AFLW 2021/22 Season: Fixture

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Teen Wolf

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They'll have to fixture clubs together that hadn't played each other last season.
For example, the Saints can't go a third season without playing Gold Coast and Brisbane.
I wouldn't be so sure. Geelong have been in for three seasons and are yet to play Melbourne, don't forget.

Saints v Suns seems like pretty good odds though, but much less so for Saints v Lions, given the AFL want to maximise games between teams of similar strength (in this year's original fixture, the only fellow bottom-half team of 2020 that St Kilda weren't meant to play was Adelaide).
 

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The Victorian

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Season has now been confirmed to start later now

Possible season dates
Round 1 (Jan 6-9)
Round 2 (Jan 13-16)
Round 3 (Jan 20-23)
Round 4 (Jan 27-30)
Round 5 (Feb 3-6)
Round 6 (Feb 10-13)
Round 7 (Feb 17-20)
Round 8 (Feb 24-27)
Round 9 (Mar 3-6)
Round 10 (Mar 10-13)
Finals Week 1 (Mar 19-20)
Finals Week 2 (Mar 26-27)
Grand Final (Apr 1 or 2)
 

TheTassieHawk

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Season has now been confirmed to start later now

Possible season dates
Round 1 (Jan 6-9)
Round 2 (Jan 13-16)
Round 3 (Jan 20-23)
Round 4 (Jan 27-30)
Round 5 (Feb 3-6)
Round 6 (Feb 10-13)
Round 7 (Feb 17-20)
Round 8 (Feb 24-27)
Round 9 (Mar 3-6)
Round 10 (Mar 10-13)
Finals Week 1 (Mar 19-20)
Finals Week 2 (Mar 26-27)
Grand Final (Apr 1 or 2)
The revised dates manage to get the Home and Away matches completed prior to the men’s competition starting so pretty much ticks the box there in terms of minimising overlap. A window should be able to be created within the men’s fixture to accomodate AFLW finals.

If AFLW training was scheduled to start in a September that may push back a month.
 

Teen Wolf

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I suspect the AFL has tried to kill two birds with one stone here. Everything else aside, the players probably didn't want a two-week Christmas break. So for a 10-round H&A season--with a grand final on the weekend of March 12--it meant Round 1 was going to clash with the Ashes and BBL.

It still clashes this rescheduled way, but at least now the AFLW season doesn't launch at the same time as Seven's summer of men's cricket.

A window should be able to be created within the men’s fixture to accomodate AFLW finals.
"Should" is really besides the point.

A satisfactory window for finals definitely won't be created, not while there's an overlap with the start of the men's comp, as shown this year. There is only one way to achieve it, but we'll just have to wait an extra season. Oh well, perhaps it's fitting that it will first occur in the AFLW-is-now-whole 18-team era.
 

Sammoll

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St Kilda will be unable to use Moorabbin until Feb 2022 due to ground redevelopment
Either Sandringham or Frankston should be able to cover for that pretty easily. Or could possibly even Saints old ground in Seaford. There's definitely no cricket played at Sandringham or Seaford, unsure about Frankston.


Also on venues, as part of the Grand Final deal announced by the Vic state gov today there will be 4 additional AFLW games to be played in regional Vic. In the past games have been played in Moe, Morwell and Bendigo. So they're all options again, but hopefully some new places get a go too
 
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Teen Wolf

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No cricket at Frankston but maybe quidditch, such is the ludicrous shape of the ground which makes it a rather unappealing AFLW venue, regardless of how much money has been wasted there on lights.
 

The Victorian

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No cricket at Frankston but maybe quidditch, such is the ludicrous shape of the ground which makes it a rather unappealing AFLW venue, regardless of how much money has been wasted there on lights.
I don't think there is any problem with their ground at all!
 

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Teen Wolf

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Been thinking about how they’re going to handle the WC/Frem fixturing, and I’d say the AFL at this point just has to assume no team will be able to fly into WA and play games there this season.

That would mean the Eagles and Dockers spend practically the entire season on the road, but if keeping that time spent away from home to a minimum is the no.1 priority, perhaps the answer will be to condense their schedules with mid-week games.

