Official AFL Glossary


Above Average: Top 11% to 35% of the statistical category.   Actual Hit Rate: How often a player hits the intended target (including50/50 contests) when attempting a kick.
AFL Player Ratings: The official AFL player ratings as seen on using location and the result of events to measure a player’s performance.   Average: Top 36% to 65% of the statistical category.
Average: Top 36% to 65% of the statistical category.  
Backwards Kick: A kick that travels sideways or backwards in the midfield or defensive zones, that results in an uncontested possession to a teammate.   Ball-Up: When the umpire restarts play via a bounce or throw up after a stoppage within the field of play. Does not include centre bounces.
Baulk: Using deception as the ball carrier to beat an opponent, by sidestepping or feigning disposal.   Baulked: When a defensive player is beaten and evaded by the ball carrier without making physical contact.
Behind: A minor score, as judged by the goal umpire. Behinds are worth one point to a team’s total score.   Below Average: Top 66% to 90% of the statistical category.
Block: Effectively shepherding an opponent out of a contest to the benefit of a teammate.   Boundary: A zone used for measuring midfield ball movement. The area on the wing outside halfway between the centre square and boundary line.
Centre Bounce: An umpire bounce at the start of each quarter and after a goal. Only four players per team (including one ruckman) are allowed within the centre square at a centre bounce.   Centre Bounce Attendance: Starting inside the centre square at a centre bounce, either as the ruckman or as one of three midfielders.
Centre Bounce Attendance Differential: The difference between a player’s team centre clearances versus their opposition when that player is in attendance. A positive differential means that the player’s team wins a clearance more often than the opposition when he is in attendance.   Chain Involvement: Number of team chains that a player is involved in. A chain involvement includes all hitouts, disposals and possessions.
Chain of Play: A chain of play includes all stats for a side in one phase in which the opposition has not won possession of the ball or created a stoppage. Chains of play can only end in a turnover, a stoppage, a score or at the end of a quarter.   Champion Data Ranking points: The Official Champion Data AFL Rankings system was established in 1999 and has been developed into a robust and comprehensive system for objectively measuring player performance using statistical measures. The rankings are geared to reward the winning factors of a game of AFL football. They are used as the scoring measure in the Herald-Sun SuperCoach fantasy game.
Clanger: An error made by a player resulting in a negative result for his side. Disposal clangers are any kick or handball that directly turns the ball over to the opposition. Frees and 50-metre penalties against, No Pressure Errors, Dropped Marks and Debits are all included in clangers.   Clanger Handball: Handballs that give possession directly to the opposition.
Clanger Kick: Kicks that give possession directly to the opposition.   Clearance: Credited to the player who has the first effective disposal in a chain that clears the stoppage area, or an ineffective kick or clanger kick that clears the stoppage area.
Clearance Efficiency: A measure of the effectiveness of a clearance. Effective clearances occur when the ball was successfully moved out of a stoppage area without immediately being turned over.   Clearance Success Rate: A club’s clearance success rate refers to how many clearances they have won in relation to how many stoppages they have had in their games.
Consistency Rating: Calculated as a player’s average per match in any given stat divided by the sum of average and standard deviation.   Contested Knock-On: Using the hand to knock the ball to a teammate’s advantage rather than attempting to take possession from a contested situation.
Contested Mark: When a player takes a mark under physical pressure of an opponent or in a pack.   Contested Possession: A possession which has been won when the ball is in dispute. Includes looseball-gets, hardball-gets, contested marks, gathers from a hitout and frees for.
Contested Possession Rate: Percentage of possessions won in a contest.   Corridor: The central area of the ground. The corridor is the area between the outermost lines of the centre square (wings) as if they were extended the length of the ground.
Crumbing Possession: A type of groundball-gets that is won by a player at ground level after a marking contest. The players must not be involved in the original contest. Crumbing Possessions can be either hardball or looseball-gets.  
Defensive 50: The area within the defensive 50m arc for a team. One team’s defensive zone will be the opposition’s forward zone.   Defensive Efficiency: A measure of how effective a player is at restricting their direct opponent’s output across a match. A defensive rating of +50% equates to restricting an opponent to half their usual output. Only match-ups of 40 minutes or over are included and to qualify for a rating a player must have recorded at least five match-ups of 40 minutes or longer.
