The 2020 HPN Season Preview!

If you are joining HPN now, it means that the 2020 AFL season is likely going ahead! For now! Round 1 at least! For now!

The HPN preview ran this morning at ABC, and we think it’s worth a read – at least as a distraction. To deliver on the promised BONUS CONTENT as described yesterday, let’s break down some of the predictions a little more.

The player model

For the player model, we took a blended two year approach to predict list quality. We’ve also estimated games played per list position, with the best player on each list playing the highest share of games, and the worst player the lowest.

The results are… this:

The teams of interest here are Melbourne, who have the underlying talent to make a real challenge on finals footy this year, and Brisbane. Most things about Brisbane’s performance last year tend to indicate that they likely overachieved last year – and a condensed, likely accelerated, season that forces the deeper list to play could cause them trouble.

As mentioned on ABC, Adelaide’s list is very unproven right now. The Bulldogs are hard to predict, with so much talent on the upswing, but the the general thought around HPN HQ is that the top end of their list isn’t matched with solid depth.

Should football be played at all?

AFL officials have been in talks with clubs, players and governments trying to work out a path forward to playing some football in some form this year, so that clubs and staff can continue to earn a living. At the end of the day, football serves both entertainment value to the public at large and a financial backbone to several hundred people. What is often forgotten is that most AFL players earn closer to the minimum mandated wage in the CBA that a million dollars a year, and most have ongoing financial commitments such as rent, mortgages and the support of their families.

Worth noting is the position put forward by the Australian Government, and Sport Australia, who yesterday stated that most community sport was fine to continue for now, as long as the stated guidelines are adhered to, in line with the best medical advice available right now.

As articulated above, the authors of this article are not specialists in epidemiology or pandemic policy, which is something we share with most of Government, the footballing community and the Australian public at large. Instead of wildly speculating, we can only hope that the AFL and Australian Government are receiving the best advice available from the right experts and acting on this advice promptly. Balancing the need for financial support for individuals and protecting their health is a delicate balance, and not an issue to be taken trivially.

PERT in 2020

In the past two years HPN has run a tipping model. Two years ago it did alright, and last year it went terribly.

Due to work/other personal circumstances/the current crisis, HPN has been unable to set up the model again for this year. As of now, we will suspend it until further notice. It may not be a permanent move, but HPN will take the chance to look at the underlying methodology in full before it comes back.

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