Turning a 10-week trip into a more manageable 6 weeks might look like this:
Round 1
Bye: Geel, StK, Frem, WC

Round 2
Bye: WB, Rich, Frem, WC
Geel v StK

Round 3
Bye: Carl, Coll, Frem, WC
WB v Rich

Round 4
Sat: Frem v WC at Fremantle Oval
Carl v Coll

Round 4.5 (Wed night after R4 weekend)
Geel v Frem at GMHBA Stadium
StK v WC at RSEA Park

Round 5
Sun: Frem v StK at Mars Stadium
Sun: WC v Geel at Casey Fields

Round 6
Ade v Frem in SA
GC v WC in QLD

Round 6.5 (Wed night after R6 weekend)
WB v Frem at VU Whitten Oval
Rich v WC at Swinburne Centre

Round 7
Sun: Frem v Rich at Mars Stadium
Sun: WC v WB at Casey Fields

Round 8
Frem v Bris at Mars Stadium
WC v GWS at Casey Fields

Round 8.5 (Wed night after R8 weekend)
Carl v Frem at IKON Park
Coll v WC at Victoria Park

Round 9
Sun: Frem v Coll at Mars Stadium
Sun: WC v Carl at Casey Fields

Round 10
Frem v Melb at Mars Stadium
WC v NM at Casey Fields

So the idea would be to space out those mid-week games while still ensuring their opponents are always coming off the same shortened break as they are.

I just used Mars Stadium and Casey Fields as random examples of homes-away-from-home for Freo and West Coast respectively—don’t actually know what venues would be the two most likely candidates if there was a requirement to host such games.
 

footyknut

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Been thinking about how they’re going to handle the WC/Frem fixturing, and I’d say the AFL at this point just has to assume no team will be able to fly into WA and play games there this season.

That would mean the Eagles and Dockers spend practically the entire season on the road, but if keeping that time spent away from home to a minimum is the no.1 priority, perhaps the answer will be to condense their schedules with mid-week games.

Turning a 10-week trip into a more manageable 6 weeks might look like this:
Round 1
Bye: Geel, StK, Frem, WC

Round 2
Bye: WB, Rich, Frem, WC
Geel v StK

Round 3
Bye: Carl, Coll, Frem, WC
WB v Rich

Round 4
Sat: Frem v WC at Fremantle Oval
Carl v Coll

Round 4.5 (Wed night after R4 weekend)
Geel v Frem at GMHBA Stadium
StK v WC at RSEA Park

Round 5
Sun: Frem v StK at Mars Stadium
Sun: WC v Geel at Casey Fields

Round 6
Ade v Frem in SA
GC v WC in QLD

Round 6.5 (Wed night after R6 weekend)
WB v Frem at VU Whitten Oval
Rich v WC at Swinburne Centre

Round 7
Sun: Frem v Rich at Mars Stadium
Sun: WC v WB at Casey Fields

Round 8
Frem v Bris at Mars Stadium
WC v GWS at Casey Fields

Round 8.5 (Wed night after R8 weekend)
Carl v Frem at IKON Park
Coll v WC at Victoria Park

Round 9
Sun: Frem v Coll at Mars Stadium
Sun: WC v Carl at Casey Fields

Round 10
Frem v Melb at Mars Stadium
WC v NM at Casey Fields

So the idea would be to space out those mid-week games while still ensuring their opponents are always coming off the same shortened break as they are.

I just used Mars Stadium and Casey Fields as random examples of homes-away-from-home for Freo and West Coast respectively—don’t actually know what venues would be the two most likely candidates if there was a requirement to host such games.
Very reasonable suggestion TeenWolf. Hopefully roadmap release by WA premier means this isn’t necessary but it’s a realistic (and fair as it can be) proposal if that is the way it ends up.
At this stage, Qld and SA can get to WA so might be a case of Freo and WC playing those teams early before going to hub situation in Vic.
 

Teen Wolf

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Very reasonable suggestion TeenWolf. Hopefully roadmap release by WA premier means this isn’t necessary but it’s a realistic (and fair as it can be) proposal if that is the way it ends up.
At this stage, Qld and SA can get to WA so might be a case of Freo and WC playing those teams early before going to hub situation in Vic.
I did mess up one or two minor things but overall it'd be a decent last resort--assuming the players would actually prefer to play mid-week games in order to shorten their time away from home.

If WA is going to be open to QLD and SA, it would presumably also be open to TAS and NT. In that scenario, I don't think Freo and WC would be hubbing at all. They could each have 3 home games v Bris/GC/Adel in WA, 1 derby in WA, 1 away game vs NM in TAS, 1 away game vs Melb in NT, and then 4 neutral games in SA vs GWS/VIC teams.

