Fixture 2022 Fixture for the Lions

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knaf

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Mar 15, 2008
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”And in any case, we didn't get Ballarat so instead they gave us Launceston in May and Canberra in July. I've been to Canberra in July and trust me, if they make it a night game it will be a hell of a lot worse than Ballarat in April.”

well said Grasshoper. Getting Canberra at night in July is not an improvement to the draw for players or spectators
 
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dlanod

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There was a recent audio (can’t remember which podcast) interview with Swann, where he mentioned the club only asked for the Easter Thursday night game and no visit to Ballarat this coming season.

Did he actually say "only"? This is what AFL.com.au has him saying:

"We’re delighted to retain our Easter Thursday blockbuster against Collingwood and also welcome big clubs like Melbourne, Essendon and Carlton back to the Gabba. 2021 saw packed crowds and a record membership number for the Club and we think this is a fixture that can help us continue to build on that in 2022. We would have liked to have had an additional game in Melbourne this year, but unfortunately that’s not been the case. We look forward to making up for it with events and additional opportunities where we can." - CEO Greg Swann

 

irel

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Did he actually say "only"? This is what AFL.com.au has him saying:

"We’re delighted to retain our Easter Thursday blockbuster against Collingwood and also welcome big clubs like Melbourne, Essendon and Carlton back to the Gabba. 2021 saw packed crowds and a record membership number for the Club and we think this is a fixture that can help us continue to build on that in 2022. We would have liked to have had an additional game in Melbourne this year, but unfortunately that’s not been the case. We look forward to making up for it with events and additional opportunities where we can." - CEO Greg Swann

Unfortunately an additional game still does not meet the terms of the agreement as we know them.
 

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Grasshopper17

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There was a recent audio (can’t remember which podcast) interview with Swann, where he mentioned the club only asked for the Easter Thursday night game and no visit to Ballarat this coming season.
Roar Deal. I believe he mentioned those 2 things and followed with "and I think that was pretty much it".
 

dlanod

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Unfortunately an additional game still does not meet the terms of the agreement as we know them.

I know - I suspect he mentally threw Geelong in the Melbourne bucket.
 

Grasshopper17

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Copied these from reddit:

Brisbane will play West Coast in Brisbane again for the 22nd time the past 25 seasons, yet West Coast have never played Brisbane at Optus before and that's going to continue next year.

Hawthorn will play Brisbane in Tasmania again the 12th time the past 14 years, which coincidentally is similar to how many times they haven't played at the Gabba. (11 times the past 14 years they haven't played there)
The AFL very clearly has shifted to focus on balancing the draw based on a team's finishing position the previous year, rather than ensuring all teams play each other a similar number of times, home and away.

It's become similar to the NFL. Over there you have 16 games (17 this year), but you play the same 3 teams twice every year, so that only leaves 11 games to spread between the remaining 28 teams. And because who you play is based on who finishes where in each division the previous season, you can theoretically go DECADES without playing a particular team, AT ALL.

In a way though, it's good, because any Joe Blow sitting in his lounge chair at home with a record of the final standings can figure out, at the conclusion of Week 18, exactly who his team will be playing next season. Then "when" and "where" is still be determined, but everyone knows their opponents for next season even before the Super Bowl.

That's the transparency the AFL's fixturing currently lacks. We have neither a draw which arranges everyone to play each other a similar number of times over X number of seasons, nor do we have, in the absence of that, the transparency which demonstrates how the fixture has been derived.

That said, on a cursory glance at both FoxFooty and the AFL website's analysis, it looks like on balance, last year's good teams have tougher draws than last year's poor teams, so the draw has achieved integrity in that sense.
 

dlanod

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And because who you play is based on who finishes where in each division the previous season, you can theoretically go DECADES without playing a particular team, AT ALL.

Not quite correct. You play one division twice (your own - six games), all members of two divisions that rotate through a regular schedule (eight games), and another three spots based off where you finish (two in your conference, one from the other).

The worst case scenario is playing another one team once every four years if it's in the other conference and your seeding doesn't manage to line up.

In a way though, it's good, because any Joe Blow sitting in his lounge chair at home with a record of the final standings can figure out, at the conclusion of Week 18, exactly who his team will be playing next season. Then "when" and "where" is still be determined, but everyone knows their opponents for next season even before the Super Bowl.

This part is pretty nice. IIRC even the "where" is set because they alternate home and away.
 

Grasshopper17

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Not quite correct. You play one division twice (your own - six games), all members of two divisions that rotate through a regular schedule (eight games), and another three spots based off where you finish (two in your conference, one from the other).

The worst case scenario is playing another one team once every four years if it's in the other conference and your seeding doesn't manage to line up.



This part is pretty nice. IIRC even the "where" is set because they alternate home and away.
You are quite correct. Had forgotten the part about how you play every team in one other division, and that rotates each year.



Something similar could work in AFL. Consider the following:

NFL has 8 divisions of 4, split into 2 conferences (4 divisions each conference).

AFL has 9 PAIRINGS of 2, grouped into 3 conferences (3 "pairings"). I don't think we need 3 separate ladders, just think about 3 conferences for the sake of the discussion.

