AFL is on the decline - the younger generation is just not that into you

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RedV3x

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And therein lies the problem!

The coaching-initiated playing styles started to change way before the 90’s. It’s been an ongoing set of new laws and interpretations yearly for a long long time now thanks to coaches and the desire to win at costs.
I would hate to see what the AFL looked like without any changes to combat the changes in coaching.
 

Lavender Bushranger

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Can I add, as a formerly rusted on VFL/AFL supporter who played until aged 46, that I too am over this version of the rules. When you have games capable of being decided regularly by what I can best call non-football events (stepping one step sideways on the mark after over a hundred years of being able to do it / entering a so-called Protected Zone with zero impact on the player or the game) - you've lost me. Sorry, that is not footy, that becomes bloody mindedness.
I don't agree with this point.

I don't think the average punter understands just how critical fast ball movement is to winning games of football.

There used to be a sound grab on SEN when Voss was in the media after he left Brisbane as coach, where he said something along the lines of 'if you want to speed up the game and increase ball movement, then all you need to do is clamp down on the Man on the Mark and I guarantee you the game will speed up'. Or words to that effect.
The full version of his comment was that coaches exploit it and use it as a very effective tool to slow the team with the ball down - Not giving the ball back, Standing over the ball and not allowing the guy to pick it up, Creeping over the mark, And most importantly, cutting off the angles to prevent a fast play-on. Richmond take it a step further and take out a player off the ball in order to get the umpire to blow his whistle and stop play.

The protected zone is annoying, because some of the time it's just an accident that has no impact on the game. But most of the time, it's no accident at all. Coaches know exactly what they're doing by getting players and even runners to fill space and slow down ball movement.

It might be a s**t rule, along with the Stand rule, but without it the game reverts to a clogged up mess. Which is exactly how the coaches want it.


An example which the average punter would miss completely, was in Monday's game at the G in the last quarter with 17:38 left on the clock. Collingwood have been pressing and just gone Inside 50 about 5 times and Melbourne are hanging on. But they get a hack kick out of defence which Gawn marks. He then chips it to Petracca who plays on immediately with a handball to a runner, who kicks long to Spargo and Melbourne are on. They are away and very likely to get a shot at goal against the run of play. As per the screen shot below, they have Collingwood on toast:

1655340524453.png




1655341488690.png
But....Howe doesn't Stand. He sees Pickett sprinting to space on his own, and he comes forward and oversteps the Mark by at least 1m, which is just enough to make the Melbourne player hesitate, and he cuts off the quick one to Pickett over the top. Look where Howe crept to, and the impact it had on that play, at a very critical part of the game. Howe encroaching on the Mark killed that entire play for Melbourne.


1655340692803.png


Now I accept that some people don't like the Protected Zone and the Stand rules, that's fine. But for people to suggest that these encroachments are little insignificant things, is just naive and shows a lack of understanding of the modern game.
 
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greatwhiteshark

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The coaching-initiated playing styles started to change way before the 90’s. It’s been an ongoing set of new laws and interpretations yearly for a long long time now thanks to coaches and the desire to win at costs.
I would hate to see what the AFL looked like without any changes to combat the changes in coaching.

Dam those coaches trying to win, how dare they.

WTF do you want them to do? Here is something out of left field, what about giving the coaches some time to find a way so they can win?
We change rules yearly to fix up what we stuffed up the year before, 90% have achieved nothing other than making the sport a different sport.

How about if we change a rule then we give it 5 years for the coaches to sort out the game, they don't even get a chance to work on implementing a new rule when another is thrown at them.

I agree with you that coaches decide how the game is played, but that has always been the way, we went through the flood era and guess what other coaches found a way to combat that and win.

If we are going to have rule changes then let them sit for 5 years minimum, the AFL should say these are the rules for the next 5 years, there will be no change to any interpretations, rules, laws. The AFL rules committee will sit again in 5 years time to see how things are going. In that 5 years coaches will work out how to best get their team to play to win. Coaches have zero obligation to how the game looks, and by the way it is only the last 20 years that the look of the game has become an issue, you wither win or you lose as a fan, what else do you want?
 

