|Up to 1969||Since 1970|
|VFL/AFL in Melbourne||7134||87||1.21 %||5273||55||1.04 %|
|WAFL and AFL in Perth||4764||48||1.01 %||4362||17||0.39 %|
What is notable is that the often-cited explanation of high scoring for the paucity of drawn games in post-greenhouse Western Australian football does not hold up. Scoring declined very rapidly between 1986 and 2002, yet draws remained as rare as before (only four drawn games out of 1631 between 1990 and 2007).
If we turn to David Berri and his “Short Supply of Tall People” theory, a new explanation for the paucity of draws in the post-greenhouse WAFL emerges, one which I have thought about a lot in the midst of exceptionally poor records from Melbourne and Greater Western Sydney. That is that Docklands has produced greater requirements in height and athleticism to play in the AFL than existed beforehand (one 2006 Age article said that “in 1996 Colingwood had twelve players under 180 centimetres. Now it has three”) and the drying of Perth’s climate has likely had an even greater effect in shortening the pool of talent able to play Australian Rules. This is because a Perth wet:
- makes marking even more difficult than a Melbourne wet (no mud to grip the ball)
- does not diminish the value of pace as a Melbourne wet does (even heavy rain drains freely in sandy Perth soils)