Your pairing is fixed for the term of the agreement (4 years in this case), and can be rolled over ad infinitum if appropriate. For example, our pairing would be Gold Coast, Sydney would pair with the Giants, etc etc. You play the team in your pairing twice every season, regardless of whatever else happens.

The conference you are in will contain 2 other pairings. These are the teams you play twice in any given season. These pairings ROTATE each season. So say in 2023 we were in a conference with West Coast, Freo, Geelong and Hawthorn - we would play them all twice. Then in 2024 we might be in a conference with Adelaide, Port, Essendon and Collingwood, so we would play them all twice.

After a 4 year cycle then, we have been through all 8 other pairings - we've played them all twice in one of those 4 seasons, and once in the other 3. So we play each team 5 times in 4 years.

4 seasons x 22 games = 88 games
vs your "pair": 4 seasons x 2 games = 8 games
vs every other club: 5 games x 16 clubs = 80 games

If home vs away was important, the cycle can be 8 years instead, so you play each club 10 times, an even number of games. 5 at home and 5 away.

Then after 4 (or 8) seasons, if clubs (probably the Victorian ones) want to change their pairing, that is their opportunity to do so.

This method would work just as well if we moved to a 20 team comp whilst retaining a 22 round season, however it would simply take longer to cycle through all the teams you play twice in any given season. At that time there might also be an argument to reduce the number of games to 20 - play everyone once plus your pairing, reducing complexity. Increasing to 24 or 26 games would complicate this approach, without making it impossible.
 

Slax

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I don’t doubt the club would like more Melbourne games. Is it at the top of their wish list though? I’d say likely not. Wouldn’t surprise me if they view it internally deep down as a nice to have.
I'd say don't care and rather push for big clubs at Gabba & hope Vic members suck up being screwed over time & time again.
 

briztoon

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Did he actually say "only"? This is what AFL.com.au has him saying:

"We’re delighted to retain our Easter Thursday blockbuster against Collingwood and also welcome big clubs like Melbourne, Essendon and Carlton back to the Gabba. 2021 saw packed crowds and a record membership number for the Club and we think this is a fixture that can help us continue to build on that in 2022. We would have liked to have had an additional game in Melbourne this year, but unfortunately that’s not been the case. We look forward to making up for it with events and additional opportunities where we can." - CEO Greg Swann

I’m talking about an interview leading up to the draft. I’ll get around to listening to his last roar deal appearance. It was possibly the interview he did, where he said we’d go best available at the draft, regardless of position.
 

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Pacman82

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This could explain why I received a fair discount at the rollover for my Vic Membership the other day, I'd be tempted to demand a refund otherwise. 4 games in Melbourne's a joke!
 

On the quiet

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You are quite correct. Had forgotten the part about how you play every team in one other division, and that rotates each year.



Something similar could work in AFL. Consider the following:

NFL has 8 divisions of 4, split into 2 conferences (4 divisions each conference).

AFL has 9 PAIRINGS of 2, grouped into 3 conferences (3 "pairings"). I don't think we need 3 separate ladders, just think about 3 conferences for the sake of the discussion.

Your pairing is fixed for the term of the agreement (4 years in this case), and can be rolled over ad infinitum if appropriate. For example, our pairing would be Gold Coast, Sydney would pair with the Giants, etc etc. You play the team in your pairing twice every season, regardless of whatever else happens.

The conference you are in will contain 2 other pairings. These are the teams you play twice in any given season. These pairings ROTATE each season. So say in 2023 we were in a conference with West Coast, Freo, Geelong and Hawthorn - we would play them all twice. Then in 2024 we might be in a conference with Adelaide, Port, Essendon and Collingwood, so we would play them all twice.

After a 4 year cycle then, we have been through all 8 other pairings - we've played them all twice in one of those 4 seasons, and once in the other 3. So we play each team 5 times in 4 years.

4 seasons x 22 games = 88 games
vs your "pair": 4 seasons x 2 games = 8 games
vs every other club: 5 games x 16 clubs = 80 games

If home vs away was important, the cycle can be 8 years instead, so you play each club 10 times, an even number of games. 5 at home and 5 away.

Then after 4 (or 8) seasons, if clubs (probably the Victorian ones) want to change their pairing, that is their opportunity to do so.

This method would work just as well if we moved to a 20 team comp whilst retaining a 22 round season, however it would simply take longer to cycle through all the teams you play twice in any given season. At that time there might also be an argument to reduce the number of games to 20 - play everyone once plus your pairing, reducing complexity. Increasing to 24 or 26 games would complicate this approach, without making it impossible.
I cannot see why we can't have a slightly longer season, starting a couple of weeks earlier and although part of the players EB, remove the mid season bye. Not sure it is possible but would like to see the top8 of the previous year play each other twice. Better quality games and a possible consequence is some different teams each year finishing in the bottom half of the eight. I think currently there are rightly some questions about the integrity of the draw each year.
 

chopperduck

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I'd say don't care and rather push for big clubs at Gabba & hope Vic members suck up being screwed over time & time again.

