Team Scoring Records in Last 50 Games

Data: These charts use the final scores from every game from the start of the 1897 season to the end of 2017.

Topic: Here we're looking to understand the scoring trends - in terms of points scored and points conceded - for every team across history.

Points of Interest:

The overall trends in scoring across history are the most obvious macro features of the chart.

Individual features stand out for some particular teams, such as:

  • The growth in Adelaide scoring in recent times
  • The increasing competitiveness of the Brisbane Bears before their disappearance/merger
  • Hawthorn's high rate of scoring through the 1980s
  • Melbourne's, St Kilda's, and the Western Bulldogs leaky defences through the 1980s, and Sydney/Sth Melbourne's through the early 1990s
  • The improvement in Richmond's defence in recent years

The chart below focusses on the period from 1990 onwards and highlights recent trends.

Topic: Next, we look at teams' goal-kicking records, separately charting goals scored per game and behinds scored per game over the last 50 matches.

Points of Interest:

Here too, the overall trends in scoring across history are the most obvious macro features of the chart, most notably the steep increase in scoring in the early parts of the competition.

We can also see the point at which, for each team, goals tended to be more numerous than behinds (ie the blue line rises above the red), this generally occurring sometime in the 1970s or 1980s for most teams that were around at that time.

What is also noticeable is the general decline in scoring, both in terms of goals and behinds, over recent years for all teams except Adelaide, Brisbane Lions, GWS, Melbourne (only goals), St Kilda, and the Western Bulldogs. 

Again, we focus on the period from 1990 onwards to highlight recent trends.

Topic: Now we combine the goals and behinds data to calculate goal-kicking accuracy as goals scored as a proportion of scoring shots. We look at this again on a team-by-team basis and averaged over the last 50 matches. We chart each team's accuracy and that of the opponents they've faced.

Points of Interest:

Looking across the results for each team, a general, long-term increase in accuracy is apparent for most. 

That said, accuracy has trended downwards in more recent times for quite a number of teams, perhaps most conspicuously for Essendon, who are now at just 50.4% for their last 50 games. Across those same games, their opponents have kicked at 55.3%. St Kilda have also seen a general decline in their own accuracy, which now stands at 50.0% to their opponents' 55.7%.

A few other points of interest are:

  • The steep increases in the accuracy of the opponents of the Brisbane Lions, Carlton, Collingwood, Fremantle, and St Kilda (though the most recent trend is now downwards)
  • The steep increase in the accuracy of Adelaide and Melbourne

And, again, we focus on the period from 1990 onwards to emphasise recent trends