Recruiters for teams in the Australian Football League don’t have to worry about bringing their calculators and fancy spread sheets with them to this year’s draft, scheduled for November 24. This year, recruiters will sit at sectioned-off tables with privacy screens to allow discussion of their picks before entering their selections into the computer.
The computer? Really?
While that may be the reaction from some die-hard traditionalists, the new software–created by the league in collaboration with Champion Data just for this purpose–will show recruiters what amounts to the consequences for making a selection. For example, choosing one prospect with a high enough ranking could cost them several picks in later rounds. The software would map out what would happen if they choose that athlete and in that round.
One of the key areas where this seems to be an issue is in selecting father-son prospects and academy players. Essentially, the teams have a right to select a player due to his legacy with the program, but it could end up costing them several other high-ranking players down the line. This software, which lets the recruiter enter the selection in real time, then demonstrates the cost to the team in later rounds.
This software may streamline the entire process of draft selection, which advertisers on the Fox network are hoping for. Instead of having it all decided in a lengthy process before the teams read out their final choices, this entire event will be televised in nail-biting stream. Of course, there’s sure to be tension in the room as recruiters are faced with the ultimate question: a pop-up box with those ominous words, “Are you sure?”
As with any type of new software, there are bound to be a couple of bugs and a resulting update. That’s why recruiters have already been called together and given a training session on using it, as well as the ability to tinker with the program consequence-free for the next couple of weeks. The participants will come back together on October 23rd for a mock draft, which will give the league and the software developers a month to iron out any problems that come up during the dry run.