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Predicting AFL winners

In the activity Predicting AFL Winners, students analyse data about the number of points scored by each AFL team in the first 10 rounds of the 2011 season in order to predict the winners for rounds 11, 12 and 13.

Students use mean, median, quartiles and graphs, including side-by-side box plots, to compare datasets for two of the teams competing. These can be drawn quickly using a graphics calculator. Watch the Boxplots on a Calculator video.


You can download the Boxplots on a Calculator video transcript.


Students' conclusions can be compared to the actual result. Ask them to assess how effective these statistics are in predicting winners.

Students soon recognise that the data do not reflect important factors such as weather conditions, home ground advantage and injuries to the player list.The activity highlights that the inferences drawn from statistical analysis are highly dependent on the appropriateness and quality of the data in the context of the investigation.

This investigation is appropriate for students from years 8 to 10.

Curriculum links

Year 10: Construct and interpret box plots and use them to compare data sets

Year 8: Explore the variation of means and proportions of random samples drawn from the same population

Year 8: Investigate the effect of individual data values, including outliers, on the mean and median

Year 9: Compare data displays using mean, median and range to describe and interpret numerical data sets in terms of location (centre) and spread