Direct Opponent: Champion Data has two staff at every game tracking all match-ups around the ground. A direct opponent is any player that is explicitly matched up with another player.   Directed Possession: A directed possession is a possession that has been gained via a pass from a teammate; also includes directed uncontested possessions and directed marks.
Disposal: Legally getting rid of the ball, via a handball or kick.   Disposal Differential: Disposal differential versus a player’s direct opponent.
Disposal Efficiency: Percentage of disposals that are effective.   Disposals Per Minute: A figure for an individual player calculated by total disposals divided by game-time played. Also referred to as minutes per disposals i.e. Player X had a disposal every three minutes.
Dispossessed: Losing possession of the ball due to a tackle without recording a disposal.   Dropped Mark: An uncontested marking opportunity that is dropped, resulting in a contest at ground level. Does not include marking contests with an opposition spoil. Dropped marks inside 50 are recorded as clangers, however, they are only clangers in all other areas of the ground if you drop the mark and don’t pick the ball up again uncontested at ground level.
Durability: A measure of how reliable a player is at staying fit and being a part of his side’s best 22 over a considerable period of time.  
Effective Handball: A handball to a teammate that hits the intended target.   Effective Kick: The sum of effective short kicks, effective long kicks and effective ground kicks.
Effective Long Kick: A kick of more than 40 metres to a 50/50 contest or better for the team.   Effective Short Kick: A kick of less than 40 metres that results in the intended target retaining possession. Does not include kicks that are spoiled by the opposition.
Efficiency: The total effective statistics divided by the total statistics for a said category.   Elite: Top 10% of the statistical category.
Emergency: Teams are allowed four extra players outside of their team of 22 to act as cover for late-minute injuries or illness; these four players are known as an emergency or emergencies. One of these players will be announced as the ‘Medical Sub’ one-hour before the start of the game.   Expected Hit Rate: Used the calculate the difficulty of a kick by looking at how often, on average, any player in the competition managed to hit their target when attempting a type of kick. Kick types are determined by combining the intent, distance and direction of the kick, along with how much pressure the player was under at the time.
Father-son: When a player is acquired by a club via the AFL’s father-son rule.   Field Kicks: All kicks, excluding kick-ins from a behind and shot a goal.
50-Metre Penalty: Awarded to a team/player if an infringement occurs after a mark, free-kick or during a behind kick-in.   First Possession: The initial possession that follows a stoppage, including a looseball-get, hardball-get, intended ball-get (gather), free kick or ground kick.
Forced Turnover: A turnover committed under significant pressure, which directly results in an opposition possession.   Forward 50: The area within the forward 50m arc for a team. One team’s forward 50 will be the opposition’s defensive 50.
Forward Half: Includes all play recorded in-front of the centre circle for a team. One team’s forward half will be the opposition’s defensive half.   Free Against: When an infringement occurs resulting in the opposition receiving a free kick. An umpire must signal a free kick before Champion Data records a free kick.
Free For: When a player is interfered with and is awarded a free kick.   Free For In Possession: A free for that is taken after a player already has been credited with a possession. The most common occurrence of these is free kicks paid for an ‘after disposal’ infringement.
Free For Off The Ball: Frees for that don’t warrant a player receiving a contested possession, with the majority being ‘deliberate out of bounds’ frees where the player receiving the free comes from away the play. Counted as uncontested possessions.   Free Kick Differential: Total of free kicks for minus the free kicks against. A positive differential is when a player or team has had more free kicks for than against.
Game Time: A percentage of the match time a player had during the games he was selected in the 22 derived from time on ground divided by match length.   Gathers From Hitout: A possession gained from a teammate’s hitout-to-advantage. Counted as a contested possession.
General Defender: Plays on the general forward and usually sets up play and wins more of the ball than a key defender.   General Forward: A small/medium player that predominantly plays in the forward half of the ground.
General Play: Scores from general play are those that are scored on the run or off the ground. Scores can either be scored from general play or set shots.   Giveaway Turnover: A turnover that directly hands possession to the opposition, usually via a clanger disposal. Giveaway turnovers can be forced or unforced.