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NYRB

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Funny you should mention the NBA as Basketballs popularity has grown in the Caribbean, and at the same time Cricket participation has declined there. I don't believe its a coincidence. Basketball is certainly the IT sport for a lot of young people around the world
This may sound like a strange thing to say

But having been to a couple of NBA games in the states before. Everything from the cheerleaders, players- they want the fans to be comfortable and be associated in some way with the club as much as possible. I think I have heard LeBron James say when they were in the bubble in 2020 during the playoffs, that he much rather play with the fans there and without the fans, the NBA isn't the same. I got the impression he meant the fans and NBA go hand-in-hand in making the product what it is.

As soon you ignore the fans, the fans slowly and gradually lose a connection with the game.
 

greatwhiteshark

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I wouldnt mind 16 on the field.

Open it up a bit.

Maybe increase interchange to 100 or bench to 4 or 5 a side to cover tired players.

25m rule replace 50m.

Get rid of the man in the area rule and umpire abuse.





On SM-G925I using BigFooty.com mobile app

So more rule changes, I reckon the rules committee should meet every4 weeks and 2 new rule changes should be applied every 4 weeks.
 

Phar Ace

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I don't agree with this point.

I don't think the average punter understands just how critical fast ball movement is to winning games of football.

There used to be a sound grab on SEN when Voss was in the media after he left Brisbane as coach, where he said something along the lines of 'if you want to speed up the game and increase ball movement, then all you need to do is clamp down on the Man on the Mark and I guarantee you the game will speed up'. Or words to that effect.
The full version of his comment was that coaches exploit it and use it as a very effective tool to slow the team with the ball down - Not giving the ball back, Standing over the ball and not allowing the guy to pick it up, Creeping over the mark, And most importantly, cutting off the angles to prevent a fast play-on. Richmond take it a step further and take out a player off the ball in order to get the umpire to blow his whistle and stop play.

The protected zone is annoying, because some of the time it's just an accident that has no impact on the game. But most of the time, it's no accident at all. Coaches know exactly what they're doing by getting players and even runners to fill space and slow down ball movement.

It might be a s**t rule, along with the Stand rule, but without it the game reverts to a clogged up mess. Which is exactly how the coaches want it.


An example which the average punter would miss completely, was in Monday's game at the G in the last quarter with 17:38 left on the clock. Collingwood have been pressing and just gone Inside 50 about 5 times and Melbourne are hanging on. But they get a hack kick out of defence which Gawn marks. He then chips it to Petracca who plays on immediately with a handball to a runner, who kicks long to Spargo and Melbourne are on. They are away and very likely to get a shot at goal against the run of play. As per the screen shot below, they have Collingwood on toast:

View attachment 1425157



View attachment 1425167But....Howe doesn't Stand. He sees Pickett sprinting to space on his own, and he comes forward and oversteps the Mark by at least 1m, which is just enough to make the Melbourne player hesitate, and he cuts off the quick one to Pickett over the top. Look where Howe crept to, and the impact it had on that play, at a very critical part of the game. Howe encroaching on the Mark killed that entire play for Melbourne.


View attachment 1425162

Now I accept that some people don't like the Protected Zone and the Stand rules, that's fine. But for people to suggest that these encroachments are little insignificant things, is just naive and shows a lack of understanding of the modern game.
Thank you for going to all that trouble, however, a few stills rarely tell the full story when it is a game of movement. I had turned off in the 3rd Qtr - something I used to rarely do. I'll attempt to have a look over the weekend.

The game depends massively on the balance between attack and defense. In a game that became heavily biased toward defense due to tactics like you and Voss have mentioned, speed and tiring became the weapons of mass interruption. Many, perhaps you too, think that fast and high scoring is the panacea for the game of Australian Football. For every action there is usually a similar reaction (sorry Newton) It's therefore stunning when all the pundits wet their pants over a lower scoring, highly absorbing game that doesn't run a break-neck speed.

