How long does the AFLW season need to be?

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Caputo

Team Captain
Dec 5, 2011
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I have a left field view where they are randomly drawn and depth can vary from year to year. I do not want geographical but 7 groups of 2 where rivals are drawn in each group and a crossover derby or rival match. Drawn like a cup knock out Example

1. Melbourne and Western Bulldogs (Pre AFLW)
2. Carlton and Collingwood
3. Geelong and North Melbourne Tasmania Kangaroos (Expansion)
4. Brisbane and Gold Coast
5. Fremantle and West Coast Eagles
6. Richmond and St Kilda
7. Adelaide and GWS (no rivals but waiting for Port and Sydney)

The only dud pair in 2020 was Fre/WCE but this should even out.
 

Teen Wolf

Premiership Player
Jul 5, 2011
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Interesting idea for an 18 team, 11 game Home and away season Teen Wolf.

Each week there would be once cross conference game so by the end of the first 9 rounds the last 2 matches (rounds 10 and 11) are fixtured according to the principles you talked about (conference standings excluding inter conference games) taking into account which 3rd the Round 1-9 cross conference opponent was ranked in.

That way you don’t need 2 byes per week and an extra week for the season because of an uneven number of teams in each conference.

I would personally prefer 14 teams, 13 rounds by 2023 or 2024 before expanding to 18 teams, 13 rounds and gradually increasing to 17 games by a defined endpoint this decade.
I go back-and-forth on the bye issue because I know one less game per week means one less crappy timeslot that has to be filled. And on the other hand, well, we already know why byes suck.

Make no mistake TTH, the only thing I'd prefer more than 13 rounds in a 14-team league would be 17 rounds in an 18-team league, for the women's and men's competitions... but who's signing off on that?
This is why conferences are based on the proceeding years results.

In any case, an arbitrary geographic divide doesn't seem any more valid that any other way iof dividing up the conferencs.
Basing the conferences on results in the previous year doesn't even work though, in terms of creating a balanced competition. Plus, it makes it pretty hard to follow who's in what conference each season, even for dedicated supporters.

But it's not arbitrary to have the amount of travel between teams and conferences as even as possible. Under the current system (and putting aside potential pandemic-related circumstances), Brisbane would be the only non-Vic team in Conference A next year. Totally unfair on them and likely to artificially hurt their performance, which then throws 2022's conferences further out of wack.
The issue is, the NFL system evolved out of the different leagues that ultimately created the NFL. These leagues had different strengths, especially initially, so some conferences being stronger us accepted as part of that.

In the AFLW, (and the AFL if it ever goes down that route), this isn't the case. If one conference becomes much stronger or weaker, people will go apeshit.
I have a small but nagging reserve of optimism that it comes down to execution. However, for the most part, it definitely does seem like new concepts are automatically more susceptible to criticism, which does kinda put the AFL in a difficult lose-lose situation for a lot of issues.
 

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eastfreo75

Brownlow Medallist
Feb 11, 2011
10,162
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pakenham
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Fremantle
I have a left field view where they are randomly drawn and depth can vary from year to year. I do not want geographical but 7 groups of 2 where rivals are drawn in each group and a crossover derby or rival match. Drawn like a cup knock out Example

1. Melbourne and Western Bulldogs (Pre AFLW)
2. Carlton and Collingwood
3. Geelong and North Melbourne Tasmania Kangaroos (Expansion)
4. Brisbane and Gold Coast
5. Fremantle and West Coast Eagles
6. Richmond and St Kilda
7. Adelaide and GWS (no rivals but waiting for Port and Sydney)

The only dud pair in 2020 was Fre/WCE but this should even out.
14 game season would be great.

Final 6 knock out comp

First round
A. 3 v 6
B. 4 v 5

Second Round
C. 1 v winner of Game B
D. 2 v winner of Game A

Third Round
E. Winners games C and D.
 

master bate

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Aug 13, 2006
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The first things to do are to shift to spring and to cut the number of teams back to 8 and vastly improve the standard of the game. Once that happens then the comp can be stretched to 14 rounds and 2-3 rounds of finals.

