Amongst other constituents, this evolution likely reflects the introduction of modernised coaching strategies, rule changes and changing perceptions of rule interpretations.

Item ID: 46055
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1466-447X
Keywords: data visualisation, sport analytics, team sports, dynamical systems
Date Deposited: 14 Oct 2016 00:14
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4207 Sports science and exercise > 420703 Motor control @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9299 Other Health > 929999 Health not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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