Scoring Anomalies – Round 16

Written by The Salamander on July 11 2019

In case any of you missed it, last week I introduced SyntheticCoach, a way of taking what is publicly known about the SuperCoach scoring formula, and what relevant data is publicly available, to try to model what a player’s ‘correct’ SuperCoach score should be. With thanks to Jamhead in last week’s comments, the formula now includes spoils, smothers, and other one-percenters, as well as goal-assists. The previous week, BBQbarbs suggested that running bounces are worth 1 point each; it would not surprise me in the slightest if this were the case, but as yet, I have not found a source to back this up (to be fair, I haven’t looked very hard – I’ve had some other things going on this week). If I can confirm that this stat is also part of the formula, and that it is worth 1 point apiece, it will be added to the system by this time next week. Lest anybody think that the formula is flipping and flopping every week, rest assured that it will stabilize in the coming weeks, as I nail down the final details of what we currently know (and are able to model) of the scoring system.

There has been a little bit of confusion in the comments over the last couple of weeks over how Champion Data scores kicks, so I thought I would clear that up here. As far as the SuperCoach formula is concerned, it’s quite simple: effective kicks are worth 4 points, ineffective kicks 0, and clanger kicks -4. The confusion comes from the way in which CD defines an effective kick:

A kick of more than 40 metres to a 50/50 contest or better for the team or a kick of less than 40 metres that results in the intended target retaining possession. [emphasis added]

I hope that’s cleared that up.

To start us off this week, some were curious on the weekend about Tom Rockliff’s relatively low score of 97, especially given his Dreamteam score of 150, on the back of 36 touches. SyntheticCoach gave him 118 (un-scaled: 133), so, at face value, those complaining may have a legitimate point. However, other commenters pointed out that he did much of his good work in the second half, when the game was already won. This highlights a blindspot in the SyntheticCoach system: it currently has no way of measuring scaling done in favour of actions taken when the game was on the line. To do this, it would need to know not only when the game was on the line – which it could easily be taught, as we have access to the score worm data – but also when each stat was recoded – data to which we do not currently have access. Long-term, this is something I would like to fix, but it would require logging of statistical data at regular intervals in-game, which would require significant work to set up. My intention is to do this eventually, but for the time being, there are much more practical – and much more easily implemented – improvements to be made to the system.

Moving on, a number of people were wondering about Brodie Grundy’s high score of 145, compared to James Sicily’s 141, when the latter, to most eyes, was a clear BOG. As it turns out, as far as SyntheticCoach is concerned, they were both robbed! It awarded Grundy 156 (173), and Sicily 165 (182).

Meanwhile, in his always-excellent Round Review, Dane wanted to know if Sydney Stack (106) had been given somewhat favourable treatment, particularly when compared with teammates Bachar Houli (87) and Brandon Ellis (80). Computer says no…
…t really. SyntheticCoach awarded Stack 101 (113), whilst Houli was given 84 (94), and Ellis 90 (100). The only discrepancy that really stands out there is Ellis, and 10 points across a whole game is nothing that cannot potentially be explained by scaling, or perhaps some stat of which my system is ignorant.

Dane also wanted to know how Liam Jones got to 47 from 5 disposals at 40 percent (including a truly woeful 25 percent kicking efficiency), plus 4 clangers. SyntheticCoach gave him 41 (43), so his real score probably wasn’t too far off the mark. So how did he get there? In raw, un-scaled terms: 12 spoils (24 points), 2 intercept marks, of which 1 was contested (12 points), 3 ground-ball gets (13.5 points), 1 effective kick, 1 effective handball, and 1 tackle (9.5 points), held back by 4 clangers (-16 points), for a total of 43 points.

Finally, and somewhat amusingly, in the same match, Champion Data awarded Marty Hore 3 points, whilst SyntheticCoach, in both its raw and scaled forms, gave him a big, fat, 0. Perhaps CD was feeling generous? Either way, as an owner, I’ll gladly take the extra 3 points!

Were there any scores that seemed off to you on the weekend? Or are you interested in a full stat-by-stat score breakdown for a particular player? Let me know in the comments below, and I’ll let you know what SyntheticCoach has to say about it.


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14 thoughts on “Scoring Anomalies – Round 16”

  1. Great stuff Salamander, it’s always good to know that the stats are backed up. My only question from here is the actual stats themselves, Do they come from an independent place prior to being CD interpreted? I guess I’m going of the comments I regularly see during matchtime, where so and so seems to have scored out of thin air, is this just CD catching up on previous acts?