Aiming to get to 18 teams and being beholden to men's clubs is just lazy. Short term sugar fix to get crowds and allegiances but it is costing the clubs character and soul at growing from the community level up. Obviously the finances would take a hit but if you started all new teams at the semi pro level now and targeted a new audience you'd be able to then cater to and grow that audience.

AFL clubs pushing AFL standard training on to women with no experience in the game is just a recipe for injuries at the moment.
 

Teen Wolf

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Jul 5, 2011
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The first things to do are to shift to spring and to cut the number of teams back to 8 and vastly improve the standard of the game. Once that happens then the comp can be stretched to 14 rounds and 2-3 rounds of finals.

Aiming to get to 18 teams and being beholden to men's clubs is just lazy. Short term sugar fix to get crowds and allegiances but it is costing the clubs character and soul at growing from the community level up. Obviously the finances would take a hit but if you started all new teams at the semi pro level now and targeted a new audience you'd be able to then cater to and grow that audience.

AFL clubs pushing AFL standard training on to women with no experience in the game is just a recipe for injuries at the moment.
The amount of players on a current list with no experience in the game is miniscule. If you can't grasp such a simple point, it's not even worth bothering to respond to the rest of that drivel.
 

master bate

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Aug 13, 2006
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The amount of players on a current list with no experience in the game is miniscule. If you can't grasp such a simple point, it's not even worth bothering to respond to the rest of that drivel.
The first TAC cup season was 5 games in 2017. It's really only the girls drafted last year who had a chance at 2 proper elite level girls competition seasons and even then it's likely that they didn't play footy all the way through from 12-18 at any decent level.

Melbourne's best team from last year still had a couple of basketballers, 2 Irish girls brand new to the game and a couple of soccer converts in Newman and Cordner. And it would've had a whole lot more if list expansion didn't see the grid iron player, the beach flags girl and the ultimate frisbee player move clubs.

It's not a knock on them, it's just a reality that the comp went all in on elite athletes and fitness development before the junior game caught up, which won't be helped by this years lost NAB league season either.

Cut the number of teams and there won't be such a focus on the athletes and the proper footballers will shine, which in turn means the games feature a lot more skill. It's a tackle and pressure fest at the moment - similar to the men's game - because too many sides lack skilled players who can get out of traffic and create space.
 

Teen Wolf

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The first TAC cup season was 5 games in 2017. It's really only the girls drafted last year who had a chance at 2 proper elite level girls competition seasons and even then it's likely that they didn't play footy all the way through from 12-18 at any decent level.

Melbourne's best team from last year still had a couple of basketballers, 2 Irish girls brand new to the game and a couple of soccer converts in Newman and Cordner. And it would've had a whole lot more if list expansion didn't see the grid iron player, the beach flags girl and the ultimate frisbee player move clubs.

It's not a knock on them, it's just a reality that the comp went all in on elite athletes and fitness development before the junior game caught up, which won't be helped by this years lost NAB league season either.

Cut the number of teams and there won't be such a focus on the athletes and the proper footballers will shine, which in turn means the games feature a lot more skill. It's a tackle and pressure fest at the moment - similar to the men's game - because too many sides lack skilled players who can get out of traffic and create space.
I'm struggling to see how the small contingent of Irish players have in any way hurt the quality of the competition, overall they've been brilliant. And the likes of Kate Hore and Aliesha Newman... gee, what a burden they've been.

First you brought up the point about those players as a reason for injuries, now you're saying the problem with them is they aren't highly skilled footballers. As somebody who pays decent attention to the league, I know both claims are ridiculous.
 

jatz14

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The first TAC cup season was 5 games in 2017. It's really only the girls drafted last year who had a chance at 2 proper elite level girls competition seasons and even then it's likely that they didn't play footy all the way through from 12-18 at any decent level.

Melbourne's best team from last year still had a couple of basketballers, 2 Irish girls brand new to the game and a couple of soccer converts in Newman and Cordner. And it would've had a whole lot more if list expansion didn't see the grid iron player, the beach flags girl and the ultimate frisbee player move clubs.

It's not a knock on them, it's just a reality that the comp went all in on elite athletes and fitness development before the junior game caught up, which won't be helped by this years lost NAB league season either.

