From the days when John Coleman was the king of Windy Hill to the modern-day heroics of Swan, Watson and Ablett, the question of where a player ranks against his peers has been at the heart of countless footy debates.
And while argument will always rage, the picture has become much clearer.
Official AFL Player Ratings, brought to you by Vero, are the result of the most sophisticated, detailed and wide-ranging statistical system ever devised for AFL footy ... and these ratings will allow fans to determine where more than 650 listed players rank against each other.
Since 2007, Champion Data has not only recorded each kick, mark and handball in every game played, it has also recorded where on the ground those possessions took place, whether or not the player was under pressure and whether his disposal hit the target.
This comprehensive statistical mix has been augmented with other crucial elements such as chasing, corralling, perceived and actual physical pressure to assess each player’s impact in creating or disrupting scoring chains.
And to ensure Official AFL Player Ratings are measuring a player’s impact over time, the formula is applied to the previous 40 games.
This means that in order to hold the coveted number one rating, a player needs to have performed at elite level for the best part of two AFL seasons.
The ratings will work similarly to the individual player rankings used in tennis and golf. Every week, each AFL player will be given a score based on his output from his most recent game plus points from a window of 39 previous matches.
While the Official AFL Player Ratings formula is complex, we know fans want to understand how players accumulate points, so over the coming weeks and months, we will discuss key elements of the system.
We’ve compiled an initial FAQ which answers some of the big questions about the system. As the season progresses, we’ll add to it in response to questions from fans. You can read the initial FAQ here.