The new FAWSL Match ball. Arsenal Women v West Ham United Women, WSL football match, Meadow Park Stadium, Borehamwood, UK - 08 Sep 2019 Photo: Kunjan Malde for The FA

Weighted v standard points per game: How would it affect the FAWSL?

It has been suggested that the English Football League could soon announce the abandonments of two of their men’s competitions, Sky Bet League One and Sky Bet League Two according to reports by Sky Sports.

For those two divisions, promotion and relegation could be decided using a ‘weighted’ points per game system. In this article, I look at what is meant by weighted points per game and also, what effect that method would have if used to determine the final standings in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League.

The standard points per game method is determined by calculating an average based on points accumulated divided by the number of games played. So for example, if you have 60 points from 30 games you have a points per game average of two points. However, what if your club has played 20 games at home and 10 away, with only 10 unplayed away games remaining? The previous 30 games do not reflect the remaining 10.

That is where a weighted points per game system could be used. In this system, the home and away points per game are worked out separately and then applied to the remaining fixtures accordingly. So in the example above, only away points per game would be applied to the remaining fixtures and home points per game would not be taken into consideration.

What impact on the league standings would this have if it were to be applied to the Barclays FA Women’s Super League?  Could a team sentenced to relegation with standard points per game be spared thanks to the weighted system? Could the title change hands based solely on what algorithm the league opts to use? The short answer is, no.

There are some variations in the total points that teams are expected to amass but this would not have any impact on league position when compared to standard points per game.

POS TEAM STANDARD PPG TOTAL WEIGHTED PPG TOTAL PPG HOME PPG AWAY PPG
1st Chelsea 57.2 56.514 2.6 3 2.143
2nd Manchester City 55 54.127 2.5 2.778 2.143
3rd Arsenal 52.8 53.036 2.4 2.571 2.25
4th Manchester United 36.08 36.143 1.64 2.143 1.143
5th Reading 33 32.083 1.5 1.75 1.167
6th Everton 29.92 29.857 1.36 1.714 1
7th Tottenham Hotspur 29.26 29.464 1.33 1.429 1.25
8th West Ham United 25.08 25.143 1.14 1.714 0.571
9th Brighton & Hove Albion 17.82 16.238 0.81 1.334 0.149
10th Bristol City 14.08 14.142 0.64 0.571 0.714
11th Birmingham City 11.88 12.048 0.54 0.667 0.429
12th Liverpool 9.46 9.625 0.43 0.5 0.375

As you can see from both scenarios, Chelsea would be crowned champions and would be joined in the UEFA Women’s Champions League by Manchester City. In addition, if the Barclays FA Women’s Super League is eventually decided using any points per game method then it still spells bad news for Liverpool who would be relegated into the second tier. The Barclays FA Women’s Super League could still choose to forgo relegation even if they opt to determine league positions by points per game.

In conclusion, if the Barclays FA Women’s Super League elects to go with weighted or standard points per game it will ultimately make no difference which option they choose, the league standings will still be same.

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