Cut the number of teams and there won't be such a focus on the athletes and the proper footballers will shine, which in turn means the games feature a lot more skill. It's a tackle and pressure fest at the moment - similar to the men's game - because too many sides lack skilled players who can get out of traffic and create space.
For some reason, the AFL has hyped cross over players. But it often ignores the fact that for many of these 'cross over' players, footy was always their number 1 sport, they weren't playing it because they wanted a sport career pathway, and footy didn't have one. Ash Brazil is a cross over player. She got in trouble in WA, because she played a season in the WAFLW under a fake name so Netball didn't find out, and won best first year player (which was awarded under her real name). She was the best first year player because she always played, unofficially. Could kick, mark, handball, understood the game, was athletic and had good spatial awareness from netball. Regarding her in the AFLW as a 'rookie cross over player' was stupid.

Conway from Brisbane was talked up as a cross over from hockey, where she was in the junior Australian team. What was frequently not mentioned was she was also in the U16 and U18 Queensland footy team. How can a national junior footy player be a 'cross over' athlete?

Phillips as has been frequently mentioned, was regarded as one of the best 14 year old footy players in the country when she had to quit to go to basketball.

Very few cross over players came to footy with no background in it, or understanding off it. Collingwoods Layton is one of the few that come to mind. Even the players with no formal connection to footy usually have extensive informal connections, playing it at school with the boys, or family and friends. Chloe Malloy switched from Basketball to footy in the NAB cup, and immediately became one of the best juniors in Victoria. Because she understood the game well, and was well versed in the skills, even if she hadn't played many formal games.

It seems the AFL liked talking up cross over athletes, as it created an impression that women all over the country were clambering to play footy. It also gave the impression that someone who didn't know what footy was could just walk into the AFLW and become a star, which is far from the case.
 

jatz14

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The first TAC cup season was 5 games in 2017. It's really only the girls drafted last year who had a chance at 2 proper elite level girls competition seasons and even then it's likely that they didn't play footy all the way through from 12-18 at any decent level.

Melbourne's best team from last year still had a couple of basketballers, 2 Irish girls brand new to the game and a couple of soccer converts in Newman and Cordner. And it would've had a whole lot more if list expansion didn't see the grid iron player, the beach flags girl and the ultimate frisbee player move clubs.

It's not a knock on them, it's just a reality that the comp went all in on elite athletes and fitness development before the junior game caught up, which won't be helped by this years lost NAB league season either.

Cut the number of teams and there won't be such a focus on the athletes and the proper footballers will shine, which in turn means the games feature a lot more skill. It's a tackle and pressure fest at the moment - similar to the men's game - because too many sides lack skilled players who can get out of traffic and create space.
The guy responsible for TAC/NAB cup in Victoria was of the opinion, if you were concerned with quality, go for the maximum number of teams as fast as possible. If I recall, he wanted 18 straight away.

Having 18 teams is going to get you to a comp with enough talent for 18 elite teams far faster than having 6 or 8 teams will. So suck up the first few years with weaker comps, and go for it.

In WA, if you were going to wait for Freo to develop enough talent to have a second team, you would be waiting a long time imop. If you want WA to be able to field 2 strong teams, you need to bring the Eagles in as early as possible, even if it means they struggle. Because the Eagles have considerable resources, which even in Covid times, they are throwing at developing and unearthing talent.

The very fact the Eagles are in will possibly attract talent, as girls contemplating multiple sporting options, may well choose footy over other sports if they are mad Eagles supporters, and see playing for the Eagles as a possibility. And a Freo development squad is going to be concentrating on a squad big enough to suit its own needs, not expanding the comp for another club down the track.

South Australia is already an issue. They have expanded dramatically their female programs, but where do they go, with only 1 club? There is a reason about 4 or 5 SA players went interstate. Adelaide being a one horse town is going to start putting a break on player development in SA pretty soon imop. They cannot wait 5 years for Port, another couple at most.

The grid iron player also played footy before the AFLW (see previous post). Cordner came from a footy family background, I doubt playing in a footy team was the novelty you seem to think it was,
 

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