If I had more time it would be good to cover this in some detail. It's not so much the Protected Zones and the Standing that is so problematic, it is their combination and efficacy at delivering the team with the ball genuine unfair advantage THE WAY THEY ARE INTERPRETED AND ADJUDICATED AT THE MOMENT. The resulting 50m penalty is like being taken out of a waiting line and put right up front and centre - often far outweighing any real disadvantage. The zone is too large, the Stand is too rigid penalty too severe and adjudicated by part-timers with not enough riding on their part in the play.

May GC and RFC have a great weekend!!!
 

RedV3x

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Dam those coaches trying to win, how dare they.
WTF do you want them to do? Here is something out of left field, what about giving the coaches some time to find a way so they can win?

I expect coaches to win and I applaud the intelligence to be innovative in coaching
but you cannot ignore the fact that coaches cause change and the AFL reacts to change.

We change rules yearly to fix up what we stuffed up the year before, 90% have achieved nothing other than making the sport a different sport.

No. Australian Football is essentially the kick & catch, run, tackle and handpass game it always was.
The way it visually presents itself has changed.

How about if we change a rule then we give it 5 years for the coaches to sort out the game, they don't even get a chance to work on implementing a new rule when another is thrown at them.

No - that is a bit of a joke. Coaches are constantly looking at game plans and new ideas.
You do realise that the rules committee consults with the coaches for ideas and feedback.

I agree with you that coaches decide how the game is played, but that has always been the way, we went through the flood era and guess what other coaches found a way to combat that and win.

Luckily, (winning) coaches realized that the old premise of getting the ball into attack quickly and not giving the defense a chance to settle - has always worked, but too many coaches minic basketball and are content arm-wrestle the whole game except for a sprint at the last few minutes.

If we are going to have rule changes then let them sit for 5 years minimum, the AFL should say these are the rules for the next 5 years, there will be no change to any interpretations, rules, laws. The AFL rules committee will sit again in 5 years time to see how things are going. In that 5 years coaches will work out how to best get their team to play to win.

No. Coaches are much more quick to react and change. They change almost instantly.
Also, Law changes tend to be long-term but interpretations tend to be very changeable.

Coaches have zero obligation to how the game looks,

Maybe they should. If coaching tactics impinge negatively on the appearance of the game and revenue contracts then there is less ability to pay coaches the high fees that they currently demand.

it is only the last 20 years that the look of the game has become an issue, you wither win or you lose as a fan, what else do you want?

No. It simply depends how far you look back.
The game looked absolutely beautiful with the drop kick, stab kick and spiral punt.
The game was positional but coaches always new moving the ball quickly into the forward line was essential.
The demise of the drop kick, stab kick and spiral punt was compensated by the quick movement by hand of the ball.
The game started to slow down with the stop & prop style of play but we still had the key positional player and the key full-forward. Since then we had the development of possession football, flooding and the wall and seen the demise of the key positional player and the key full-forward.

If you really, really, really want AFL to return to "good old day" then you must take the next quantum step and introduce zones and then you could remove these "patches".
The 6/6/6 starting positions law has shown the potential.
 

RedV3x

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If I had more time it would be good to cover this in some detail. It's not so much the Protected Zones and the Standing that is so problematic, it is their combination and efficacy at delivering the team with the ball genuine unfair advantage THE WAY THEY ARE INTERPRETED AND ADJUDICATED AT THE MOMENT. The resulting 50m penalty is like being taken out of a waiting line and put right up front and centre - often far outweighing any real disadvantage. The zone is too large, the Stand is too rigid penalty too severe and adjudicated by part-timers with not enough riding on their part in the play.

I basically agree with this.
If you look at football other than AFL then there is absolutely no need for this law change.
Maybe changing interpreting "play-on" from just two steps to three would have achieved the same result.
 

