Factors Affecting Match Performance in Professional Australian Football Academic Article uri icon


  • Objectives:To determine the physical activity measures and skill-performance characteristics that contribute to coaches’ perception of performance and player performance rank in professional Australian Football (AF).Design:Prospective, longitudinal.Methods:Physical activity profiles were assessed via microtechnology (GPS and accelerometer) from 40 professional AF players from the same team during 15 Australian Football League games. Skill-performance measure and player-rank scores (Champion Data Rank) were provided by a commercial statistical provider. The physical-performance variables, skill involvements, and individual player performance scores were expressed relative to playing time for each quarter. A stepwise multiple regression was used to examine the contribution of physical activity and skill involvements to coaches’ perception of performance and player rank in AF.Results:Stepwise multiple-regression analysis revealed that 42.2% of the variance in coaches’ perception of a player’s performance could be explained by the skill-performance characteristics (player rank/min, effective kicks/min, pressure points/min, handballs/min, and running bounces/min), with a small contribution from physical activity measures (accelerations/min) (adjusted R2 = .422, F6,282 = 36.054, P < .001). Multiple regression also revealed that 66.4% of the adjusted variance in player rank could be explained by total disposals/min, effective kicks/min, pressure points/min, kick clangers/min, marks/min, speed (m/min), and peak speed (adjusted R2 = .664, F7,281 = 82.289, P < .001). Increased physical activity throughout a match (speed [m/min] β – 0.097 and peak speed β – 0.116) negatively affects player rank in AF.Conclusions:Skill performance rather than increased physical activity is more important to coaches’ perception of performance and player rank in professional AF.


  • Sullivan, Courtney
  • Bilsborough, Johann C
  • Cianciosi, Michael
  • Hocking, Joel
  • Cordy, Justin T
  • Coutts, Aaron J

publication date

  • 2014