Taking it further, though: If WA is going to be open to QLD/SA/etc (which will all be open to VIC and NSW), I don't know why WA wouldn't just be directly open to VIC and NSW. Seems most likely that, once travelling to-and-from everywhere else is fair game, it'll be all or nothing for WA (or, more accurately, nothing then all... and it's just a question of timing for when that threshold is reached).
 

Teen Wolf

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In light of today's announcement, the absolute worst case scenario should really just be: Frem v WCE in R1, then both teams on the road from R2 to R5 before they can come back and play a bunch of home games.

Not too bad, but it certainly justifies the decision to push the season back a month, despite it making for another unfortunate clash between AFLW finals and early AFL rounds.
 

Teen Wolf

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Considering all unavoidable parameters, the closer the fixture looks like this (which is merely my draft, i.e. unofficial/not real), the better:

aflw2022fixtureFAKE_1.png


aflw2022fixtureFAKE_2.png

Find a problem with any of that. It's possible I made a mistake somewhere, but I doubt it!

All top 7 teams from last season play each other. All bottom 7 teams from last season play each other.

And it ticks off a number of well overdue fixtures, including:
Melb v Geel
Coll v Frem in VIC
Bris v Carl in QLD
Coll v Carl not at IKON Park
Melb v Coll at Casey Fields
Melb v WB at Casey Fields
Adel v Rich
GC v WB
GC v StK
NM v WCE
 

footyknut

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A very good balanced fixture. Looking through my purple coloured glasses, there’s no way a team would be expected to travel from Perth to Gold Coast to Perth to Geelong on a 6 day break. And having already done a 3 game extended road trip it seems unlikely that the team would be asked to take more time off work to make that one an extended trip.
 

Teen Wolf

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there’s no way a team would be expected to travel from Perth to Gold Coast to Perth to Geelong on a 6 day break.
Not so sure about that.

Gold Coast last season did this:
away v GWS
flew home, then flew to Perth
away v Fremantle
stayed in Perth
away v West Coast on Sunday
flew home
away v Adelaide on Saturday

And while Perth to Geelong is an hour more flight time than Gold Coast to Adelaide, a 6-day break before playing the Cats is a much better deal than a 6-day break before playing the Crows.
 

footyknut

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Not so sure about that.

Gold Coast last season did this:
away v GWS
flew home, then flew to Perth
away v Fremantle
stayed in Perth
away v West Coast on Sunday
flew home
away v Adelaide on Saturday

And while Perth to Geelong is an hour more flight time than Gold Coast to Adelaide, a 6-day break before playing the Cats is a much better deal than a 6-day break before playing the Crows.
And everybody said how unfair that was on Gold Coast and should never happen again. It was also in a year where the fixtures were changing weekly and they didn’t have the luxury of planning ahead like they hopefully will this year.

I do agree that 6day break v Geel is a lot better option than the same break before Crows and it is a shame that the AFL don’t seem to use similar thought patterns in their fixturing.
 

Teen Wolf

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And everybody said how unfair that was on Gold Coast and should never happen again.
It's what I said when it first happened to GC in 2020, and yet it did happen again in 2021.

"Should" is entirely separate from "there's no way a team would..." when we're talking about a fixture that is again going to be compromised by border closures.

If there were changes that had to be made to my fixture for the WA teams, I don't think it'd be to do with R8-9. More likely R7, where I put two Perth games on back-to-back, would be a deal breaker--presumably because of broadcasting logistics, but I don't know for sure.
 

Teen Wolf

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...Maroochydore firming as a favourite to host Lions' home games.
Sunshine Coast likely for the Lions this year, ya gotsta be kidding.

Supposedly the season start delay is the reason for Brisbane's venue availability issues. But thinking about it, this way (i.e. a Jan to mid-March H&A season) they should have the Gabba available for finals if required, which is probably the more ideal scenario.
 

Teen Wolf

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The Blues believe the only way they will host the first game of round one will be if the AFL installs temporary lighting. There has been no indication yet that will be the case.
Temporary lighting has* to be used somewhere, so I'm not sure why Carlton would be ruled out.

*Slight exaggeration, but it's been done in the past at various grounds (including Ikon Park) when it wasn't absolutely necessary for them to host night games.
 

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