We need more stats and categories in football

The modern high-possession, keepings-off, and ‘play it safe out of the backline’ mode of football has made traditional stats like actual kicks and handballs less relevant today as they once were.

At the same time, in recent years we have seen a growth in the importance and value of certain stats in the game, both team orientated ones (hard ball gets and Inside 50s) and individual ones (like spoils and shepherds).

In fact, the development of the modern game can be seen in parallel to the addition of certain categories for these football statistics, with the evolution over the years to include turnovers, clangers and score assists.

With the rise in Super Coach and fantasy league games, I think it is time to significantly expand the  categories players can have their performance and value measured on, and bring these stats into line with the things commentators tell us a player is doing, but don’t currently show up with Champion Data.


Whilst kicks are measured as being effective and ineffective, I think we need to add categories with those kicks, such as:

Kicked to touch – KTT

A Wobbly torp – WT

A Floater – F

Off the side of the boot – OTSOTB

Worm Burner – WB

A frustrating, backwards, time wasting, stat accumulator – FBTWSA with an additional code for when this is in the final minutes of a quarter or game either FBTWSA RT (for Red Time) or DS (for dying stages)

Crap kick – CK



These should be categorised according to what sort of handball it was, such as

Hospital – H

Crow Throw – CT

Worth a Kick – WAK

No look/Look Away – NL/LA

Put his teammate under pressure – PHTUP



One hander – OH

Pack Mark – PM. These could have specific notations added to indicate what sort of Pack Mark it was, with sub categories to M/PM, being a Brown (B), Riewoldt (NR), Barry LBYS (for a  Leo Barry You Star sort of mark) etc.




These in my view require more definition, and I’d like to see mistakes by players individualised in the following way:

Brain fade – BT

Caught doing too much – CDTM

Ran too far – RTF

Too Slow – TS

Heard footsteps – HF

Just not good enough – JNGE

Drag him! – DH



Whilst we measure Inside 50s and centre clearances, we need to do more to explain where activities have taken place:

No Man’s Land – NML

Out into space – OIS

Put it out in front of him – PIOIFOH

Last Line of Defence – LLD

Down the guts – DTG



Players activities on the ground need to be more specific too, and possibilities could include:

Goes inboard – GI

Goes Long – GL (with a special Bruce McAvaney category being GLOAS (goes long off a step)

Sacrificial act – SA

Put his body on the line – PHDOTL

Run and carry – RAC

Don’t argue – DA

Sold candy – SC

Ducked his head – DHH (or a Selwood)

Hailing a cab/calling for a taxi – HC/CFT

Touched on the line – TOTL (with the possibility therefore of TOTL in the LLD)



Finally, I think we need to stop worrying about having players designated by positions, such as CHB and FF, as the game moves so much. A better and more modern way of distinguishing or highlighting players and their positions, in addition to being on the LLD, could be:

Rock of Gibraltar – ROG

Spiritual Leader – SL

Human highlight reel – HHR

Jack of all trades – JOAT

Go to man – GTM

Heart and soul of the club – HASOTC

About Sean Curtain

"He was born with a gift of laughter, and a sense that the world was mad". First line of 'Scaramouche' by Sabatini, always liked that.


  1. Ha ha. Funny

    But where’s the stat for the split pack?????

  2. Skip of Skipton says

    In Areas of the Ground, you forgot to include ‘The Fat Side”.

  3. Sean, you have a brain fade as a BT. Is that a Freudian slip (FS)?

  4. And is it down the guts or up the guts? Or are they different?

  5. Gigs

    I think if you are coming out of the backline, you go up the guts, and if going Inside 50, you bang it down the guts.

    Yes, maybe Brain Fade as BT was accurate, being more Brian Taylor.

    And the reason my avatar doesn’t work is the one I chose I am wearing my Freudian Slip.

    Skip, never knew where the Fat Side was, only it was rarely were the Richmond players were standing.

    Maybe we can have a work burner kick out in front to the Fat Side being a WBKOIFFS

    At any rate, missing Fat Side and getting BF wrong are JNGE


  6. Haiku Moment – HM
    Missed Everything – ME (a Cloke)

  7. Neil Belford says

    I still have no idea where the fat side is. I had thought Prahran. We need a stat for
    PKOGTMTG – Pointless kick along the ground that misses the goal.

  8. What about straight up in the air – SUTA or,in days gone by,a rain bringer – RB.
    Not forgetting for goals: leg break LB ,wicked bounce-WBand straight over the goal umpire’s head (or hat)-SOTGUH

  9. How about just the 2 new columns?

    Column 1 – To be title “Heroics” and will include:

    1. “Split packs” – Herculean brutishness in packs of no less than 6;
    2. “Big grabs” – Marks involving altitude, contortionism or acrobatics;
    3. “Tide turning goals” – Goals against the run of play;
    4. “Dashes evoking Ray Gabalich” – Inspiring runs which drew a roar from the crowd; and
    5. “Taking one for the team” – Not shirking from avoidable collisions.

    Column 2 – To be titled “Conduct which dishonored club” or “CWDC’s”

    1. “Not taking one for the team” – Shirking from avoidable collisions;
    2. “Hissy fits”- Tantrums where arms flew akimbo (i.e. doing a Richo;)
    3. “Ponsy blonde rinses” – Using peroxide to attract Brownlow votes;
    4. “Hearing footsteps” – Shrinking when back-peddling blind into contests; and
    5. “Fleeing during rotations” – Running personal best to flee from ground in a rotation.

    Add those 2 columns to kicks marks and handballs … and the rest of them

  10. Stephinboots says

    Great list!

    One oversight though – for several years now I’ve been using the very handy “UA” in my Footy Record scoresheet. For opposition goals that were clearly the result of an Umpire Assist.

  11. Steph, Greg, TB, NB and HB

    Excellent sugegstions all. Let’s get Ted Hopkins onto it right away. I don’t think there’s nearly enough analysis, measurement and data in football these days. Let’s get the nerds and pointy heads working on it

    Loving the UA one Steph.


Leave a Comment