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Thread: Should the AFL shorten the season to 17 games?

  1. #1
    Aut vincere aut mori Thunder Shaker's Avatar
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    Should the AFL shorten the season to 17 games?

    The current fixture has 22 games a year for every club. This is a relic from the 1970s and 1980s when there were 12 teams and every team played each other twice. This was a balanced and fair fixture.

    With 18 teams, the fixture is unbalanced. Each team plays five other teams twice and the other 12 teams only once. The choice of which five teams to play twice causes the fixture to be unbalanced. This has been managed by giving teams more games against teams of equal strength from the previous year, but this doesn't always work well.

    One fair solution to this problem is for the AFL to abandon the idea of some teams playing other teams twice in the regular season and move to a shorter season with a simpler fixture where each team plays the other teams only once. This would still be slightly unbalanced because some teams would get nine home games a year and others only eight. We can resolve this by giving all teams eight home games, eight away games and one game a year that is played at a neutral venue such as Hobart or Cairns, or even overseas.

    Such a fixture would have maybe 18 rounds, with three rounds in the middle of the season being the bye rounds. An alternative is to have one week in the middle of the year when the AFL plays no matches. This could be the grassroots weekend where the fans are encouraged to support local football. Players could make promotional appearances at local games, such as the local clubs they originally played for.

    To make up for the reduction of football, additional competitions could be played. State of origin football could be restored. The pre-season competition could be expanded: one idea is to divide the teams into three groups of six, have each team play the five other teams once in their group then the top team and the best second-placed team advance to two weeks of knockout finals.

    The first round of the fixture would be the ANZAC day weekend (The Saturday in the first round would fall on 23rd April to 29th April) with the Grand Final being on the last Saturday in September. There would be one mid-season bye per club and a week's break before the finals.

    Should the AFL consider this or other ideas to remove the imbalance in the fixture?
    "Unbelievable!" -- Nick Davis leaves his mark on the 2005 semi final

  2. #2
    Carpe Noctem CureTheSane's Avatar
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    Yes. No question.

    All about $$$ though so they need 22 rounds (or more) plus finals

    Some great propositions have been made to make this work with 17 H&A rounds and then extended finals, which I am a massive fan of.

    I really hate how all teams have to play 22 rounds, with only 8 of 18 proceeding.
    Then 1 week later there are 6 left.
    Seems silly.
    Even playoffs, or anything else would be better.

    You earn the right to play finals by being consistent for all H&A games, and then if you have that one off day and lose, you potentially end your year.

    For me this is the biggest problem the AFL face.
    It could be so much better and I don't understand why they don't make the changes.
    The difference between insanity and genius is measured only in success.

  3. #3
    pr. dim-melb; m not f
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    Yes they should.

    And they won't for the reason mentioned - $.
    He reminds him of the guys, close-set, slow, and never rattled, who were play-makers on the team. (John Updike, seeing Josh Kennedy in a crystal ball)

  4. #4
    Would the clubs decrease the cost of memberships for less games?

  5. #5
    Carpe Noctem CureTheSane's Avatar
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    I think any discussion of fewer games is irrelevant. Won't happen.
    All that matters is the dynamics of how playing each team only once but leaving a fill season of 26? rounds in place.
    If they're smart they'll work the finals so that more games are played over the last 4 weeks of the season, increasing revenue.
    The difference between insanity and genius is measured only in success.

  6. #6
    Travelling Swannie!! mcs's Avatar
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    I'd love to see the AFL get rid of 4 teams, then go to a 26 week home and away season (with larger squads as a result). Won't happen though, as others have pointed out. Alternatively, the 17 round system would be fine too.

    Working within the constraints of the current ~22/23 round season with 18 teams, I'd at least like to see some steps taken to make the draw as fair as possible. I sat down and did some thinking when bored one day over the summer and came up with:

    - The 'Draw' in broad terms (i.e. who your double up teams for each year in the following 3 year period) is determined for a 3 year period in advance. The actual details of the draw (times etc) can be finalised before each season.

    - 23 round season.
    - A true alternating schedule - what I mean there is if you play a team away last time, you play them at home the next time. None of this nonsense like there is now where teams play at the same venue for several years in a row.
    - Rd 1 to 17 - you play each other team once.
    - For rounds 18 to 23: Over the 3 year period, you play each team once, with the exception of 1 team that you would play twice (AFL could use it if it wanted for a 2nd 'derby match', or could be drawn at random in advance of the 3 year period).

    Its still a complex approach, but it was the best I could come up within the broad constraints of what we have now. If done in advance of the 3 year period, it could get pretty close to a 'random draw' - ultimately, at the individual season level, some teams will get harder draws than others (depending on how teams are going), but you simply can't avoid that.

    At least it would avoid the clear 'doctoring' of the draw that happens now, to create 2 derbies in a season, give teams easier or harder draws depending on where they finish on the ladder, and move back to a proper alternating schedule.
    "You get the feeling that like Monty Python's Black Knight, the Swans would regard amputation as merely a flesh wound."

  7. #7
    Carpe Noctem CureTheSane's Avatar
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    mcs, Collingwood would put a stop to much of what you suggest
    Imagine them having to play interstate!?!?!?
    The difference between insanity and genius is measured only in success.

  8. #8
    Travelling Swannie!! mcs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CureTheSane View Post
    mcs, Collingwood would put a stop to much of what you suggest
    Imagine them having to play interstate!?!?!?
    I know I know CTS
    "You get the feeling that like Monty Python's Black Knight, the Swans would regard amputation as merely a flesh wound."

  9. #9
    Carpe Noctem CureTheSane's Avatar
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    And not just Collingwood.
    This is the real corruption of the AFLl, the remaining pandering to the 'power' teams in Victoria
    The difference between insanity and genius is measured only in success.

  10. #10
    Aut vincere aut mori Thunder Shaker's Avatar
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    "Unbelievable!" -- Nick Davis leaves his mark on the 2005 semi final

  11. #11
    Aut vincere aut mori Thunder Shaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcs View Post
    I'd love to see the AFL get rid of 4 teams, then go to a 26 week home and away season (with larger squads as a result). Won't happen though, as others have pointed out. Alternatively, the 17 round system would be fine too.

    Working within the constraints of the current ~22/23 round season with 18 teams, I'd at least like to see some steps taken to make the draw as fair as possible.
    I have also considered a 22-round season as an alternative. My proposal is a bit more radical.

    * Split the teams into three conferences of six teams each.
    * Each team plays the teams in its own conference twice and the teams in the other conferences once. The home and away games against teams in the other conferences alternate between seasons.
    * Conferences could be: (1) Qld, NSW and two Victorian teams, (2) six Victorian teams, and (3) WA, SA and two Victorian teams.
    * Fixture balances interstate trips as much as possible. For Sydney, there would be one trip to WA, one trip to SA, two trips to Qld, 6 trips to Victoria and 12 games in NSW each year.
    * Top two teams in each conference advance to the finals, along with two other teams with the best season records. The eight teams are ranked according to record and play each other with the current final 8.

    I have run simulations that show how this idea would work. Most of the time, the teams making the finals are the best 8 teams but sometimes this isn't the case, perhaps one year in 10.
    "Unbelievable!" -- Nick Davis leaves his mark on the 2005 semi final

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