Publication Date



The generic term “game style” is often used to infer a way a team has performed or a playing pattern that has developed. However, this concept has not previously been measured. This study developed a generic model to measure game styles among field sports. Specifically, game styles of 6 Australian Football League (AFL) teams were assessed using 12 performance indicators, during the 2015 season. These variables were allocated to one of five “moments” of play: established offence/defence, transition to offence/defence and set pieces. A game style plot was generated using z-scores to show each team’s deviance from the sample average. Among the six AFL teams, there were many common features of game style indicating teams were trying to play in similar ways. Plots identified specific moments of relatively weaker or stronger performance, and hence areas for improvement. Correlation analysis demonstrated significant correlations between the total sum of z-scores across moments and success (premiership position ρ = −1, p = .025; and scoring percentage ρ = .943, p = .035). Game style plots are easy to interpret, can highlight areas of concern in specific play periods or phases, and help marry training drills with deficiencies in various moments.


School of Exercise Science

Document Type

Journal Article

Access Rights

ERA Access

Access may be restricted.