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Title: Evaluating an alternative draft pick allocation policy to reduce ‘tanking’ in the Australian Football League
Authors: Lenten, Liam J.
Smith, Aaron C.
Boys, Noel
Keywords: OR in sports
Draft
Equalisation
Tanking
Leagues
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: © Elsevier
Citation: LENTEN, L.J., SMITH, A.C. and BOYS, N., 2017. Evaluating an alternative draft pick allocation policy to reduce ‘tanking’ in the Australian Football League. European Journal of Operational Research, 267 (1), pp.315-320.
Abstract: This article considers an adjustment to the method of determining the order of draft picks in the Australian Football League (AFL). Rather than pure reverse order based on the end-of-season ladder (standings), an alternative draft-pick allocation (henceforth called ‘ADPA’) policy is proposed and evaluated. It holds that the draft-pick order rule shall give the top pick the team eliminated first (i.e. after fewest matches played) from the finals series (playoffs), and the remainder in order of elimination. Employing a quasi-natural experiment using data obtained from a sample of 2288 regular-season games from 1997 to 2009, the ADPA policy produced an estimated 21.7% improvement in an already-eliminated team's probability of winning late-season matches. A review of the business case underpinning the ADPA reveals a series of benefits for the AFL. In addition to improving fans’ late-season engagement, the policy would offer a fairer system of draft distributions that would augment league equalisation and enhance the AFL's integrity principles.
Description: This paper is closed access until 22 November 2019.
Version: Published
DOI: 10.1016/j.ejor.2017.11.029
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/32495
Publisher Link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejor.2017.11.029
ISSN: 0377-2217
Appears in Collections:Closed Access (Loughborough University London)

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