A Rating System For Gaelic Football Teams: Factors That Influence Success

S. Mangan 1 , 2  and K. Collins 1 , 2
  • 1 Institute of Technology Tallaght Ireland
  • 2 Gaelic Sports Research Centre, Ireland


AIM: The current investigation aimed to create an objective rating of Gaelic football teams and to examine factors relating to a team's rating. METHOD: A modified version of the Elo Ratings formula (Elo, 1978) was used to rate Gaelic football teams. A total of 1101 competitive senior Inter County matches from 2010-2015 were incorporated into calculations. Factors examined between teams included population, registered player numbers, previous success at adult and underage levels, financial income from the GAA, team expenses and number of clubs in a county. RESULTS: The Elo Ratings formula for Gaelic football was found to have a strong predictive ability, correctly predicting the result in 72.90% of 642 matches over a 6 year period. Strong positive correlations were observed between previous success at senior level, Under 21 level, Under 18 level and current Elo points. Moderate correlations exist between population figures and current Elo points. Moderate correlations are also evident between the number of registered players in a county and the county’s Elo rating points. CONCLUSION: Gaelic football teams can be objectively rated using a modified Elo Ratings formula. In order to develop a successful senior team, counties should focus on the development of underage players, particularly up to U18 and U21 level.

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