Goal: A major score, as judged by the goal umpire. Worth six points to a team’s total score.   Goal Assist: Creating a goal by getting the ball to a teammate either via a disposal, knock-on, ground kick or hitout, or by winning a free kick before the advantage is paid to the goal scorer.
Goals Conceded: Goals kicked by a player’s direct opponent.   Ground Kick: A deliberate kick without taking possession that gains either significant distance from the point of contact or results in an uncontested possession for a teammate or a score.
Groundball-Get: Sum of looseball-gets and hardball-gets.  
Handball: Disposing of the ball by hand.   Handball Efficiency: Percentage of handballs that are effective.
Handball Receive: An uncontested possession that is the result of a teammate’s handball.   Hitout: Knocking the ball out of a ruck contest following a stoppage with clear control, regardless of which side wins the following contest at ground level.
Hitout Sharked: A hitout that directly results in an opponent’s possession.   Hitout Win Percentage: Percentage of ruck contests resulting in a hitout win.
Hitout-To-Advantage: A hitout that reaches an intended teammate.   Hitout-To-Advantage Rate: Percentage of hitouts that reach an intended teammate.
Ineffective Handball: Handballs that are not advantageous to the team, but do not directly turn the ball over to the opposition.   Ineffective Kick: Kicks that are not advantageous to the team, but do not directly turn the ball over to the opposition. All behinds are also classified as ineffective kicks.
Inside 50: Moving the ball from the midfield into the forward zone. Excludes multiple entries within the same chain of possession.   Inside 50 Target: Recorded when a player inside the forward 50 is clearly the sole target of a teammate’s kick into the forward 50. This inside 50 target player will be recorded regardless of the outcome of the kick.
Inside Player: Is an in-and-under ball-winner who predominantly handballs and wins a high amount of contested possessions.   Intended Ball-Get (gather): Possessions that were a result of a teammate deliberately directing the ball in the player’s direction, via a hitout, disposal or knock-on, excluding marks and handball receives. Gathers from a hitout are contested possessions, the rest are uncontested.
Intercept Mark: Any mark taken from an opponent’s kick.   Intercept Possession: Any possession that is won that breaks an opposition chain.
Interchange: Of the 23 players in a team, there will always be four on the interchange bench and one medical sub. The interchange is used to rest players or for injured players.  
Junior Career: Takes into account a player’s career when playing in the NAB League, NAB AFL Championships or state leagues before being drafted to an AFL club.  
Key Defender: Usually a tall or mid-sized defender who plays on the opposition’s key forward.   Key Forward: Is a taller player who can take contested marks and is usually one of the focal points inside 50.
Kick: Disposing of the ball by foot. Including kicks off the ground.   Kick Inside 50: When a player records an inside 50 for his team by kicking the ball from the midfield zone into the forward-line.
Kicks Long To Advantage: A long kick that results in uncontested possession by a teammate. If an error is made by the player ‘receiving’ the kick a long kick to advantage is still recorded for the player kicking the ball.   Kick Metres Gained: The metres gained between where the player gained possession and where his kick finished up. Metres can be gained either towards his own goal or away from the opposition goal.
Kick Rating: The difference between a player’s expected hit rate and actual hit rate. A negative kick rating indicates a player is not executing the kicks as well as the competition average and a positive kick rating shows a player is hitting the target more often than the competition average.   Kick-In: When a player kicks the ball back into play after an opposition behind. Kick-ins are regarded as a function of the team and do not count as kicks, although there are similarly graded for quality.
Kick-In Play On: Once the player steps completely out of the square before kicking-in, this will count as a disposal, similar to past seasons. All handballs will be counted as disposals regardless of where the player is standing.   Kicking Efficiency: Percentage of kicks that were effective.
Kick-To-Handball Ratio: Number of kicks recorded per handball.   Knock-On: When a player uses his hand to knock the ball to a teammate’s advantage rather than attempting to take possession within his team’s chain of play.
Lead Mark: An uncontested mark taken after outsprinting an opponent.   Lead Target: The player being kicked to on a lead.
Looseball-Get: A disputed ball at ground level not under direct physical pressure that results in an opportunity to record a legal disposal.  
