Relationships between contract status and player performance in the Australian Football League

McIntosh, Samuel ORCID: 0000-0002-7673-4145 and Robertson, Samuel ORCID: 0000-0002-8330-0011 (2023) Relationships between contract status and player performance in the Australian Football League. Journal of sports sciences. pp. 1-11. ISSN 0264-0414


This study analysed the extent to which player performance differs within the Australian Football League (AFL) with respect to the status of a player's contract. AFL Player Ratings (AFLPR) and contract data were obtained during the 2013-2020 AFL seasons for all 827 players listed by an AFL club at the beginning of the 2020 season. A model of "expected performance" was created allowing for an exploration into the differential with actual performance as a function of contract status. Paired t-tests indicated that there was a difference in performance pre- and post-signing their contract for players who signed mid-season (mean change and 95% confidence interval of -1.48 ± 0.93 and -0.49 ± 0.48 AFLPR, at ten match intervals for those in- and out-of-contract at the conclusion of that year's season, respectively). Further differences existed between the groups of players who signed mid-season, as compared to those who signed during the off-season. Correlation analyses indicated that more consistent performers are somewhat less likely to see a reduction in performance post signing as compared to less consistent performers. The applications of these findings have the potential to support organisational decisions relating to the timing and nature of player contracting.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.1080/02640414.2023.2190564
Official URL
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 4207 Sports science and exercise
Current > Division/Research > Institute for Health and Sport
Keywords AFL, Australian Football League, player performance, player contracts
Citations in Scopus 0 - View on Scopus
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