From Green and Gold to Blue and Red: the Colours of the AFL 2015 Season after Eight Rounds


Eight rounds have been completed in the 2015 AFL season.

Fremantle leads the ladder with 32 points from eight games.

My monitoring of performances in the AFL compares the current season’s results with the previous year’s finish in the regular season.

The colour code I use to visualise these relationships is:

  • Green for an expected win
  • Blue for an expected loss
  • Gold for an unexpected win
  • Red for an unexpected loss

The images I am using in this post can be found here.

This season Fremantle, after eight rounds, is a green and gold team.


The gold peformances were a round 2 away win over Geelong and a round 4 home win over Sydney.

There are three teams with 24 points on the ladder:


Of these, GWS has made significant progress from the 2014 season with four wins against higher ranked opponents.

Collingwood and Adelaide have 20 points:


Collingwood has played very closely to the 2014 season. The exception is their round 4 win over Essendon. Adelaide has lost to two lower ranked teams, the Western Bulldogs (round 4) and GWS (round 8).

Six teams have 16 points:


Each team has lost to lower ranked teams. Hawthorn’s second place in the regular season has meant that three defeats have made them a green and red team this season. Western Bulldogs had a very strong start to the season as a gold team.

Port Adelaide and Melbourne have 12 points:


Melbourne have defeated three higher ranked opponents: Gold Coast (round 1), Richmond (round 4) and Western Bulldogs (round 8).

St Kilda and Brisbane have won two games each against higher ranked opponents this season:


The Gold Coast Suns and Carlton have four points each. Both teams have won games against lower ranked opponents to record their wins:


Both teams are predominantly red and blue teams at the moment: they are not playing above their ranking and in three games for the Gold Coast and two games for Carlton they are playing below their 2014 form.

Photo Credit

Footy Flags (Winky, CC BY 2.0)

#NRL in Flux, #AFL Stabilising?



Round 7 of the 2015 NRL season concluded in Cronulla on Monday night in “testing conditions“. Cronulla defeated South Sydney. This result added to the state of flux evident in this year’s competition.

This is my record of the flux:


The appearance of gold in the bottom half of the table visualises for me the contestability of this year’s competition. The appearance of red in the top half indicates to me that last year’s high flyers are having some difficulties this year. This is particularly the case with Manley.



By contrast, Round 3 of the AFL reaffirmed 2014 status levels:


Each team played to their 2014 ranking. The North Melbourne v Port Adelaide game was as close as the ranking indicated. The higher ranked team, Port Adelaide did win.

This is the AFL’s graphic of the point scoring pattern of the game.

Game Flow

Port Adelaide led at the end of each quarter.

Ranking and Performance

Previous season ranking is a macro indicator for me. It guides me to explore in detail the training and competition environments of teams. Whilst many of the teams in the NRL are having a volatile season, for many of their counterparts in the AFL it is business as usual.

Photo Credits

The rain begins (Stilgherian, CC BY 2.0)

AFL at the Etihad, Melbourne (Phil Long, CC BY-NC 2.0)


The Colours of the 2014 AFL Season


This year’s AFL competition started on Thursday with the opening game between Carlton and Richmond.

Richmond won the game 105 v 78. In doing so, Richmond confirmed its higher ranking status over Carlton from the 2014 regular season.

In 2014, this was my record of the AFL season by team and performance against 2013 ranking.

AFL 03

An expected win based on the 2013 regular season finishing positions is recoded as green. An expected loss is recorded as blue. An unexpected win is recorded as gold and an unexpected loss as red.

The graphic visualises, for example, St Kilda’s occasional breakout from a season confirming 2013 ranking. It illustrates too, Collingwood’s difficulties in the second half of the season compared to Richmond’s recovery.

Overall, the colours of 2014 indicate how each football department responded to 2013 performances. One team that made significant progress in the first half of 2014 was Port Adelaide.

Photo Credit

AFL – Richmond v Essendon (Round 9) (Charlievdb, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)