You know what, you're right. The club has complete control, and just dgaf about the Victorian members. The definitely just sit in at board meetings all laughing evil laughs when Vic membership numbers are looked at. AFL would totally give us the games we deserve if only the club just tried harder.
 

Pacman82

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I cannot see why we can't have a slightly longer season, starting a couple of weeks earlier and although part of the players EB, remove the mid season bye. Not sure it is possible but would like to see the top8 of the previous year play each other twice. Better quality games and a possible consequence is some different teams each year finishing in the bottom half of the eight. I think currently there are rightly some questions about the integrity of the draw each year.
Many at the AFLPA agree apparently, I'm hearing some're calling for a shortened pre-season period & a slightly longer Premiership Season.
 

Lazza16

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I think the club can do more to control the narrative to an extent. For example, this year Swanny told the Roar Deal they asked to not play in Ballarat in 2022. Now, don't get me wrong, I went to the Ballarat game this year, and it was a rubbish day, cold, miserable, windy, rained on and off, all the reasons I moved from Tassie. And we played the ground poorly. So I completely get why we want to avoid playing there.

But when you come out and say "we don't want to play at X" you also forfeit the right to trot out the "any time, anywhere" line.

We'd have been better off saying to the AFL, as one of our 3 allowed requests, "7 away games in Melbourne thanks". Now, we're never gonna get 7, but if we walk the line well enough, we might get 6 plus Geelong, or 5 at worst. We might still get Ballarat, but we're also getting our Melbourne games, and it means we're less likely to get things like 2 trips to Perth.

And in any case, we didn't get Ballarat so instead they gave us Launceston in May and Canberra in July. I've been to Canberra in July and trust me, if they make it a night game it will be a hell of a lot worse than Ballarat in April.
I played in Canberra for 13 yrs and training at 730 pm was fun.....no feeling in fingers omg. AFL don't give a damn.
 

Slax

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You know what, you're right. The club has complete control, and just dgaf about the Victorian members. The definitely just sit in at board meetings all laughing evil laughs when Vic membership numbers are looked at. AFL would totally give us the games we deserve if only the club just tried harder.
Bit over dramatic, but club has just prioritised maximising Gabba revenue and dropped the ball completely on Vic members by giving no attention to them or anything they may want & its reflected in fixture
 

Gadzorks

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Wonder if we will get more Melbourne games when the Gabba is out of action.
 

T Rick

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Bit over dramatic, but club has just prioritised maximising Gabba revenue and dropped the ball completely on Vic members by giving no attention to them or anything they may want & its reflected in fixture
What is your evidence of the Club "dropping the ball completely..." Is this something you have insider knowledge about?
Maybe, just maybe we are just one of eighteen clubs and don't really have much influence on how the fixture unfolds - sure we get to put in requests as all clubs do but ultimately the fixture is an extremely complex exercise where all teams have some wins/losses. Our draw is so much better than what it used to be now that we are a high achieving team and to the best of my recollection, the allocation of games in Melbourne has always been less than ideal since the merger. I haven't looked up the records but if we were to look at post-merger allocation of games in Victoria, has it really varied that much from year to year?
Could we and our Victorian members be treated better in terms of the Merger Agreement - absolutely, but clearly it is not an AFL priority and never has been.
I empathise with our Victorian members and am so grateful I can get to the Gabba but I reckon dumping on the Club for the AFL disrespecting the merger agreement is misdirected angst.
 

Grasshopper17

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Bit over dramatic, but club has just prioritised maximising Gabba revenue and dropped the ball completely on Vic members by giving no attention to them or anything they may want & its reflected in fixture
And it will be further reflected by our dwindling supporter numbers at games in Melbourne over the next 10-15 years. Every fan we lose in Melbourne, from one generation to the next, is one we are never getting back.
 

Grasshopper17

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Wonder if we will get more Melbourne games when the Gabba is out of action.
From what I have heard on various Roar Deal podcasts over the last few months, it seems likely we will be spreading our home matches out between Gold Coast (probably 6-7), Springfield (for low drawing games against, say, Freo or the Giants) and Cairns. I guess the NT might be a chance but the Suns and Dees seem to have their teeth into that.

I would be surprised if we moved any home matches to Melbourne. Crowds would not be great - you would imagine we would play a non-Vic team there to ensure we had a decent home crowd advantage. If we did play a Vic team there our fans would most likely be in the minority, even for a "home" game. And unless we benefit financially from doing so (i.e. AFL/Vic government grants) I would think the travel burden would wear on the team too much over the course of a season.

Mind you, Cairns is just as far away from Brisbane as Melbourne, so who knows?
 

BangyBangy

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And it will be further reflected by our dwindling supporter numbers at games in Melbourne over the next 10-15 years. Every fan we lose in Melbourne, from one generation to the next, is one we are never getting back.

And the winner of the most over dramatic post ever goes to.....

Lighten up Grasshopper.

We are a young exiting team to watch with no shortage of emerging stars. Probably picking up more young fans due to our team & game style rather than losing them because of one or two less games per year not being in Melbourne.

As much as I would like more games in Melbs & am just a little shitty that we don't have that this year I'm not going to get negative about it.

Our club rocks.
 

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