In the 2012 pre-season, the AFL, with the unanimous support of the 18 clubs, removed the provision for priority picks automatically based upon finishing results, and with the AFL commission retaining the power to award priority picks on a discretionary basis.
To allow for this situation, a formula has been developed that takes into account such factors as:
premiership points that a club has received over a period of years (with greater weight to recent seasons),
a club's percentage (points for/points against x 100) over a period of years (another indication of on-field competitiveness, with greater weight to recent seasons),
any finals appearances that a club has made in recent seasons,
any premierships that a club has won in recent seasons, and
a club's injury rates in each relevant season.
To eliminate tanking, the formula for priority picks is kept confidential by the AFL Commission. No priority picks were required for the 2012 season.