Lavender Bushranger

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Thank you for going to all that trouble, however, a few stills rarely tell the full story when it is a game of movement. I had turned off in the 3rd Qtr - something I used to rarely do. I'll attempt to have a look over the weekend.
The stills aren't a great insight, but I used them as I couldn't insert the video from the 17:32 minute mark to demonstrate my point.
 

Lavender Bushranger

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I basically agree with this.
If you look at football other than AFL then there is absolutely no need for this law change.
Maybe changing interpreting "play-on" from just two steps to three would have achieved the same result.
I 100% guarantee that if the rule was '2 Steps', which could be considered logical and reasonable to allow some leeway to players - unfortunately coaches would exploit it. Within a fortnight you'd have players stretching two of the biggest steps you've ever seen, to slow down play. They'd be doing ballerina moves to exploit the loophole if '2 Steps'.

This would happen. Fact.

Coaches, true to form would exploit it despite the spirit of the game.
 

RedV3x

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I 100% guarantee that if the rule was '2 Steps',

The law was interpreted as "two steps". I don't know the exact wording but that's the way it was interpreted.
Hence, "Maybe changing interpreting "play-on" from just two steps to three would have achieved the same result."
 

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Lavender Bushranger

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The law was interpreted as "two steps". I don't know the exact wording but that's the way it was interpreted.
Hence, "Maybe changing interpreting "play-on" from just two steps to three would have achieved the same result."
I may have misread your post.

However my point was basically that regardless of how rules are worded and interpreted, the coaches will very quickly find a way to exploit and clog the game up.
 

RedV3x

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However my point was basically that regardless of how rules are worded and interpreted,

The most controversial law is not policed (as there is no room for interpretation}, as it is written in that a player must immediately dispose or attempt to dispose of the ball when tackled.
The law is clear.

the coaches will very quickly find a way to exploit and clog the game up.

Yes, in defence, until a coach works a way to get around the defence.
For example, once "play-on" has been called the player on the mark can be blocked.
I liked Gerald Neesham's approach - don't handball to a second player over the opposition but get the second player to block the opposition - less to go wrong.
 

Leeda

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shush... you are all being terribly reverential... we don't care.. we don't want you to * up...
but we all say you are full of bullshit..
 

JoondalupJ

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I presume your rant is in response to my statement "to the AFL's credit the AFL is still growing and expanding".
The AFL is still growing and expanding in NSW and Qld.
Australian Football is growing and expanding overseas mainly due to the hard work of volunteers but the AFL
has/has had various projects with varying results.
AFLX is the only attempt to cater specifically for an international market that I know of.
Never assume. I see where the free kick has overtaken the sport to almost equal over take the number of scores.

I watch unbelievable little incidental touching and some umpire (ONE Of THE "THREE" on the ground) runs in from miles
away and pays some obscure free kick, sometimes the player misses the sit, and I always think its self guilt for the free kick and miss, that causes it, ha ha ha ha. Probably not, but you see something every week, and what is as plain as the nose on your face is that, free kicks and 50's and the umpiring rule committee gathering of overkill adjudicators has taken the game over.

Now I'll assume something , gambling is a poison on sports, all over the world, and it is also a promoter of the AFL's corporate fanatical engagement, with money and television companies.The game is getting so grey only one time dowe need to see someone get caught like the senator in the Godfather and the dead girl if you remember? A bit far fetched but that is how criminals all over the world manipulate sports they have insiders they put in their pocket, call it what you like this comment, over fancified, or what ever you may think , the in your face fact is, as well as free kicks ruling the sport now, even though the football still has some really good parts of it, the betting side of this grey ruled game, is deadly open to fixing!

Now I hear on a pod, David King say that someone or maybe he suggested it , we make last man touching the ball, gets freed against him, for deliberate no matter what????

So what is that? Another way to add another 20 or 30 free kicks to the stop start whistle wrecking flow on of our game.