    1. Thanks Joestar. In regards to your first question, Champion Data collects the data directly at the ground; indeed, this is their main business –producing SuperCoach scores is a comparatively minor priority for them. They do this by having a number of people in a special box (generally elevated, and on a wing) watching the game, and calling the stats as they happen.

      As to your second question, there can absolutely be delays between stats being recorded and SuperCoach scores updating – if it looks like a player has just scored out of thin air, this is probably the reason. Another aspect of this is that the updates for the stats and the scores on sites like Fanfooty may not be in sync with one another, because they are more than likely coming in from different data streams.


  2. Love it as always Sal. Fyi the below link is where I found out running bounces are worth point last year (I think). In 2018 I had supercoach gold via my foxtel subscription, but I don’t have it this year so can’t access the article anymore. If anyone has access can they confirm? Cheers


    1. Thanks! I don’t have any current, relevant subscription either, so hopefully someone here will kindly take a look and report back (and let us know about anything else of note – pretty please!).


    2. Here it is


      It’s not uncommon for a SuperCoach score to steadily increase once a player goes off injured and remains out of action for the rest of the match, as we saw with West Coast forward Daniel Venables on Saturday.

      There are many variables that come into play, ranging from the state of the game at the time of the injury to what the player had done while he was on the ground.

      Although there are 3300 ranking points assigned to every game, scores are rescaled at the end of each match to take into account when the game was at its closest. In blowouts in which one team leads the entire game, as West Coast did on the weekend, the rankings assigned in the opening quarter of the match will be scaled up at the completion of the match — as that is effectively when the game was won.

      In the case of Venables, his second term was his most productive, collecting seven disposals and 36 points — more than half of his score for the match.

      Tom Rockliff is yet to fire for Port Adelaide. Picture: Sarah Reed

      Tom Rockliff is a shadow of the player he was at Brisbane. One of the great SuperCoach scorers — averaging 109 points a game since 2011 — is currently in the worst form slump of his career, averaging 12 disposals, four contested possessions, two clearances, two tackles and just one inside-50 entry.

      He is averaging 44 SuperCoach points a game with two scores under 30 in four games, including 29 against Essendon on Sunday. Rockliff ranks 127th in the competition among permanent midfielders.

      What’s going on? He has been starved of midfield time, spending 41 per cent of games up forward, ranking fifth at the club for his centre bounce involvement.

      After starting in more than 9000 teams, Rockliff has been traded out by almost 6000 coaches since Round 1.


      Running bounces are a bonus in SuperCoach as it keeps the points ticking over. Each running bounce is worth two points, and the leaders in that category this year are Billy Hartung, Heath Shaw and Conor McKenna with 14 apiece. Popular SuperCoach picks, Shane Savage and Kade Simpson aren’t too far behind with 12 each.


      The scoreboard was Brisbane’s enemy in SuperCoach last round, as the Tigers piled on the opening 12 goals of the game before the Lions got their first through Dayne Zorko. At the time of Zorko’s goal, the margin has ballooned out to 74 points, subsequently his goal was worth only 5.4 points.

      Cameron Rayner was Brisbane’s only other goalscorer at the 15-minute mark of the final term, with his goal earning him 5.4 points as well.

      Eric Hipwood and Hugh McCluggage were the only two Brisbane players to record a score assist. Hipwood’s score assist was worth 3.28 points as it was recorded at the six-minute mark of the second term, while McCluggage’s assist was worth 4.77 points at that point in the match in the opening term.

      Josh Unkley at Western Bulldogs training.

      Josh Dunkley has proven a smart buy this season, averaging 88 after starting the season priced at $296,900. His 107 against Sydney was his best score, but it could have been more.

      A dropped mark is a negative stat in SuperCoach and results in four points being deducted from your score. Magnifying the pain for Dunkley’s 5000 SuperCoach owners, his fluffed chest mark late in the final term came at a critical time of the game, resulting in a fall of five points from his score. Had he taken the mark and then converted the goal he would have earned close the 17 points — that’s a swing of 22 points in total.


      1. Thanks AllSaints!

        2 points per running bounce? Consider it added.

        | A dropped mark is a negative stat in SuperCoach and results in four points being deducted from your score.

        As I had assumed: a flat -4 for all clangers. Good to know I’m on the right track!


  3. Effective kick is a joke. How do they always know what the intended target was? (They rarely pay effective toe pokes) And if your mate drops an absolute sitter, you’re penalised.


    1. It’s a fair question, although in the latter case, at least the person who drops the marks is also penalized (-4 for a clanger).



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