New system for AFL fixtures?

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blu_by_u

Draftee
Apr 7, 2013
18
108
AFL Club
Carlton
About eight years ago I came up with an idea for AFL fixtures, which I emailed to Gerard Whately who was then at the ABC, but never heard anything back. I was thinking about it again and thought maybe this is a good place to raise it.

It's a way to give all teams something to play for towards the end of the season, and also create better quality matches leading into the finals.

Rounds 1 to 18 involve each team playing every other team, plus one bye per team. After round 18, the top six, middle six and bottom six would be set in stone, although not the positions within each set of six.

Maybe at that point you have the second bye for each team, rather than after round 23? Maybe you launch the AFLW season then? Whatever.

Then during rounds 19 to 23, each set of six teams play against each other. The top six are trying to get double chances and home finals. The middle six are competing for the final two positions in the eight, and the bottom six are competing for a draft advantage of some kind. Maybe you don't just give the top draft pick to the bottom team, but to the best performing team in the bottom six. Or maybe an additional second or third round pick to the best performing bottom six team. Something. I'm not sure how it would look, but something.

This would mean that in the last month before finals, all games should theoretically be between relatively evenly matched sides, and many would have a direct bearing on the finals. For example, you wouldn't have Geelong playing West Coast at Kardinia Park in round 23, as is happening this week.

Another advantage is that it eliminates the unfairness of the current draw. The Cats play both West Coast and North twice this season, which gives them a huge leg-up.

Interested in any comments.
 
Last edited:

My_Username

All Australian
Jun 23, 2022
725
589
AFL Club
Gold Coast
About eight years ago I came up with an idea for AFL fixtures, which I emailed to Gerard Whately who was then at the ABC, but never heard anything back. I was thinking about it again and thought maybe this is a good place to raise it.

It's a way to give all teams something to play for towards the end of the season, and also create better quality matches leading into the finals.

Rounds 1 to 18 involve each team playing every other team, plus one bye per team. After round 18, the top six, middle six and bottom six would be set in stone, although not the positions within each set of six.

Maybe at that point you have the second bye for each team, rather than after round 23? Maybe you launch the AFLW season then? Whatever.

Then during rounds 19 to 23, each set of six teams play against each other. The top six are trying to get double chances and home finals. The middle six are competing for the final two positions in the eight, and the bottom six are competing for a draft advantage of some kind. Maybe you don't just give the top draft pick to the bottom team, but to the best performing team in the bottom six. Or maybe an additional second or third round pick to the best performing bottom six team. Something. I'm not sure how it would look, but something.

This would mean that in the last month before finals, all games should theoretically be between relatively evenly matched sides, and many would have a direct bearing on the finals. For example, you wouldn't have Geelong playing West Coast at Kardinia Park in round 23, as is happening this week.

Another advantage is that it eliminates the unfairness of the current draw. The Cats play both West Coast and North twice this season, which gives them a huge leg-up.

Interested in any comments.

Then people would whinge about how they played team X away while another team got to play them at home.

Some people are always going to sook about unfair things are. Changing things to suit them just means they'll whine about something else.

Unless there is a major issue, and a clear fix, then it's really pointless to appease them.


(nb. this applies to far more than just football)
 

Kwality

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Then people would whinge about how they played team X away while another team got to play them at home.

Some people are always going to sook about unfair things are. Changing things to suit them just means they'll whine about something else.

Unless there is a major issue, and a clear fix, then it's really pointless to appease them.


(nb. this applies to far more than just football)
Its easy to criticise with the benefit of hindsight & that makes no difference to the current results. Lessons learnt can be factored in to future fixturing IF the AFL want to - there are plenty of FIXes in the structure every year as we pay lip service to the home & away concept passed down from the State Leagues,where clubs had a home ground on which they trained.
Its 60 years since Richmond stopped playing home games at Punt Road, without a change, not to mention the role of home & away in the national comp.
 

