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Optimal Bonus Points in the Australian Football League


  • Liam J. A. Lenten

    () (School of Economics and Finance, La Trobe University)

  • Niven Winchester

    () (Department of Economics, University of Otago)


Bonus point systems are a popular tournament design feature in some sports. We consider a bonus point system for the Australian Football League (AFL). In this paper, we utilise league points as a measure of team strength in a prediction model and choose the allocation of points to maximise prediction accuracy. For AFL data extending over seasons 1997-2008, we determine a bonus points system that does a better job at revealing strong teams than the current allocation of league points. We conclude that there is considerable scope for the introduction bonus points to improve tournament design in the AFL.

Suggested Citation

  • Liam J. A. Lenten & Niven Winchester, 2009. "Optimal Bonus Points in the Australian Football League," Working Papers 0903, University of Otago, Department of Economics, revised Mar 2009.
  • Handle: RePEc:otg:wpaper:0903

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Liam J. A. Lenten, 2008. "Unbalanced Schedules And The Estimation Of Competitive Balance In The Scottish Premier League," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 55(4), pages 488-508, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:ejores:v:267:y:2018:i:1:p:315-320 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Wright, Mike, 2014. "OR analysis of sporting rules – A survey," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 232(1), pages 1-8.

    More about this item


    Sport; Predictions; Estimation; Tournament Design;

    JEL classification:

    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism


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