The AFL free kick ladder: All the for and against since 2012

SEN - Tue, 3rd Dec 2019 - 0 Comments

Free kicks are often a contentious issue.

Games can be won and lost with the type of frees an umpire decides to pay, or not pay. Supporters bemoan such decisions, or non-decisions.

Deep down, we all know that umpires don't favour certain clubs (don't we?!?!) but we wanted to take a look, with help from Champion Data, at who gets taken care of and who doesn't quite get the rub of the green.

The 'noise of affirmation' appears to be true with West Coast easily topping the differential ladder since the AFL became an 18-club league in 2012. The Eagles have received the most free kicks during this time.

Sitting second is Collingwood, who have had the least free kicks paid against them, while the Western Bulldogs, North Melbourne and Adelaide all feature in the top five.

On the other end of the scale is the GWS Giants who have had a poor run with match officials.

Interestingly, only six clubs have a positive differential while 12 clubs sit with a minus.

Check out the ladder below 👇

The AFL differential ladder

Since the beginning of 2012

Club For Against Differential
West Coast 3748 3294 454
Collingwood 3407 3099 308
Western Bulldogs 3495 3198 297
North Melbourne 3635 3350 285
Adelaide 3386 3172 214
Carlton 3318 3241 77
Hawthorn 3509 3523 -14
Geelong 3641 3680 -39
Essendon 3202 3253 -51
Gold Coast 3139 3231 -92
Port Adelaide 3460 3567 -107
Brisbane 3459 3576 -117
Richmond 3590 3711 -121
Melbourne 3333 3461 -128
Fremantle 3283 3488 -205
Sydney 3510 3728 -218
St Kilda 3064 3291 -227
GWS Giants 3418 3734 -316

We also took a look at the most recent AFL season to see who was attracting the most and least interest from the umpires.

2019 differential ladder

2019 frees ladder For Against Differential
Western Bulldogs 478 387 91
Collingwood 475 387 88
Adelaide 405 332 73
Gold Coast 439 382 57
Geelong 472 446 26
Fremantle 402 387 15
North Melbourne 427 422 5
West Coast 455 450 5
Brisbane 498 501 -3
Port Adelaide 432 435 -3
Essendon 430 439 -9
Melbourne 409 435 -26
Richmond 463 492 -29
St Kilda 398 434 -36
Hawthorn 382 425 -43
Carlton 398 443 -45
Sydney 389 453 -64
GWS Giants 445 547 -102

We've also provided a couple of other ladders – the most free kicks received and the least free kicks received.

The most free kicks for

Since the beginning of 2012

Club For
West Coast 3748
Geelong 3641
North Melbourne 3635
Richmond 3590
Sydney 3510
Hawthorn 3509
Western Bulldogs 3495
Port Adelaide 3460
Brisbane 3459
GWS Giants 3418
Collingwood 3407
Adelaide 3386
Melbourne 3333
Carlton 3318
Fremantle 3283
Essendon 3202
Gold Coast 3139
St Kilda 3064

The most free kicks against

Since the beginning of 2012

Club Against
GWS Giants 3734
Sydney 3728
Richmond 3711
Geelong 3680
Brisbane 3576
Port Adelaide 3567
Hawthorn 3523
Fremantle 3488
Melbourne 3461
North Melbourne 3350
West Coast 3294
St Kilda 3291
Essendon 3253
Carlton 3241
Gold Coast 3231
Western Bulldogs 3198
Adelaide 3172
Collingwood 3099

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