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

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RedV3x

Premiership Player
Dec 14, 2015
3,856
1,042
AFL Club
Fremantle
I actually think that the AFL has been lucky Richmond and Melbourne have dominated in the last 5 years.

There was massive latent supporter base that re-engaged .

Numbers have been far better than they would have been given the fans long wait for success.

Swings and roundabouts. Look at the struggling well attended teams
 

Bjo187

All Australian
Apr 30, 2020
904
1,033
AFL Club
Essendon
The most frustrating free kick in football, the tackle from behind, player dives forward 'in the back'. I swear they must pay about 10 per game these days that are not even close to being in the back. Actually it's almost to the point where you can't tackle someone from behind.
 

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Trent the flight Steward

Premiership Player
Jul 30, 2006
3,503
3,094
Cessnock
AFL Club
Geelong
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.

View attachment 1426962

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.
I think it's needs to be redone to say only if it impeedes the player playing on a 50 should be paid.

The stand rule has to go. Our game is built on being ultra competitive, I would hope that instead that we outlaw zone defence, make it so you must have 4 players up each end of the ground and 4 in the fifty for a behind, drop rotations down to 40. Suddenly it's a better game
 

NYRB

Brownlow Medallist
Oct 6, 2011
13,832
5,302
Auckland, New Zealand
AFL Club
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I think it's needs to be redone to say only if it impeedes the player playing on a 50 should be paid.

The stand rule has to go. Our game is built on being ultra competitive, I would hope that instead that we outlaw zone defence, make it so you must have 4 players up each end of the ground and 4 in the fifty for a behind, drop rotations down to 40. Suddenly it's a better game
There needs to be some leniency. Some of them are 50:50 calls.

Just let it go I say.
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.

View attachment 1426962

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.
A couple of examples this round where it was penalised:

 

RedV3x

Premiership Player
Dec 14, 2015
3,856
1,042
AFL Club
Fremantle
The most frustrating free kick in football, the tackle from behind, player dives forward 'in the back'. I swear they must pay about 10 per game these days that are not even close to being in the back. Actually it's almost to the point where you can't tackle someone from behind.

Absolute rubbish.
The one area where the AFL's umpiring interpretation is now spot on is in fact tackling from behind.
You are allowed to tackle forcibly from behind if it done in a controlled manner. i.e. the player's face is not driven into the dirt.
In fact, if a player has had a long period of prior opportunity they seem to overlook a technically over-zealous tackle.
 

Rusty Brookes

Norm Smith Medallist
Aug 9, 2001
6,117
7,361
Preston
AFL Club
Hawthorn
Other Teams
Hawthorn, Manningham Cobras
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.

I know it's a sample size of one but my son is a dedicated gamer/kid of the digital age who loves his footy. Wants to get to every Hawthorn game he can, plays footy for a local team on the weekend. I think the lure of the digital age is a bit overstated - sure, he's aware of other sports but he doesn't get to participate (whether that's as a fan or a player) to the same extent in overseas sport as he does in local. The digital experience is still a poor substitute for the real thing.

The fact is a Manchester United playing in Australia is an event much in the same way the Rolling Stones playing a concert or WWE putting on a wrestling show is an event. Just because there would be a scramble for tickets doesn't mean that would be at the expense of AFL patronage.
 

JoondalupJ

Brownlow Medallist
Oct 9, 2006
12,982
4,917
Perth
AFL Club
Hawthorn
Other Teams
Perth Wildcats basketball
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.
No I don't think the AFL does as good a job as any. This will be long but read it.
I think the AFL took the greatest foot on field sport and massacred it, in a way they thought they could sell it overseas or in Rugby land. And I believe what they've done and their fancy ideas with Americanising the commentary, making so many rules with piddly little degrees of allowance, to complicate the hell out of our game, when what made our game so special and unique for about 20 million people, was lost in the fog of stop start over kill free kicks, umpires that instead of the old days when you could make jokes and not hate umps ,now you get so damned angry with the mistakes the misinterpretations, some called for finger nail touching, an opponent in a CONTACT HEAVY SPORT, where everyone who plays knows the risks.

