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

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Demonic Ascent

Bang! Bang bang bang!
Feb 21, 2006
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Sounds like a reasoned approach, but no, players play to the umpire so if you're only paying the obvious they're going to be "pushing the envelope"
so to speak and before you know it, you'll have an all-in brawl - guaranteed.
Like last night's game? 24 free kicks total compared to the 60+ in the Hawks/Lions game.
 

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greatwhiteshark

Brownlow Medallist
Oct 3, 2007
14,109
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You guys really should try umpiring at least once before you criticise.
I'd wager any amount of money you'd be a failure.

It would be a nightmare to umpire these days, my interpretation is different to yours which is different to the other umpires.
Was quite a simple game to umpire once until the AFL interfeered in it and changed the actual sport.
Aussie rules is very simple game to umpire, unfortunately we let that sport die.
 

greatwhiteshark

Brownlow Medallist
Oct 3, 2007
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Was footy at lunchtime ever common, at my school AFL was the number 1 sport by far but no one played at lunch. Too hard to organise then too many rules then by the time you ate lunch and pissed around there wasnt long left anyway. Handball was king, I love that game so much. Someone should start a handball league for adults

Was very common when I went to school late 70's early 80's. dings on Aussies we would play every lunch time. Was serious as hell and was a terrific grounding. They would never let it happen these days.
 

HavUEvaSeenTheRain

Norm Smith Medallist
Apr 20, 2006
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It would be a nightmare to umpire these days, my interpretation is different to yours which is different to the other umpires.
Was quite a simple game to umpire once until the AFL interfeered in it and changed the actual sport.
Aussie rules is very simple game to umpire, unfortunately we let that sport die.
Umpires have been maligned for their umpiring for as long as the game has been played
 

RedV3x

Premiership Player
Dec 14, 2015
3,856
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Fremantle
It would be a nightmare to umpire these days, my interpretation is different to yours which is different to the other umpires.

My interpretation is pretty close to what you see on the amateur paddocks.

Was quite a simple game to umpire once until

the coaches created new tactics and players continually exploiting the laws.
Whilst the game was far simpler last century it was far from perfect.
Aussie rules is very simple game to umpire, unfortunately we let that sport die.

Australian Football has a simple et of laws compared to most other sports.
It is probably easiest to umpire at state level where players are keen to impress.
It's extremely hard at AFL level because players are extremely good at pushing the envelope.
It's difficult at lower levels because an umpire has to be constantly on the lookout of dirty play.
Women's football is probably hardest to umpire because it so congested.

Australian Football isn't dying - one league is taking it in a direction different from the majority of football.
 

Kangapirate

Club Legend
Nov 27, 2012
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Was footy at lunchtime ever common, at my school AFL was the number 1 sport by far but no one played at lunch. Too hard to organise then too many rules then by the time you ate lunch and pissed around there wasnt long left anyway. Handball was king, I love that game so much. Someone should start a handball league for adults

We never played matches but we would play kick to kick every lunch time, pick 2 different teams and you‘d bomb it up in the air to them, kick spear passes etc. The team with the most marks would win. That was primary school early/mid 90s. High school late 90s/early 2000s I reckon soccer was more popular in the playground, footys would come out from time to time but nothing like before, to be honest that would be the differences between the schools and the demographics playing a bigger factor.
 

JoondalupJ

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Oct 9, 2006
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The point is not that we desire the game to be more "damaging" or more hard or whatever.

It's that we want it to be far, far less "policed". We want them to let the players play, and for the natural state and true brilliance of the game to be left to show itself, rather than perpetually being artificially and often arbitrarily disrupted and decided by umpires with horrible game sense.

The rules are in desperate need of simplification and streamlining, to create a sport that is logically coherent. At the moment the game is weighed down by a million ridiculous tedious technicalities and distinctions that achieve next to nothing. It's a broken mess of its former self.
Well said, exactly the problem! The complication of our sport is horrendous, but we still get to see some good football until an umpire calls some insignificant tiny penalty and stops the flow of game, sometimes to the detriment of the team getting the free. The free kick over kill, changes outcomes!
It was never meant to.
 

JoondalupJ

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Oct 9, 2006
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My interpretation is pretty close to what you see on the amateur paddocks.



the coaches created new tactics and players continually exploiting the laws.
Whilst the game was far simpler last century it was far from perfect.


Australian Football has a simple et of laws compared to most other sports.
It is probably easiest to umpire at state level where players are keen to impress.
It's extremely hard at AFL level because players are extremely good at pushing the envelope.
It's difficult at lower levels because an umpire has to be constantly on the lookout of dirty play.
Women's football is probably hardest to umpire because it so congested.

Australian Football isn't dying - one league is taking it in a direction different from the majority of football.
Last sentence has an easy comment , why do the"one league" as you call it have any right to change one fraction of the sport, they have no right.

Whats pushing the envelope at top level, they CAN'T PUSH ANYTHING!? Its like parking inspector overkill!

How is this over complicated new game as you say (one league going in another direction, so you do see that happening)

It shouldn't and that direction makes it damned hard to umpire, because the AFL has decided to TAKE IT IN ANOTHER DIRECTION INVENTED NEW FREES FOR THE WORSE!

