Western Bulldogs in the 2016 #AFL Finals

Western Bulldogs played in each of the four weeks of the 2016 AFL Finals.

My record of their performances is:

Week 1 v West Coast: A Contested 1Q Game


Week 2 v Hawthorn: A @Q Contested Game


Week 3 v GWS: A Contested 4Q Game


Grand Final v Sydney: A Contested 3Q Game


I think this is a very impressive portfolio of victories.

My interest in developing a taxonomy of games is to create a macro indicator that can lead to conversations about strategy, preparation, and tactics. I am becoming more and more interested in the situational awareness of players and coaches as well as their vigilance.

I am hopeful that a very basic macro indicator can lead to some fascinating conversations using narrative inquiry.

What kind of game? #AFL Grand Final 2016

I have been monitoring winning performances in the 2016 AFL season.

Western Bulldogs’ win in the Grand Final had the characteristics of a Contested 3 Quarter Game.

Their performance against the median for this type of game was:


I thought this was the only game of its type in the Finals rounds in 2016. I had recorded 21 examples during the regular season. One of these games was Western Bulldogs’ round 10 win over Collingwood. The Bulldogs had lost one of these games as well (round 23 v Fremantle).

The Bulldogs’ fourth quarter performance against Sydney in the Final was, I thought, a great demonstration of resilience at the end of a long season. It reminded me of the energy displayed by Leicester City in their EPL success.

#AFL Semi-Finals 2016

The Semi-Finals of the 2016 AFL Season resulted in wins for the Western Bulldogs (v Hawthorn) and Sydney (v Adelaide).

I thought the Western Bulldogs’ win had the characteristics of a Contested 2 Quarter game whilst there were characteristics of a Dominant game in Sydney’s win.

I am interested in teams’ performances within games and across a season. I have been using a median profile of all winners’ points differences by quarter to track momentum within a game and across a season.

My data for the Semi-Finals are:

Western Bulldogs




These very basic charts raise some important questions for me. I have been thinking about them as records of readiness to perform.

Without over-reading the charts, I noted the Bulldogs’ ability to come back against a team that has dominated the AFL for the last three years. I noted too the strength of Sydney’s start to the game.

I am looking forward to seeing how both teams recover to play teams in the preliminary finals who had a week away from competitive games.