Look two games this week I saw were good, Rich v Carl and the Bombers beating the Saints! T
hey came out of no where Essendon, they were good games and the frees were less I think, anyway , than normal, but the rules still stopped the game at times.
Umpires create scores in most games now!
The good parts are still fantastic the stopping, and that whistle, the stand bull-dust calls, asking Rucks to nominate??? Tiny accidental out on the full called when two players are battling for the ball and one accidently taps it over the boundary, free kick!
And the cowards game I call it, when kicking it out from a behind, always nearly 99.9 % of the time to the boundary, and how often does it come back.

The coward play is because there used to be a shortcut to your goal! It didn't always work but it was there, even the bloody commentators love it, when some team reverts to the centre, and takes risks, but then you have to have the capacity to be able to contest and contactman on man deadly down the centre forward attempts.
Players sometimes don't know whether they are tackling,bumping, punching, blocking
And hell, do you see shepherding now, the bloke being shepherded out just pulls up, "in case" of contact!

The other annoyance I've said stacks of times some players chase with their arms spread like they are guarding in basketball, why do they never cut the ring, run directly and lay as best they, can a good tackle, they can't and won't !
Its because of the rule changes THE TIGGY TOUCHWOOD (HOW MANY TIMES DOES SOMEONE US THAT TERM?) Why won't players close on a running player with the ball, if they are close enough.

So many piddly, easy count on your own possessions now. Blokes get by themselves around the boundary, their allowed to run off by themselves, like that horrid short pass from full back these days, a given. why don't players cover their man? Remember the days that Crawf used to get tagged and he'd run and break the heart of taggers most times, but he had to, because these blokes could chase and were hard fellas!

The major reason is the game has been watered down and diluted, castrated if you like, hell the AFLW belt each other more than the blokes.
And the blokes? Its collision that causes so many injuries, not good hip and shoulders or close checking or bumps that's the game.

So there it goes again, I rave about this changing of the game and I see it I don't make it up.
But the Dictatorship of the AFL who have indeed hijacked the sport, turned it, too clean!!
And yet, there is no free running because two blokes can have a scuffle up the ground (NORMAL FOOTY BEHAVIOUR) and some umpire will pull a bulldust free down the ground.

And I am talking scuffle, not a big Barry knock out punch, and we used to see that and its no good, but a tiny piddly weak little hows ya father, between two aggressive players off the ball, and the momentum is killed, the heading for goal is wrecked, or the defending team gets a free , for something happening 100m away, and someone gets maybe the other way around..... a shot on goal.
Because some smart umpire sees the retaliator in a nothing scuffle or a bloody jumper punch! Seriously AFL ?????????What the hell have you done?

THAT IS NOT MERITORIOUS FOOTBALL PLAYING, THAT'S FREE KICK BAITING AND RIDICULOUSNESS, AND IT CAN LOSE GAMES.
And players need to be able to vent frustration and contest and competition? Free up emotion , do umpires and the fools in the rule room understand that

But the bleeding AFL never listens, because the corporate influences in the one and only greatest sport on earth our GAME, is all they think about so they can make money. By selling crap like AFLX (they tried) what the hell did people think that was about????
What they do, is, ruin the sport, and they can't even put a team in Tasmania.

But they can pay for two plastic clubs to dilute the game and spoil it.
That is not about the teams the players or the coaches, they are fine! GC17 or GWS.

Its about the fact they even exist for me, to the detriment of traditional state clubs. We had to find already stretched numbers at elite level another 100 approx players to field two new teams coming out of the blue.

I've said this a million times since the rules began being fiddled and when the two new clubs were being brought up,(we know why that happened don't we and who?)
I got on big Footy in 2006 then I was complaining about the way rules and how umpires behaved to the letter. was wrecking our game.