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SuperVolley11

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Jun 2, 2011
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Another advantage is that it eliminates the unfairness of the current draw. The Cats play both West Coast and North twice this season, which gives them a huge leg-up.

Interested in any comments.

Geelong would still be on top of the ladder taking off the second games against both of these sides.

A change like your suggesting, completely changes the whole AFL. It’s not just a fixture, it’s contracts around home games, it’s stadium agreements, the draft. Until we move to a season where every team just plays everyone once we are always going to have issues. Even then it would be travel and who plays who where.
 

My_Username

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Jun 23, 2022
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Its easy to criticise with the benefit of hindsight & that makes no difference to the current results. Lessons learnt can be factored in to future fixturing IF the AFL want to - there are plenty of FIXes in the structure every year as we pay lip service to the home & away concept passed down from the State Leagues,where clubs had a home ground on which they trained.
Its 60 years since Richmond stopped playing home games at Punt Road, without a change, not to mention the role of home & away in the national comp.

Case in point.

They could bring in the change the OP suggested, and you (and others) would still be whining about travel, etc.

Some people are never going to happy, so it's not worth the effort of trying to make them so.


If you want to suggest a completely fair fixture, feel free. If you're just going to snipe from the sidelines about things that would 'just happen' to all benefit your club, what's the point?
 

blu_by_u

Draftee
Apr 7, 2013
18
108
AFL Club
Carlton
Thanks for the feedback.

I wasn't having a shot at Geelong or anybody else. The point was that ALL the top teams would only play the bottoms teams once and would play each other twice, resulting in better quality games leading into the finals. And I think a fairer fixture.
 

The 747

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Jan 19, 2008
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Thanks for the feedback.

I wasn't having a shot at Geelong or anybody else. The point was that ALL the top teams would only play the bottoms teams once and would play each other twice, resulting in better quality games leading into the finals. And I think a fairer fixture.

The issue that the AFL is not interested in making the fixture equitable. They are interested in Eagles playing the Dockers twice a year, Ess v Rich v Carlton v Collingwood as often as possible etc.

If they had any interest in making a fair fixture there are a lot of options (and yours is one) but the AFL are not going to do it unless there is a major change in philosophy.
 

Munga

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Is your fixture more rigged than the current one and makes the AFL more dollary doos? If it ain't a real FIXture then they ain't interested.
 

Coolangatta

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I think instead of the weighted fixture for the whole season, only base it on the last five games but from last seasons ladder. But every team should play each other once before anyone plays twice.

They need to reverse those fixtures every year, and do it balanced. All teams only play 50/50 home and away against WA, SA, NSW, and QLD, and VIC sides.
 

footyfan1978

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About eight years ago I came up with an idea for AFL fixtures, which I emailed to Gerard Whately who was then at the ABC, but never heard anything back. I was thinking about it again and thought maybe this is a good place to raise it.


Maybe at that point you have the second bye for each team, rather than after round 23? Maybe you launch the AFLW season then? Whatever.
Maybe you don't just give the top draft pick to the bottom team, but to the best performing team in the bottom six. Or maybe an additional second or third round pick to the best performing bottom six team. Something. I'm not sure how it would look, but something.
Fairly uninspiring case with all these maybe's, I'm not sure and but somethings...
Massive pass...

What we need is for all teams to play each other once to begin with. Then at that point the final five rounds are decided on how ladder looks at that point. If you top six at that point the last five rounds you need to play two teams in top six, two teams from middle six and one team from bottom six. Middle six teams play two of top six teams and one of middle six teams and two of bottom six teams.
Bottom six teams play two of bottom six, two of middle six and one from top six.
None of this blocking teams into parts of ladder. If you are 12th you can still climb up the ladder as high as possible and if you 13th you still can make the top 8.

What we do not need is the bullshit we have at moment where which teams you play twice is decided by ancient form of previous season where teams can change quite a lot within 12 months. We also do not need the bullshit where you play some teams twice before you even played another side even once within that season.
 