Major Match-Up: A matchup between two players that is recorded for a least 40 minutes across a game.   Mark: When a player catches (is deemed to have controlled the ball for sufficient time) a kicked ball that has travelled more than 15 metres without anyone else touching it or the ball hitting the ground.
Mark Play On Percentage: Percentage of marks where the player plays on immediately without retreating.   Metres Gained: Net metres gained with the ball by a player, by running, kicking or handballing, combining measures towards attacking goal and away from defensive goal.
Metres Gained (Assisted): Total metres gained by a teammate that receives an uncontested possession from your disposal.   Metres Gained (Effective): Total metres gained by a player or a team from effective disposals.
Midfield: The area on an AFL field located between the two 50-metre arcs.   Midfield Ball Movement: Measures a team’s ability to find an uncontested teammate when moving the ball through the midfield. The midfield zone is broken up into three areas; Corridor ‘within the centre square’, Wide of Corridor ‘just outside of the centre square to mid-wing’, and Boundary ‘along the boundary line’.
Minutes: The number of minutes a player has spent on the ground in each game. Time spent on the interchange and breaks in between quarters is not included.   Missed Shot At Goal: Genuine shots at goal that either fell short with no score being registered or resulted in an out on the full.
No Pressure Error: Fumbling or losing possession of the ball whilst under little or no pressure from the opposition.  
Offensive Efficiency: A measure of how many points a team scores per 50 minutes of time in forward half.   One-On-One Contest: A 50-50 contest that occurs after a kick, and involves only two players – a target player and a defender. Each player must have a reasonable chance to win the ball in order for a one-on-one to be recorded. Winning and losing percentages refer to how often a player wins the ball or concedes a possession to his opponent. A neutral result is recorded when the ball is spoiled or results in a stoppage.
Outside Player: A ball carrier who predominantly kicks and wins most of their possessions in an uncontested manner.  
Playmaker: Usually an outside defender/midfielder that’s job is to create drive for his side rather than restricting an opponent. Playmakers are usually clean users of the ball that rank highly in metres gained.   Poor: Bottom 10% of the statistical category.
Possession: When a player grabs the ball with a reasonable amount of time to dispose of it. Includes groundball-gets, marks, handball receives, effective contested knock-ons and frees for.   Pressure Act (Implied): Reducing an opponent’s decision making time without physical contact ‘via corralling, closing space or chasing from behind’.
Pressure Act (Corralling): The lowest form of pressure a player can apply, where they are simply occupying space in front of the ball carrier to prevent them moving forward, or have a run at them, but not quickly enough to record ‘closing’ pressure.   Pressure Act (Closing): A higher degree of pressure than corralling, where the pressure player is on the verge of making contact with the ball carrier (either from in front or the side) as he disposals of the ball. The key point of difference between this and corralling is that there will be imminent contact and the pressure player is forcing the ball carrier to dispose of it immediately.
Pressure Act (Chasing): Where a player applies pressure from behind an opponent by chasing. They must be gaining ground or applying pressure significant enough to hurry the ball carrier to dispose of the ball. If the chasing player is on the verge of making physical contact from behind, then closing pressure will be imminent.   Pressure Act (Physical): Applying direct physical contact to a player in the act of disposing of the ball or effecting a tackle that prevents an effective disposal from the ball carrier.
Pressure Chances: The number of opportunities a team had to apply pressure i.e. opposition disposals, including tackles that prevent an opposition disposal.   Pressure Factor: Pressure points per pressure chance. Measure only at the team level.
Pressure Points: Weighed sum of pressure acts. Physical pressure acts are worth 3.75 points, closing acts are worth 2.25 points, chasing acts are 1.5 points and corralling are 1.2.   Pressure Points Per Minute: Pressure points per minute of time on ground.
Rebound 50: Moving the ball from the defensive zone into the midfield.   Rebound 50 Rate: Measures how often a side rebounds from its defensive 50 without conceding a goal to the opposition.
Relative Rating: A measure of how a player performed relative to players of the same age and position, based on AFL Player Rating points.   Retention Rate: Used to measure how often a side maintains possession of the ball either after a kick, disposal or a change in zone. The ball is considered retained when the next possession in the chain is won by the same team that disposed of the ball.