Yet nothing is done the AFL should be investigated or reviewed as to what they are doing to the iconic Australian Rules game.

You see this is about the MANIPULATION, fiddling if you like, of rules!!!!!!! For nearly two decades, when the game flows, is let go, even now still we can see the best of the good things of footy, and love it.
Unfortunately it is spoilt by the multiplication of free kick numbers, THE stop start of the game, THE overkill whistle and nonsensical rules ,that create EVERY WEEK EVERY GAME...unfairness in, yes... every game every week now.

And I believe I have witnessed a free which was commented on by the game callers at the time, should it have been paid or not paid, to a club playing, that won that club a grand final. Debate to the end I don't care a rule that had more than one interpretation lost a game. A free or a mark, confusion??

I remember years ago complaining about the enjoyment of watching because the frees and the umpires were taking over the game not the actual football.

I said one day on BF someone will win a flag because of idiotic grey rules and a mistake.
You can debate that til the cows come home, I nearly choked on my beer. I don't follow either clubs , but some will know? Free kicks unless BLACK AND WHITE shouldnever win games. Ask Chris Fagan?

Our game is still the best in the world, but each year it is contaminated with some more stupid ideas, which the public at the ground and watching on TV are getting sick and tired of.
A blind AFL administrators, who just keep going, the stand rule is ok, but becomes extreme if an umpire hands a fifty for a
10cm mis-step. Nonsensical!
The worst thing is the dissent rule, umpires believe it or not get pretty good pay, if they can't handle the heat of elite competition and emotion then go umpire BLOODY CHESS games!
The ruck contest should be free of penalties at centre bounces!!! Probably all bounces/throw ins, ruck nominating is bullsh*t!!!!

Banning third man up as a tactic was purely unfair manipulation by the AFL, it is coaches who deal with their players who CAN'T deal with third man up
opposition tactics?
Can you imagine Australian rules footballers deciding whether to bump or tackle or hip and shoulder, in OUR game, even discussing a decision like that,
and in a split second of a moment and at time suspend players who are already in mid air or engaged and in motion?

I could go on I won't you are probably fed up , but I turn off my TV sometimes, really angry, I know others who like me when I was growing up and as an adult too in Melbourne fanatical, just don't follow anymore.

I know quite a few younger generation people, including two family members that do not even use membership to go to the footy, I watch more than one game every week. I have the time! now.

And I am not blind, what I see is what I see, and our game needs to be run by a new organisation, rather than privileged fat cats,
Good for them, lousy for the game!

Gambling, AND grey rules don't go well!
But ruination of a culture created by OUR sport, the best way on earth to have conflict is sport!
When an organisation does not carry out its obligation to those WHO PAY FOR THE GAME, then its time for a Kerry Packer typed set up.

And the AFL should be removed as the comp runner, A commission is needed, with football clubs people!!!!!

Not ex-football sycophants, out of football, who do what the pay cheque tells them to do and say!

What a horrid legacy for Mr Gil Mac ,that's what he'll leave behind!
 

NYRB

Brownlow Medallist
Oct 6, 2011
13,832
5,302
Auckland, New Zealand
AFL Club
GWS
Other Teams
Patriots, Golden State, Wildcats
They need to re-gig the 50 metre call when the attacking team "brings" an opposition player into the vacintity of the kicker and then peels off.
The easiest solution for me is this.


If your opponent is in the 'protected area' and your in the protected area, then the 50 metre penalty shouldn't be there. Guelfi on Friday night, and Macrae-Gulden incident earlier in the year, are examples of this.
 

RedV3x

Premiership Player
Dec 14, 2015
3,856
1,042
AFL Club
Fremantle
No I don't think the AFL does as good a job as any.