What about the pedantic s of umpires who when a player takes off (not that often now because of advantage) but because someone was 20cm off his or over his mark the man with the ball has to come back delaying any forward advantage movement even by the bloke with the free kick, how close do you watch games, I mean more than one a weekend.
There is so much free kicking given out by insignificant rulings slammed home by some zealous umpires that the umps should get a kick every week
themselves!

You know, at least one shot on goal each week for the three field umpires, especially when some stupid overkill rule puts a player 15 feet out from his goal, the ump should get that kick, thats how absolutely over the edge beyond the pale the bleeding free kicks have gone.
The weekmy mob beat Brisbane, a little while back I saw both sides crucufied by things Ihad no idea for, even a unbelievable 50 tothe Hawks that day, I
stand baffled , and that was the 63 free kicks day. Its stop start its free kick mashed , and it is running too many clubs.

So never assume I won't write a book to make a point, heh.
But I mean what I say or ? Is that what I see. The AFL has a lot to answer for and should be reviewed and have massive changes to its administration, fancy putting Scott in the rules chair. Then weget dissent rules for gods sake. Any wonder the thing is failing.
 

JoondalupJ

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The most controversial law is not policed (as there is no room for interpretation}, as it is written in that a player must immediately dispose or attempt to dispose of the ball when tackled.
The law is clear.



Yes, in defence, until a coach works a way to get around the defence.
For example, once "play-on" has been called the player on the mark can be blocked.
I liked Gerald Neesham's approach - don't handball to a second player over the opposition but get the second player to block the opposition - less to go wrong.
Gerard liked the short game too and all crew moving forward, but turn it over and your dead.

Why when still you see empty forward and half forward areas, are there not more fast breakers , from big kickers which we see now, more big kicks but very rarely a fast breaker to hit an empty goal, with so much crush of player numbers there has to be chances for smarties not many take it.

But if we are going to change to fouls etc in our "footy" now may as well have a fast break set up too?
 

JoondalupJ

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That's one reason. Most teams offer student discounts/prices so they can pack the stands. It creates a more lively atmosphere, too. This may be judgmental to say, but in my experience, people who can afford the $400-500 price tag aren't as rowdy or crazy and they have an expectation on what the stadium/beverages/food/atmosphere/game day experience should be. They expect value for their money that goes well beyond just the game. When I first started going to Packer games in the early 90's the atmosphere was electric. We were ripping off the bottoms of our paper beer cups and using them for microphones to cheer, banging on the seats, yelling and high fiving. By the early 2000's you could see things were changing. People were starting to get warnings for yelling and cheering. People started to complain when a group of people were being rowdy. Now, there is a line that can get crossed, so I'm not advocating for a free-for-all, but trust me when I say it was a clear change in atmosphere. By the 2010's I didn't really enjoy going to games as much. I wanted to stand up and cheer, but instead it became more of a production, a show. This is actually what drove me to footy back in 2011... I was looking for an alternative to what the NFL had become. I find footy refreshing (although a bit imperfect at times, but then again, what league isn't) and eventually the game will mature past the vic-centric nature of things (which is very apparent to my friends and wife over here) to be a true national comp. When the NFL merged with the AFL back in the 1960's there was a similar biased view against the AFL (American football league). Totally normal. But I digress... lol

On a totally different, but related note, I hear some footy fans say that they want to players salaries to be made public. Trust me, this is a TERRIBLE idea. Once this happens, you going to have players saying, "Player X is getting $xxxx, I want more than him." This just drives up salaries when a player can negotiate in public. As player wadges increase, so do ticket prices, beer prices, and everything else. I hope AFL never makes salaries public (not that it affects me anyway since I'll probably never be able to go to a game).
To experience what we used to like those 500 dollar folk you have to have the five hundred dollars, many years ago Iwent to an AFL footy match with my son, had a pie and a coke then a beer or two. A hot dog and I am talking 20 years ago, costme about $150 bucks, and I couldn't afford it, but we split it, had two beers in the pub after that was it, game was Good.
 

gaelictiogar

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Every expression of unique culture worldwide is under threat from globalisation and the globalised and largely commercially driven world kids live in. Remember they do not live in Australia.

