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Thread: 19 teams?

  1. #1
    Aut vincere aut mori Thunder Shaker's Avatar
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    19 teams?

    There's been some talk lately about a Tasmanian side being admitted in the next few years. If that happens without a relocation, the competition will have 19 teams. That would require byes every week. Byes are annoying to the players, but they can be made less annoying if sides received two byes each year so players received additional breaks.

    If the fixture remains at 22 games, that would reduce the number of possible double-up games to four. I think it's time the AFL considered ditching these double-up games altogether, and have a fixture where every side plays every other side only once each year. There is a recent precedent - the COVID-19 affected 2020 season only had 17 home and away matches.

    How would such a season be structured? I suggest 20 rounds where every club plays every other club once, and receives two byes. 171 matches over 20 rounds would have some rounds having eight matches and others having nine. The eight-match rounds would be nine rounds in the middle of the season, where every club receives a bye and eight clubs have two byes. The other 11 rounds would have 11 clubs having a bye, but the clubs with byes near the start or end of the season would have their byes close to the middle of the year.

    With each club playing each other club only once, the allocation of home and away games becomes an important consideration. 18 opponents means nine home games and nine away games. Yet this presents an opportunity for balance. Consider trips to Perth. If every non-WA club was fixtured to make one trip to WA for a game - no more, no less - then this would balance out the fixture somewhat. The same argument applies to the other states except Tasmania: five states have an even number of clubs, so the number of interstate trips to that state becomes the number of clubs in that state divided by two. So a Victorian club plays in WA, SA, NSW and Queensland once each, and four or five times in Victoria. A non-Victorian club plays five times in Victoria, and once in the other states that have two teams.

    The only thing that disturbs that balance is the need to balance trips to Tasmania. I suggest the following guideline: if a club plays an additional home game in their own state, they also play away in Tasmania, and vice versa.

    To make the fixture fairer, the fixture is arranged over two seasons so each club hosts every other club over those two seasons. In the first season of a new two-season block, this constraint doesn't apply; only in the second season of a pair.

    Finally, there's the issue of ranking sides with byes. In 2011, the AFL simply placed a side that had played fewer games lower on the ladder. In some past seasons (eg: 1943), byes were worth four premiership points. The AFL tried a match ratio as an alternative in the 1990s, but that was hard to understand and led to anomalies. I find all of these to be unsatisfactory. I suggest the following as an improvement: give a club two premiership points for each bye. This will place sides with byes in a more mathematically-precise position on the ladder than any other method, by ranking all sides together by wins minus losses (with byes and draws disregarded).

    If the AFL does admit a 19th team, I expect the AFL will not persist with a 19-team competition for very long. A 20th team (possibly based in the NT) would be admitted soon after. With a 20-team competition, fixtures balanced by state would likely remain, with exactly one game in either Tasmania or NT each year for clubs outside those states, but the fixture would revert to one break per club with a split round reintroduced, possibly round 11.

    The end of the season - and this post - is the finals. I see no need to change here. The final eight works well, and there's no need to expand it to a final 10. The finals should not reward mediocrity.

    I find it interesting to consider how a future expanded AFL may work. Assuming the AFL admits one or two new teams, what are your thoughts on how the competition may be structured?
    "Unbelievable!" -- Nick Davis leaves his mark on the 2005 semi final

  2. #2
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    Both GWS and Gold Coast both didn't get to play any AFL games for a couple of years after they formed. If they don't relocate an existing team and form a new team, they will only be allowed to play in a VFL/NEAFL type competition for 2-3 years. From memory, didn't GWS and the Suns start senior games one year apart? What did we do back then when we went from 16 teams to 17 teams (for one year)?

  3. #3
    • Admit a Tassie team to the AFL.

    • Relocate GW$ to Canberra and let them play in the Canberra league so there can be an even 8 teams in the Premier division.

    • It leaves the AFL as an 18 team competition, the Canberra league would have an even 8 team competition and local attendances in Canberra would be boosted by another 18 supporters.

  4. #4
    Very well thought out analysis Thunder Shaker. Managing the byes is the stickiest point. No teams wants a bye in the early rounds and finals bound teams would love a bye late in the season, assuming the current pre-finals bye week is removed? Your handling of the byes is the fairest solution even though it will still cause angst because of the nature having byes.

    Maybe having a floating fixture may help further reduce bye issues? Have a fixed fixture to at least half way though the season and then allocate late season byes to teams most likely finishing in top 8?

    Agree with leaving final 8 system as it is. I shudder whenever I hear proposal of having a wild card round before the finals. Some people in the media are too absorbed with American sports!

    Having 20 team competition makes sense. My only caveat with that is do we have enough high end talent to maintain the quality with 2 extra teams? That's where the Northern Academies play a significant role!

    Finally I'm not sure how much commercially the AFL is locked into a 22 round season with broadcast deals etc..to move to a potentially shorter season?

  5. #5
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    The idea of a Tasmania team is ridiculous, it's simply not economically viable and will stretch the already thin talent pool further.

    If you think it's tough to get young guys to live on the Gold Coast and Sydney, can you imagine how hard it will be to attract and retain players in Tasmania?

    If they set a team up there it will be an unmitigated disaster.