Bianconeri

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Mar 16, 2022
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After having a good first 18 rounds and making the top 6 you get rewarded by being forced to play other too 6 teams. Seems pretty bullshit to me and it would encourage teams to tank to get an easy draw for last 5 rounds.
 

SuperVolley11

Club Legend
Jun 2, 2011
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After having a good first 18 rounds and making the top 6 you get rewarded by being forced to play other too 6 teams. Seems pretty bullshit to me and it would encourage teams to tank to get an easy draw for last 5 rounds.
I think your misunderstanding. If your 6th after the first 17 matches, you are locked away in the top 6. 7-12th play off for the last two spots in the final 8.
 

sharp450

All Australian
Oct 10, 2010
794
950
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About eight years ago I came up with an idea for AFL fixtures, which I emailed to Gerard Whately who was then at the ABC, but never heard anything back. I was thinking about it again and thought maybe this is a good place to raise it.

It's a way to give all teams something to play for towards the end of the season, and also create better quality matches leading into the finals.

Rounds 1 to 18 involve each team playing every other team, plus one bye per team. After round 18, the top six, middle six and bottom six would be set in stone, although not the positions within each set of six.

Maybe at that point you have the second bye for each team, rather than after round 23? Maybe you launch the AFLW season then? Whatever.

Then during rounds 19 to 23, each set of six teams play against each other. The top six are trying to get double chances and home finals. The middle six are competing for the final two positions in the eight, and the bottom six are competing for a draft advantage of some kind. Maybe you don't just give the top draft pick to the bottom team, but to the best performing team in the bottom six. Or maybe an additional second or third round pick to the best performing bottom six team. Something. I'm not sure how it would look, but something.

This would mean that in the last month before finals, all games should theoretically be between relatively evenly matched sides, and many would have a direct bearing on the finals. For example, you wouldn't have Geelong playing West Coast at Kardinia Park in round 23, as is happening this week.

Another advantage is that it eliminates the unfairness of the current draw. The Cats play both West Coast and North twice this season, which gives them a huge leg-up.

Interested in any comments.

Geelong didnt play any top 8 team twice (WCE, NM, St Kilda, PA, WB), its hard to understand how Geelong get North twice and the team (Collingwood) that finishes 17th get North once
 

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maskmcgee

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Feb 25, 2017
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About eight years ago I came up with an idea for AFL fixtures, which I emailed to Gerard Whately who was then at the ABC, but never heard anything back

Yea because you just copied this horrendus fixture idea which was floated 9 years ago, and has a 100 page discussion on it somewhere on this forum.
 

Walshawk

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The 17/5 fixture was well discussed by the footy media and on bigfooty.

Clubs weren’t interested due to the fact that some clubs would get 12 home games, some 11 and some 10.

It works much better with an odd number of teams. Once Tassie come in, have each team play each other one over 19 rounds (18 games). Then split the ladder to a top 12 and bottom 7. Top 12 play each other for four games (Rnd 20 - 23) the a pre-finals bye in Rnd 24. Bottom 7 play each other four games over Rnds 20 - 24.

Perfect.
 

Square Peg

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Jul 20, 2014
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Yea because you just copied this horrendus fixture idea which was floated 9 years ago, and has a 100 page discussion on it somewhere on this forum.
Yes indeed, the idea that the OP came up with it is laughable.
I don't agree it's horrendous though, it's better than the current fixturing
 

doppleganger

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I think your misunderstanding. If your 6th after the first 17 matches, you are locked away in the top 6. 7-12th play off for the last two spots in the final 8.
So 6th just plays 5 games where they tank and still finish 6th.

Why would you then bother with qualifying finals - 1v4 and 2v3 - again after they have just played those games?
 

parano1a

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Some constructive criticism:

Look at the huge difference between finishing 6th and 7th after the first 18 rounds in this proposed system. Bear in mind these two teams could be separated by percentage only. One is guaranteed finals but has to play top teams for the next 4 weeks. The other has to fight against middle of the road teams just to keep its finals spot.