They live on Insta and tiktok and on gaming devices. That is where they live. We really have to understand this. If Paris St Germain or Manchester United or the Golden State Warriors arrived in Melbourne tomorrow there would be pandemonium looking for tickets as there would be in any city on earth since hey the characters on the gaming devices are in town. This is just a modern fact of life and is inescapable and inevitable.

What sports do they mostly see on these devices? Basketball and soccer so they become passive consumers of product built around these sports. It is very hard to compete against that. The AFL does as good a job as any.
 

Mr Magic

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I was born in the 70s and I lived for footy.

I played as often as I could, and I listened to games on the radio, watched highlights and was generally engaged with my club, obsessed even. I was in the majority as well, most kids my age, most people I knew, even older where the same.

Nowadays, with kids, even adults under say 25, that level of commitment and engagement is the exception, not the rule.

Most people take it or leave it as far as the AFL goes, some have a passing interest, I would put it to you that most people do not really care.

I feel like the glory days of the AFL are over. Crowds when you compare apples with apples over time will decline, and ratings will continue to go down as well. This is especially true with these two things when you adjust for population growth.

The AFL is in trouble, maybe not now, but in the future this comp will be battling, and the reason is that rusted on supporters are a dying breed. Plastic corporates like Gil running the show do not help either just quietly.

could be something in ti
 

HPKS

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Every expression of unique culture worldwide is under threat from globalisation and the globalised and largely commercially driven world kids live in. Remember they do not live in Australia.

They live on Insta and tiktok and on gaming devices. That is where they live. We really have to understand this. If Paris St Germain or Manchester United or the Golden State Warriors arrived in Melbourne tomorrow there would be pandemonium looking for tickets as there would be in any city on earth since hey the characters on the gaming devices are in town. This is just a modern fact of life and is inescapable and inevitable.

What sports do they mostly see on these devices? Basketball and soccer so they become passive consumers of product built around these sports. It is very hard to compete against that. The AFL does as good a job as any.
And how does this happen? By building a connection. Our local community connection is horrendous but it ain’t that bad compared to our digital connection. AFL.com a joke, a drunk co hosting the nightly AFL show, video games non existent, old fools going on about knocking someone out like it’s good during pre or post game etc and I could go on.

The game has no connection to our youth because administrators have got lazy & it’s run by a bunch of dinosaurs living in the past. It’s easy money.

Oh let’s not forget that a player because he took a phone onto the ground is getting ahead of himself. 😂😂😂

They do a s**t job. A blind monkey could run our game.
 

Lavender Bushranger

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What sports do they mostly see on these devices? Basketball and soccer so they become passive consumers of product built around these sports. It is very hard to compete against that. The AFL does as good a job as any.
But this is where the AFL have erred.

They have changed the game as a whole to target the 'passive consumer'. That's fine, it's a lucrative customer base - but they've done it at the expense of the diehard, rusted on, emotionally attached footy fan.

They've taken these battlers for granted.

And that's a problem for two reasons...

The battlers are dying off. Figuratively and literally.

And....the AFL is a pathetic excuse for an entertainment product compared to the NBA and other comps across the globe.
 

RedV3x

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Every expression of unique culture worldwide is under threat from globalisation and the globalised and largely commercially driven world kids live in. Remember they do not live in Australia.

You talk as if this is something new.
Soccer and then basketball has been pumped up and settled down.
It works bothways with NFL having a large presence in Europe.
AFL unfortunately doesn't have the critical mass.
 

NYRB

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To be fair the essendon v saints last quarter last night was quite an entertaining quarter

An area where I think the AFL probably need to look into again, now that covid is out of the way is to look to grow the game possibly even off shore again.

1655529544331.png


The law was introduced in 2016. I think thats the rule where 50 metre penalties get paid the most. Often opponents are trying to get out of the way. I think we should abolish it, maybe something along the lines of you have to leave within a time frame or move immediately after a whistle.
 

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