It's a pity you couldn't string a few cohesive sentences together to show your reasoning.
What major league has performed well in your opinion.
The NFL is down and participation is worryingly down.
The MBL is down big time.
It seems most of the big leagues overseas have problems.
Here in Australia, rugby and soccer are down, the AFL and NRL are Covid and weather affected.

In the longterm, the AFL established two AFL teams in N.S.W. and two AFL teams in Queensland.
The Swans and Lions are the biggest teams in town.
Participation is returning to normal and crowds are slowly returning to their previous levels.
 

JackFlash

Norm Smith Medallist
Jul 28, 2012
9,532
8,409
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AFL Club
Geelong
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When you have had a life threatening illness, part of the recovery is walking a lot. Today i went another route via a nearby Primary school at lunch time and as i walked past it was fiull of kids playing, throwing and kicking balls around. None of them had an Aussie Rules football, i counted 4 soccer balls and 12 basketballs and no kids having a kick to kick. Is this because Soccer and Basketball are non contact sports? When i was at school, it was footy all over the yard...The AFL have a problem and i'm not sure they realise it?
It very well might be true, the younger generation is just not that into you!
 

HPKS

Premiership Player
Apr 6, 2012
3,956
5,494
Perth
AFL Club
Sydney
When you have had a life threatening illness, part of the recovery is walking a lot. Today i went another route via a nearby Primary school at lunch time and as i walked past it was fiull of kids playing, throwing and kicking balls around. None of them had an Aussie Rules football, i counted 4 soccer balls and 12 basketballs and no kids having a kick to kick. Is this because Soccer and Basketball are non contact sports? When i was at school, it was footy all over the yard...The AFL have a problem and i'm not sure they realise it?
It very well might be true, the younger generation is just not that into you!
School footy at lunch time died decades ago
 

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Woolly Mammoth

Shinboner 'til I die
Sep 8, 2013
140
349
Parts Unknown
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North Melbourne
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Melb City, Palace, Celtic, Bengals
School footy at lunch time died decades ago

Yep, my last year in high school was 20 years ago, and kids almost exclusively played soccer, b-ball or 4-square at lunch time, and this was before the A-league even existed, the socceroos hadnt made a world cup in 30 years, and the NBL was a dead duck. I don't think lunch time footy being non existent is an accurate indicator of the AFL's popularity with gen Z.
 

HPKS

Premiership Player
Apr 6, 2012
3,956
5,494
Perth
AFL Club
Sydney
Yep, my last year in high school was 20 years ago, and kids almost exclusively played soccer, b-ball or 4-square at lunch time, and this was before the A-league even existed, the socceroos hadnt made a world cup in 30 years, and the NBL was a dead duck. I don't think lunch time footy being non existent is an accurate indicator of the AFL's popularity with gen Z.
Older people have no idea how the younger generations view footy. They still babble on about rule changes like it’s the reason the game isn’t popular amongst younger people, some come across as clueless. It’s a combination of a few things imo There’s no magic bullet. Administrators took it for granted that everyone would just follow the game because that’s what the old man did.

I finished high school a bit longer ago than that.
 

JackFlash

Norm Smith Medallist
Jul 28, 2012
9,532
8,409
Docklands
AFL Club
Geelong
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School footy at lunch time died decades ago
School footy at lunch time died decades ago
It's a concern, i suspect it has a lot to do with schools worried about "little Johnny" being hurt at lunchtime? Footy with the younger generation 6-12yrs old is in trouble
 

RedV3x

Premiership Player
Dec 14, 2015
3,856
1,042
AFL Club
Fremantle
It's a concern, i suspect it has a lot to do with schools worried about "little Johnny" being hurt at lunchtime? Footy with the younger generation 6-12yrs old is in trouble

Yes, football effectively banned in primary school.
Plus almost zero male staff and supervising kids is seen as a chore.
 