Doesn't sound like a fairer system to me.

The current system is fine. In Round 23 this year six games have a direct impact on finals, and only three have no impact (Gee v WC, NM v GC, PA v Ade).
 

Dirty Bird

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#BostonStrong #RiseUp
About eight years ago I came up with an idea for AFL fixtures, which I emailed to Gerard Whately who was then at the ABC, but never heard anything back. I was thinking about it again and thought maybe this is a good place to raise it.

It's a way to give all teams something to play for towards the end of the season, and also create better quality matches leading into the finals.

Rounds 1 to 18 involve each team playing every other team, plus one bye per team. After round 18, the top six, middle six and bottom six would be set in stone, although not the positions within each set of six.

Maybe at that point you have the second bye for each team, rather than after round 23? Maybe you launch the AFLW season then? Whatever.

Then during rounds 19 to 23, each set of six teams play against each other.
Stopped reading there

The logistics are impossible and It's the reason nearly any idea using in season equality is basically impossible.

Say 1 group of 6 gets 6 teams who had 9 home and 8 away
1 group of 6 gets 6 teams that had 8 home and 9 away
Then the 3rd group is 3 teams with each

How can 6 teams with 9h, 8a all finish on 11h, 11a after playing each other for the last 5 rounds?
Best case scenerio, you end up with 3 teams with 12h, 10a and 3 with 10h, 12a.

And then there's cases where to even it up, you might be forced to play a team twice at home or twice away.

But I do agree that everything up until the 2nd bye (after rd 18) is perfect.
 

banzai

Premiership Player
Oct 14, 2003
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I dont hate it. But then you could potentially have the team in 7th win 5 more games than the team in 6th and finish below them. Also do you need all the contenders to play eachother just before finals?
 

Kwality

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Case in point.

They could bring in the change the OP suggested, and you (and others) would still be whining about travel, etc.

Some people are never going to happy, so it's not worth the effort of trying to make them so.


If you want to suggest a completely fair fixture, feel free. If you're just going to snipe from the sidelines about things that would 'just happen' to all benefit your club, what's the point?

State League conventional thinking has 'past its use by date' & the beneficiaries will deny/fight to retain their benefits.
 

deck

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This idea was a s**t idea the last time it came up and is still a s**t idea now.
 

Coolangatta

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Oct 27, 2007
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The weighted fixture could be altered slightly. 1-6, 7-12, 13-18. You play four teams from your group + one rival club. This works out easily for next seasons fixture with the current ladder.

1. Geelong. Swap Brisbane with Hawthorn.
2. Melbourne. Swap Fremantle with Richmond.
3. Sydney. Swap Collingwood with GWS.
4. Collingwood. Swap Sydney with Carlton.
5. Fremantle. Swap Melbourne with West Coast.
6. Brisbane. Swap Geelong with Gold Coast.
7. Richmond. Swap Gold Coast with Melbourne.
8. Western Bulldogs. Swap Port Adelaide with Essendon.
9. Carlton. Swap St Kilda with Collingwood.
10. St Kilda. Swap Carlton with North.
11. Port Adelaide. Swap Western Bulldogs with Adelaide.
12. Gold Coast. Swap Richmond with Brisbane.
13. Hawthorn. Swap North with Geelong.
14. Adelaide. Swap West Coast with Port.
15. Essendon. Swap GWS with Western Bulldogs.
16. GWS. Swap Essendon with Sydney.
17. West Coast. Swap Adelaide with Freo.
18. North. Swap Hawthorn with St Kilda.
 
Last edited:

Igavemyloveachicken

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If the AFL insist on having 22 games then having an equitable and predictable draw isn't that hard to organise.
The difficulty has arisen because the AFL want guaranteed blockbusters (Example: Two Showdown's every year) and certain games on certain occasions, (Example: Anzac Day Collingwood v Essendon).
Unless the AFL is willing to promote fairness and predictability over money then there will always be an issue.
 

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