MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 20: Leigh Matthews attends the Sport Australia Hall of Fame at Crown Casino on October 20, 2010 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Prezioso/Getty Images)

Earlier in the year, AFL legend Leigh Matthews suggested a new concept to increase scoring in the AFL, which is at a 52-year low.

Matthews argues the problem lies with the lack of incentive to kick as many goals as possible and suggested bonus premiership points for teams who score more than 100 points in a game could increase scoring in the AFL.

“It doesn’t matter what you do with the rules, coaches determine how the game looks. We’ve got to incentivise the coaches to score more,” he said on 3AW earlier in the year.

“For instance, say you score 100 points, you get an extra premiership point, win or lose. It has nothing to do with the spectacle and the rules of the game the umpires have to adjudicate; it just impacts the ladder as the year goes on.”

To test Lethal’s idea, we incorporated the bonus point system to the 2019 AFL season to determine whether it would make a difference to the ladder.

The current AFL ladder

Overall, the bonus point affected eight teams who either moved up or down on the ladder.

Essendon is the big winners in the system, climbing two positions to replace Port Adelaide in seventh position.

The Power slip down to eighth, which knocks cross-town rivals Adelaide out of the top eight.

The big mover inside the top eight is Brisbane who leapfrogs Collingwood into third on the ladder. The Lions began the season by collecting bonus points in their first three games and have currently received bonus points in seven of their 10 wins.

Under Matthews’ proposed system, teams would receive a bonus point for scoring over 100 points in defeats as well.

Carlton would be the main benefactor of this system as they have reached a century of points in two of their losses this season.

The full extent of Matthews’ theory is difficult to explain with the current format given teams do not have an incentive to score over 100 points.

Yet what we can argue is that it will not drastically alter the ladder.

The full ladder including bonus points is listed below.

Ladder including bonus point for scoring 100+ points Pts 100+
1. Geelong (-) 54 6
2. West Coast (-) 48 4
3. Brisbane (+1) 47 7
4. Collingwood (-1) 45 5
5. GWS (-) 42 6
6. Richmond (-) 39 3
7. Essendon (+2) 35 3
8. Port Adelaide (-1) 34 2
9. Adelaide (-1) 34 2
10. Fremantle (+1) 31 3
11. North Melbourne (-1) 31 3
12. Western Bulldogs (-) 30 2
13. Sydney (+1) 25 1
14. Hawthorn (-1) 24 0
15. St Kilda (-) 24 0
16. Melbourne (-) 23 3
17. Carlton (-) 15 3
18. Gold Coast (-) 12 0