Also a thing called perception is how rule calling works now,. happening in the mind of an umpire in instances that are a heart beat in time

The AFL created this by greying and fiddling with the rules. Those rules should have stayed black and white. So everyone is not talking umpiring and unfairness every week somewhere after a fixture.

Those who barely ever go near the subject, are the sycophants on FoxFooty, they can't say , see, pay packet too big.

There is a gigantic "WHY?" as to what the AFL = Demetriou and McLachlan, were trying to do, those years ago after Footscray and North Melbourne wouldn't move to QLD and NSW. Now it is just diluted with too many teams, and changing to something it shouldn't, over murdered free kick counts?

They can never be one hundred percent correct so they grey up the rules?????????????????????????????????? WHY?

The game is strong in the football playing sense, by individuals. But free kicks score as many goals as meritorious play, well! Actually frees kick more goals full stop.

Umpires make many mistakes, because their time frame is minuscule, they cannot change their mind, but the interpretations are all over the place and an umpires like all humans are all different. Even when trained to an absolute degree of OVER... efficiency. They are right on it are they not. Instantly.

Loaded up with so many different degrees of grey rules for the past 15 years or more , how did the zealots in the rule room not see what was happening.

The exact reason why the AFL should never have abused the game and created the confusion for all including players and umpires.

But they did change it and they have given it such a dangerous problem, because of perception calling, from individuals, all with different opinions in mind that make each ump have a huge amount of things that he/she can penalise!!!!!

Like ruck craft, and other unnecessary minor pointless things, introduced over recent years to become penalise worthy!

If you can't see how that could work the wrong way then you need to look at some other sports .
Black and white rules for a simple game is common sense, what is the AFL all about really????

Things !!! That have no bearing on a game as a penalty, yet create that"bearing on games" and change results, Hawks v Brisbane few weeks back 63 free kicks!!! WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You and I will never see the same way. So I am finished

I 've been raving on the rule changing many years on BF and it never gets better, and when misunderstood frees, from individual humans rules a sport my friend,.that is when corruption can begin, and crooked gambling if it sneaks its filthy head into this sport, well the AFL have made a clear path to cheating for money and for criminals.
But worse is the game has been turned into a basketball foul collision at pace game where some blokes nearly kill each other, at speed, tackling is either fine one minute then called out by another human with a whistle, like I said I am finished arguing I know what I've witnessed over the years, even as the great years of my Hawks went by, there were still dodgy penalties players had to try to get past, Hawthorn did it by Clarko inventing keepings off!

Hope you can understand that. If not too bad?
 

RedV3x

Premiership Player
Dec 14, 2015
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Last sentence has an easy comment , why do the"one league" as you call it have any right to change one fraction of the sport, they have no right.

Well until there is an independent body, then that is the case.
I've been calling for an independent body for decades with no support.
Can I put you down for an independent body?

P.S. another waste of effort. I didn't bother with your rant again.
 

Macca180

Senior List
Oct 5, 2021
233
276
Gold Coast
AFL Club
Brisbane Lions
Umpires have been maligned for their umpiring for as long as the game has been played

I could be wrong and it could just be me romanticising but I feel like umpires were less noticeable in the 80s and 90s... they didn't seem to have such an impact on the game/result. They just let it go more. There was less ticky touch bullshit.
 

HavUEvaSeenTheRain

Norm Smith Medallist
Apr 20, 2006
7,821
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I could be wrong and it could just be me romanticising but I feel like umpires were less noticeable in the 80s and 90s... they didn't seem to have such an impact on the game/result. They just let it go more. There was less ticky touch bullshit.
Personally I’d say the opposite. The game is so much more contested and scrappy now that you would expect there to be way more free kicks paid but there are actually less. There are over twice as many tackles laid these days and the pressure isn’t even comparable.
 

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Mootsy

Norm Smith Medallist
Mar 13, 2015
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The obvious thing i've noticed is how weak contested and uncontested marking skills are amongst many teams these days. How easily players drop marks, it just goes against the way the game used to be played and marketed for many decades as the league became a more defensive focussed spectacle. Punch the ball instead etc.

A mark is aways better than thumping the ball away unless you have a player with miles of space to gather the ball. A grab is a guaranteed possession and you can kick the ball 40 metres to advantage, always better and it's more fun to watch a marking focussed game then it is the ball being stranded in congestion.

The drop in marking skills and style is a big marketing loss for the overall game.

There are still big grabs! But you see so many players who are just poor at natural marking skills it makes you wonder if they not only don't practice it, or just flat out can't be bothered.

Then again, I go for Essendon so that probably doesn't help.
 

RedV3x

Premiership Player
Dec 14, 2015
3,856
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Fremantle
I could be wrong and it could just be me romanticising but I feel like umpires were less noticeable in the 80s and 90s... they didn't seem to have such an impact on the game/result. They just let it go more. There was less ticky touch bullshit.

Well there was less umpires for a start.
 

PrinceCharles

Premiership Player
Oct 18, 2016
3,829
8,238
AFL Club
Carlton
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.
Got any data for us?
 

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