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AFL Fixturing


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Okay, so everyone in Australia can agree that the AFL fixture system is biased and unfair every season. It is simply impossible to have 22 rounds of matches, 16 teams and have a fair draw for all teams. I have long been a proponent of the two-division structure, where each team plays the other seven teams in their division once, and the other eight teams twice, thus maintaining a 22 week season, but at least providing some certainty from season to season.

However, I have been thinking lately about the NFL season being just 16 weeks long, and the AFL's desire to re-introduce State of Origin in some format and have come up with a new suggestion.

Quite simply, each team plays evey other team once (15 games) and plays the team with the most similar record from the previous season twice, thus creating a 16 week season. Teams would alternate home and away matches with the other clubs so that they would play eight home and eight away games. Victorian clubs would travel to each region only once per season (ie. Fremantle or West Coast, Port or Adelaide, Sydney or Brisbane) and the interstate clubs would have to come to Victoria 6 times (except in the case where the ladder position dictates that they travel again).

For example, based on the 2006 AFL ladder:

1 West Coast Eagles

2 Adelaide Crows

3 Fremantle Dockers

4 Sydney Swans

5 Collingwood Magpies

6 St Kilda Saints

7 Melbourne Demons

8 Western Bulldogs

9 Richmond Tigers

10 Geelong Cats

11 Hawthorn Hawks

12 Port Adelaide Power

13 Brisbane Lions

14 Kangaroos

15 Essendon Bombers

16 Carlton Blues

the return matches would be West Coast v Adelaide, Fremantle v Sydney, Collingwood v St.Kilda, Melbourne v Western Bulldogs, Richmond v Geelong, Hawthorn v Port Adelaide, Brisbane v Kangaroos, Essendon v Carlton.

The shortened season would also allow for a return of State of Origin, but rather than a full-blown match where players are reluctant and injuries are likely, I would propose a shortened 1 week carnival during a mid-season break. Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and the Allies could play a round robin format of games with 10 minute quarters and big player lists (to reduce player injury/fatigue). The winning state is simply the state with the best record at the end of the week.

This State Carnival could be scheduled after week 10, leaving a six week run into the finals for the competing clubs. The shortened season would mean that every game is crucial and competition for finals places would be fiercer than ever.

Its radical, but like it.





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Nup, I think 22 rounds is not long enough. 16 would be way too short.

I think if anything, they've gotta go to 24 rounds firstly, then slowly increase it so that it is eventually a 30 round season, that would be fairer on everyone. And perhaps Collingwood won't play every week at the MCG.

For some reason, I think that an extra stadium is needed in Melbourne, a 35K stadium in say, I don't know, Albert Park, or fix up Princes Park and have Carlton play there (I think thats Dicks plan). I think 9 teams in 2 stadiums is a tad too much.

But on fixturing, teams should play everyone twice... 15 home games, and every team will travel interstate 6 times a year plus sold off games to Tassie and Darwin.

Today is also the 149th Brithday of Australian Football. In 1858 Scotch played Melbourne on a 800metre ground (MCG-Punt Road) and was a 40 man teams, it was played over three weekends and took 2and half hours for the first goal to be kicked.

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well happy birthday to footy :birthday:

the SOO carnival sounds like a great idea. but though I agree with your sentiment that 16 games would be more meaningful than 22, I figure 22's pretty crucial too. At least it aint 38, 42 or whatnot like soccer (not including all them cups). Maybe 20 + State of Origin would work well.

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They could do 22 rounds if they did the following.

Each new season's fixture is decided by the finishing positions from the year before.

Odds play odds twice, and evens once, and vice versa.

So, 1 plays 3,5,7,9,11,13 & 15 twice, and 2,4,6,8,10,12,14 & 16 once.

Total 22 games.

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Odds and evens could work.

Usually when people say positions fro mthe year before, I think they mean the crappy teams play crappy teams and better teams play better teams. Don't see that working. Surely, we don't want to see Carlton v Richmond twice a year, every year.

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An American here with an idea: split the 16 into two conferences, each comprised of two 4 team divisions.

Each club plays the three other clubs in its division 4 times, for 12 games.

Each club plays the other nine teams in the AFL once each, for 9 games.

Each club's 22nd game is then a second game against either:

(1) Against a designated rival from another division to maximize attendance/tv ratings; or

(2) Against a designated opponent from another division, determined on a rotating basis.

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