Ruck Contest: Starting as one of the two ruckmen competing for the ball at a stoppage.   Ruck/Rover Combination: Combinations with a ruckman directing a hitout-to-advantage to a midfielder.
Run-Down Tackle: A tackle that is a result of a hard chase that has been applied to catch the player in possession. See tackle.   Running Bounce: Touching the ball onto the ground, either directly or via a bounce, to allow a player to avoid being penalised for running too far.
Rushed Behind: Behinds that have not been scored directly off a player’s boot, excluding those that were touched on the goal line.  
Score Assist: Creating a score by getting the ball to a teammate either via a disposal, knock-on, ground kick or hitout, or by winning a free kick before the advantage is paid to the goal scorer.   Score from Kick-In: A score that results from an unbroken chain after a kick-in from a behind.
Score from Stoppage: When a side scores after moving the ball in an unbroken chain from a clearance.   Score from Turnover: A score that results from an unbroken chain after a turnover.
Score Involvement: Number of scoring chains where a player was involved with either a disposal, hitout-to-advantage, kick-in or knock-on. If a player has two disposals in the same scoring chain, he is credited with one score involvement.   Score Launch: Scoring chains launched by an intercept possession, free kick, hitout-to-advantage or clearance.
Scoreboard Impact: A player’s total amount of points scored from goals and behinds plus points scored from score assists. Goal and goal assists equal six points each and Behinds and behind assists equal one point each.   Scoring Accuracy: Percentage of scoring shots that resulted in a goal, derived by goals divided by the sum of goals and behinds.
Scoring Chain: Includes all disposals and possessions for the scoring side that occur between the score launch and the actual score. The chain can only be broken by either the opposition gaining possession of the ball or a stoppage.   Scoring Efficiency: Offensive Efficiency minus Defensive Efficiency.
Set Position: Executing a disposal after a mark or free kick where the player could not be pressured from the opposition.   Shot At Goal Accuracy: The accuracy from all shots at goal. The percentage is derived by goals dived by the sum of goals, behinds and missed shots.
Shot at Goal Rating: Similar to kick rating. This takes into account how accurate a player is kicking for goal compared to the league average based on the same type of shots.   Smother: Suppressing an opposition disposal by either changing the trajectory of the ball immediately after a disposal or by blocking the disposal altogether.
Snap Shot: A shot at goal from general play that comes from a kick around the body.   Spoil: Knocking the ball away from a marking contest preventing an opponent from taking a mark.
Spoil Efficiency: The percentage of spoils that end up in a teammates’ possession or a stoppage, effectively killing the play.   Stoppage: Set pieces where the ball is returned to play after a goal, an out of bounds or a ball up being called. There are three stoppages; Centre Bounces, Ball-Ups and Throw-Ins. Additionally, throw-ins and ball-ups are also referred to as around the ground stoppages.
Tackle: Using physical contact to prevent an opponent getting an effective disposal.   Tackle Efficiency: Percentage of physical pressure acts that lead to an effective tackle.
Throw-In: Boundary umpire restarts play by throwing the ball back in after a stoppage out of bounds.   Time on Ground: Total minutes spent on the ground, excluding quarter breaks and time spent on the bench.
Turnover: Losing possession to the opposition in general play. General play excludes events that happen between a stoppage and the clearance.  
Unbroken Chain: A chain is a passage of play where one team has possession of the ball. A chain can only be broken by either the opposition gaining possession of the ball or a stoppage. Chains can start at three sources; kick-ins, stoppages and turnovers.   Uncontested Mark: Marks taken under no physical pressure from an opponent. Includes marks taken on the lead and from opposition kicks.
Uncontested Possession: Possessions gained whilst under no physical pressure, either from a teammate’s disposal or an opposition’s clanger kick. Includes handball receives, uncontested marks (including lead marks) and intended ball gets from a disposal.   Uncontested Possession Rate: Percentage of possessions won uncontested.
Unforced Turnover: A turnover committed under little or no pressure, which directly results in an opposition possession.  
Wider Corridor: The area on the wing between the edge of the centre square and halfway to the boundary line.  
Zone: There are three zones identified on an AFL field. The defensive zone is located within the 50m arc closer to the opposition’s goals, the midfield zone is between the two 50m arcs and the forward zone refers to the area within the 50m closer to that team’s goals.