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The easy fix to the AFL's scoring woes

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Roar Rookie
14th May, 2019
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At the start of the 2019 AFL season, fans might have been right to think that scoring would increase, given the amount of rule changes. But how wrong they were.

The average margin in the first seven rounds of 2019 is a measly 28.9 points, making it the lowest since 1976.

This stat is a reflection of lower scores and the evenness of the competition.

Across the same period, the average score is 80.9 points per team per game, compared with 83.1 over the whole of the 2018 campaign.

Scoring is at its lowest point since 1967.

What does this show?

The numbers prove that the 6-6-6 rule hasn’t had the effect that the AFL desired when it introduced the change this season.

But the low scoring could also be a reflection of the pressure imposed by teams in defence, resulting in poor skills being displayed by the side with the Sherrin in hand.

Ben Brown

North Melbourne’s Ben Brown boots a goal… but scores are down in 2019. (Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

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However, this can all change.

The way to increase scoring without changing the rules is to get rid of percentage and simply use the number of points accrued as the tie-breaker on the ladder for teams locked on the same number of competition points.

This simple change to how the AFL ladder is determined would encourage teams to kick big totals, knowing it could be the difference between finishing positions at the end of the season.

For example, in the Carlton vs North Melbourne match in Round 7, the final score was 62 to 120 – a thrashing.

Changing the ladder tiebreaker from percentage to points scored should mean games are always played out to the final siren even if one side is being thrashed.

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This should be looked at by the AFL.

Major changes were made to the rules at the end of last year, and the powers that be need one more year to see if 6-6-6 improves the rate of scoring.

But this easy change will also help.