    The myth that there is some big talent pool of players coming out of Tasmania is baffling, if you took every Tasmanian player in the league and relocated them there, they wouldn't beat North Melbourne

    https://www.afltas.com.au/tasmanians-in-afl/

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by caj23 View Post
    The idea of a Tasmania team is ridiculous, it's simply not economically viable and will stretch the already thin talent pool further.

    If you think it's tough to get young guys to live on the Gold Coast and Sydney, can you imagine how hard it will be to attract and retain players in Tasmania?

    If they set a team up there it will be an unmitigated disaster.

    The myth that there is some big talent pool of players coming out of Tasmania is baffling, if you took every Tasmanian player in the league and relocated them there, they wouldn't beat North Melbourne

    https://www.afltas.com.au/tasmanians-in-afl/
    And yet Geelong with half the population seems to go ok financially?
    I haven’t checked but I am pretty sure they aren’t playing with a locals only playing list.
    And why is it so hard to think players would not want to live in Tasmania?
    I think many under estimate the power of parochialism and unlike forced locations like GW$ and the Sun$ there is a captive market in Tasmania waiting to prove that they deserve a place in the big league.

    Now I don’t want to be a Matt or Bangalore here and compare us with the US of A but young men ( sorry if this is not politically correct but it is usually men when it comes to these type of financial sporting decisions) will generally play wherever and whenever it takes to be in the big leagues , so the location should not mean diddly squat to those players motivated to succeed.

    The location factor seems to be a uniquely AFL issue I don’t hear of many NBA or Premier League players wanting to go home so they can play closer to family etc.
    Now I get that the $$$$ involved at the highest level are on a far different scale to what we deal with but in the lower leagues where it is dog eat dog players will play anywhere and anytime so that they can dictate to some extent where their career trajectory ends. If you want proof check out the two way and ten day contracts that the NBA uses to pad out rosters and “evaluate talent” when the two or three superstars already on their rosters have eaten up 80 to 90 % of the money available.

    To suggest that if the AFL set up a team there it will be an unmitigated disaster is chicken little level analysis.
    Last edited by Faunac8; 1st August 2022 at 12:12 PM.

  7. #7
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    If you can’t see the difference between a 100 year old club in Geelong and a potential start up team in the least populated state in Australia I’m not going to bother explaining

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by caj23 View Post
    If you can’t see the difference between a 100 year old club in Geelong and a potential start up team in the least populated state in Australia I’m not going to bother explaining
    Opinions every one has one following up with facts is the challenge 🤔
    Oh BTW AFL is only just a new game in Tasmania as it’s only been around for 140 years .
    Please don’t try to explain as it would become quite amusing to see you try.
    Let’s agree to disagree.

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    If the AFL can help fund (through the distributions that all clubs get) GWS, GCS, St Kilda and North all to the tune of $20M plus a
    year, then they can plough the same amount into a Tassy team. They'll live. The Tasmanian government have made it abundantly
    clear they will only accept a start up team and they are the ones (or the taxpayer actually) going to be paying for the bulk of the
    rest of the costs, then let them have it.
    The glory days of footy in Tasmania in the 60s & 70s have passed, but I reckon a whole bunch of Taswegians will jump back on
    board if they have their own team. They could split the home games between Hobart and Launceston, and the really keen fans
    would travel between the two cities five or six times a year so they could see all the home games.
    The recruiters would have to try and work out which players are going to turn into sooks and want to "go home" after a couple
    of seasons and just never draft/recruit them in the first place. Or tell them they can stay with mummy and daddy during the
    offseason.
    I'm sure a Tassy team will struggle at first but every year there are 3 or 4 teams that win less than half a dozen games, and the
    earth hasn't stopped spinning on its axis as far as I can see.
    Last edited by KTigers; 1st August 2022 at 01:51 PM.

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    The AFL had already stated that there will be one new stadium to house the new club.....so it's unlikely they'll be playing at two venues. I agree though that this is the best way to make a Tassie team succeed. The whole state needs to feel involved.

    I have often wondered if the AFL put the stadium condition up as a hindrance to actually getting a Tassie team off the ground. I wouldn't put it past them.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by stevoswan View Post

    I have often wondered if the AFL put the stadium condition up as a hindrance to actually getting a Tassie team off the ground. I wouldn't put it past them.
    I think that is exactly what they did.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevoswan View Post
    The AFL had already stated that there will be one new stadium to house the new club.....so it's unlikely they'll be playing at two venues. I agree though that this is the best way to make a Tassie team succeed. The whole state needs to feel involved.

    I have often wondered if the AFL put the stadium condition up as a hindrance to actually getting a Tassie team off the ground. I wouldn't put it past them.
    I have wondered whether the AFL is serious about another team in the comp. From what I have gathered over the past few years, is a lot of the push has come from media speculation that has then flowed onto the Taswegians. To me the AFL must be up to their financial limit on allocating funds to clubs. They have pumped so much cash into GWS and Gold Coast in recent times. How often can they keep going to the well?

    To me logic is to move GWS to Canberra where there is a genuine AFL supporter base. Is the Western Suburbs of Sydney really an AFL demographic with so many nationalities, when you get very few of their supporter base to the SCG? It didn't make sense to me from the start.

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