Jon Brown

Draftee
Mar 13, 2019
13
26
AFL Club
Brisbane Lions
Absolute rubbish.
The one area where the AFL's umpiring interpretation is now spot on is in fact tackling from behind.
You are allowed to tackle forcibly from behind if it done in a controlled manner. i.e. the player's face is not driven into the dirt.
In fact, if a player has had a long period of prior opportunity they seem to overlook a technically over-zealous tackle.
Strong disagree.

I spend a fair few games watching with new / potential new footy fans in Brisbane, usually people in their mid/late20s, and there's a lot of genuine excitement among new fans for the game. But I can tell you easily the biggest turn-off is umpire involvement, notably "safety" free kicks when there's no genuine concussion/injury risk. The vast vast majority of in-the-backs are players diving forward, or incredibly soft tackles with no chance of genuine harm done. 90% of the time it's an overly technical free that introduces (yet another) unnecessary complication into the rules, breaks the flow of play, confuses/annoys fans, and provides no genuine safety benefit. It should be reserved for genuinely dangerous tackles where a player's head is driven forcefully into the ground.

On another topic. The other turn-off/confusion is blocking - it's really clear to new fans that there's no logic as to why blocking should be outlawed in the game in some scenarios, but allowed in others (as in as a shepherd). I don't see how the game would be any less "interesting" if blocking in ruck/marking contests was perfectly legal - especially considering umpires miss what, 75% of blocks anyway, and players are actively coached to do it. If anything it would make the game much cleaner/less scrappy (more marks taken and more clean breakaways from stoppages), and would be one less rule for umpires to have to (inconsistently) enforce.
 

spenze

Turgid Member
Oct 16, 2011
13,163
31,727
AFL Club
Adelaide
The AFL can bring crowds back easy.

Happy Hour.

Say the hour before the game, $3 pints, let people load up with a skinful before settling down in their seats to watch the game. Even North might pack a stadium for once if they went that route
 

Farm Boy

Premiership Player
Dec 6, 2015
4,907
5,826
AFL Club
St Kilda
I think the younger generation still likes to watch the AFL on TV, but there is a lack of interest in attending games, and more importantly, playing the game, which affects grass roots football - which is on life support. The AFL want to bring in more teams and keep some other non-viable teams in the league, but the talent pool is no longer there. Football at a grass roots level is finishing up. It’s nearly done.


Sent from my iPhone using BigFooty.com
 

Macca180

Senior List
Oct 5, 2021
233
277
Gold Coast
AFL Club
Brisbane Lions
The most frustrating free kick in football, the tackle from behind, player dives forward 'in the back'. I swear they must pay about 10 per game these days that are not even close to being in the back. Actually it's almost to the point where you can't tackle someone from behind.

yep... spot on..

great chase down from behind by the tackler of course there is forward momentum... 'in the back' tackler not rewarded yet again. When the chase down from behind is a great part of the game.

In the back free kick was designed for 2 hands in the back push.

What is the tackler from behind supposed to do..pull the player backwards.

Couldn't agree with you more. It's god dame frustrating.
 

brutus76

Premium Platinum
Jul 26, 2016
3,772
5,167
Brisbane (VIC until 21, SA until mid 30's)
AFL Club
Essendon
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LFC, Brisbane Lions
Need to bring the ticket prices and food prices down to fill arenas

General Admission for Adults should be max $20 Seniors and students $15 kids $10

More sections should be made available GA especially for games that won't be sold out - say from 72 hours out to fill up seats
 

RedV3x

Premiership Player
Dec 14, 2015
3,856
1,042
AFL Club
Fremantle
I don't see how the game would be any less "interesting" if blocking in ruck/marking contests was perfectly legal

Then you haven't experienced rucking when interference in the ruck was actually policed.
Rucking then was an athletic feature of the game and still is when you have players like Nic Nat.

The idea of tackling is to restrain the player so as to win a free kick for holding-the-ball
not to do as much (legal0 damage) as you seem desire.
 

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