Whenever the draw for a new season is revealed there's much discussion about the teams that face one another only once, about which teams need to travel interstate more than others, and about which teams are asked to play successive games with fewer days rest. There is in the discussion an implicit assumption that more days rest is better than fewer days rest but, to my knowledge, this is never supported by empirical analysis. It is, like much of the discussion about football, considered axiomatic.
In this blog we'll assess how reasonable that assumption is.
This week Collingwood faces Sydney having played its Semi-Final only 6 day previously while Adelaide take on Hawthorn a more luxurious 8 days after their Semi-Final encounter. The gap for Sydney has been 13 days while that for the Hawks has been 15 days. In this blog we'll assess what, if any, effect these differential gaps between games for competing finalists might have on game outcome.