Some really boring stats

Last year, I constructed a spreadsheet which calculates the average age and average games played of each of the clubs. Unfortunately, in constructing the new spreadsheet, I buggered up the old one and didn’t correct it in time.

It works on the 23 named for each game, so doesn’t allow for players injured or in the magoos (which is a way of people cherry-picking their list to include players who never play).

Figures are taken from for each week.

I’ll do 2022 and compare with 2021. For each team, will show club/average age/average games for 2022

Adelaide 24.20 65.92
Essendon 24.62 72.58
NM 24.63 76.50
Hawthorn 24.69 81.11
Freo 24.89 73.42
Carlton 24.94 76.13
Gold Coast 25.08 80.35
Sydney 25.12 99.43
Melbourne 25.12 93.22
GWS 25.54 88.68
WBulldogs 25.59 96.38
Port 25.61 100.50
St Kilda 25.65 83.29
Collingwood 25.90 99.49
WCE 26.11 96.94
Brisbane 26.28 107.61
Richmond 26.44 108.16
Geelong 27.79 147.01

Hardly a surprise for Geelong, 15 months in age and almost 2 seasons in experience over the next oldest.

But we run at second youngest in each count.


Not sure if you can do round by round, but how does it look specifically for the last two weeks, AT? It feels like we’re getting progressively younger atm, Shiel getting to play as sub notwithstanding.


Well…I could…notionally. The data is there for that to happen. But I’d have to think how to do it…and it’s not straightforward.

Don’t bother mate, of no real import.

We know we’re selecting inexperienced sides.

Here’s a sobering thought - Melbourne fielded a younger side than us in round 3 & still beat us comfortably.

The age stat isn’t just about the kids, it reflects that fact that we have very few senior players. Heppell is the only available player that we drafted prior to the saga (plus Hurley who will almost certainly never play again). Pig, Melk & Ryder are the only ones we lost during the saga still on lists & Joe is the only other player from that era we might have still had playing if he didn’t leave. Again this highlights the fact that we drafted poorly before the saga can be used as an excuse. This is the age & experience gap we’ve tried to address through trading but with the exception of Stringer, the rest are completely letting us down for performance & leadership.


Since it was not only boring but poor at delivering its message:

Seriously, WTF, Geelong?


Melbourne were on average older (by 3 months) and more experienced (by 22.2 games). Melbourne had 11 players with >100 games, Essendon had 5.


I think we were technically very slightly older if you count the two medical subs (Devon Smith and Toby Bedford) who didn’t play.

Good work!

Average age is a pet hate of mine - every year some journalist trots out that metric and proclaims that an average age of 25.6 years is so much worse than 24.9 etc…

The problem is this metric is easily skewed by an experienced player or two.

Imagine Joel Selwood played for us instead of Zach Reid on the weekend. Our average age becomes 25.2 and our average games becomes 87.3. Suddenly we are 9th youngest (older than Melbourne - disaster!) and 8th least experienced for games. Becomes a very different message, when in reality, we have only changed one player.

Dustin Fletcher used to mess up this metric for us.

I think games played and age is an important metric, but a pure mean can be a problematic way of doing it. There is probably better value to be had in banding the players (0-20 games etc) or a combined age/games graph per side.


Good spot. ~1 month older on average when that is considered.

(And reduces average game difference down to ~15)

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NOPE. Melb average age - 24y 360d. Ess - 25y 39d
They had 7 players 21 or younger, we played 5.

I’d reckon stripping out the two oldest and the two youngest, or doing a standard deviation.

Three clubs had no 200 gamers on the weekend. Us, Carlton and Melbourne, but 3 have players past 190…Heppell, T McDonald and Melksham, and Newnes.

Geelong have 9, with 2 past 300, 1 past 250 and 6 others, plus Cameron on the brink.

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Standard deviation would be better than removing end points.

The 200 game stat is telling!

Looking at the distributions is actually pretty interesting. Take the Essendon vs Melbourne game:


Only stat that matters


You, sir, are incorrect. The actual only stat that matters:


That’s really interesting.

As a general rule, for the same age, the Melbourne players have played more games.

A few possible explanations. Injury, consistency of form, distribution of games across the playing list. Hmm

Because I like data.

This is games played (at start of the season) for Essendon and Melbourne. As the playing lists are different sized (we have 45, they have 43) I’ve aligned it to the experienced end. (This is how it would look if Melbourne had 2 extra 0 game players). It’s clear that the Melbourne list is a lot more experienced. Total of 2444 vs 3069 games in total for each list.

Same thing with age (current age). We have more younger players, they have more older players. 24 is the tipping point.


wow that is boring!

The draw was dramatic; we didn’t run them down till 74 seconds before the end.

And Fede Frew is not boring.

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