THE MONSTER’S BACK: AFL UMPIRES FAVOUR VICTORIAN TEAMS: IT’S A FACT

Those of you who have followed my statistical analysis over many years will know that it has long been established that Victorian teams get a better deal from umpires. Essentially Vic teams at home get a large free kick advantage when playing visiting Non-Vic Teams yet are only slightly disadvantaged when playing away from Victoria. For many years I felt this was the case but it was still gratifying to see it supported in black and white stats. At the half-way point of this season it looked like things might be ready to change. Vic teams had started the season pretty close to the Non-Vic teams but as the pointy end of the season approaches the stats have reverted to the usual bias. NON-VIC teams are getting smashed when playing in Victoria, Vic teams are not being hurt when playing away.

Whether one simply looks at the percentage of free kicks paid to home and visitors, or at games where one team gets a significant free kick advantage (I define this as 58% or more to one team, 42% or less to the other) it sucks to be a Non-Vic travelling team.

So here are the basics

GAMES ON NEUTRAL TERRITORY (ie: where teams from the same city play one another):HOME TEAM 50.5% of frees AWAY TEAM 49.5%

GAMES OF SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE 17: in favour of Home team 10, Away team 7

VIC HOME TEAM V NON-VIC AWAY HOME VIC 54.7% AWAY NON VIC 45.3%

GAMES OF SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE 14: in favour of Home team 11, Away team 3

NON VIC HOME V NON VIC AWAY HOME 53.8% AWAY 46.2%

GAMES OF SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE 6: in favour of Home Team 6 Away team 0

NON VIC HOME v VIC AWAY NON VIC HOME 51.5% VIC AWAY 48.5%

GAMES OF SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE 9: Home Non-Vic 6 Away Vic 3

The figures show that when there is no city difference the split between home and away is negligible. When Vic teams travel they are slightly disadvantaged but nowhere near as disadvantaged as non-Vic teams. Have a look at the significant games- when non-Vic teams play away there have been 20 significant games and the split is 17-3 in favour of the home teams. FACT: AWAY NON VIC TEAMS ARE BEING SMASHED BY UMPIRES.

Surely it is time for Campbell and his crew to address this and give non-Victorian teams the “level-playing field” Eddie and his cronies are always going on about. On the very few occasions Victorian teams get hurt when playing away you never hear the end of it. For Non-Vic supporters we know in advance we are going to have to be a 5 goal better side to win by 1. Isn’t it enough advantage that Victorian teams get a Home Grand Final!

2 Comments on THE MONSTER’S BACK: AFL UMPIRES FAVOUR VICTORIAN TEAMS: IT’S A FACT

  1. Would be really interesting to look at the number of free kicks that are given while the game is in the balance. A way the afl could dampen the bias ( that you have shown) is to pay free kicks (to non vic teams) in the final quarter(s) when the outcome is effectively determined. I believe you would see the bias in favour of vic teams to be substantially higher in the first half / when scores are close. That is, The afl is aware that frees should be balanced on average and therefore correct for this at moments when decisions will not impact the outcome. It would also be interesting to asses the free differential based on teams where afl is not popular, the afl have more of incentive to benefit teams such to help the afl grow. Eg afl is extremely popular in Adelaide, whereas Sydney prefers rugby. It makes sense the afl would prefer to see Sydney succeed so that popularity increase and afl becomes more popular as a whole. I’m sure it would be possible to identify these causal effects. After all the afl is a business, that acts strategically ( not fairly).

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