Theory behind a 51 game season

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JuddsABlue

Norm Smith Medallist
Sep 17, 2009
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Heres an idea loosely based on the American sports and how their fixtures operate (MLB and NBA). Dont turn this into a 'I dont want to be like USA thread', the purpose is to the discuss the pros/cons and how you think each club would handle such a fixture.

So the theory is simple, for some unknown reason Vlad and co next year come out and say every club plays each other 3 times, resulting in a 51 game fixture. Seemingly this results in a fairer system. In regards to away games, if you played Fremantle twice in Perth and once at home, then it would be reverse for West Coast.

The first thing that springs to mind is how could current AFL teams play so many games? The answer is they cant, which is why teams would need to be bigger. What would the right number be for a teams season player list if they were playing a game every 3 days? The amount of players on the ground doesnt change, 18 players with 3 interchanges and 1 sub (this is up for debate and could be a big talking point). Would 65-70 players be enough? Constantly rotating players through the games keeping them fit and fresh while still being competative. Could forwards play more than midfielders?

Would we still see the same game styles as we do now or do you think it would retreat back into the old days with lots of long kicking and marking etc because players dont want to run/burn out for the season. How many games would you see star players play, would Murphy/Pendlebury/Watson play more or less than 22 games? How much could you get from a player?

Financially there are amazing benefits. Overall crowd attendances would drop, but the number of people coming through the gates would practically double. Would it attract a bigger fan base? With so many games, you would think the AFL would use more grounds and tap into places like Darwin a lot more. Imagine a 3 game series of Hawks v Kangaroos in tassie, it would be the biggest thing down there since the boat show

It would be an amazing test of depth, drafting and coaching. I think it would really even out the competition to the point where back to back seems impossible.

There are an infinite amount of possiblities and pros and cons, so I wont bother bringing up specifics, just post your ideas and fears for this type of fixture and see what happens
 

Deaneus!

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What would the average gap between games be? Currently it's end of March to end of August (5 months) with a month for finals... 5 months, ~ 150 days, 51 games, ~ a game every three days!! Could they sustain the audience?
 

JuddsABlue

Norm Smith Medallist
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I think it opens up the avenue of removing the pre season cup and stretching the season out a little longer (maybe games shorter, 17 minute qtrs etc), however gounds become an issue with cricket etc.

It would def become a TV game with around 3 games per day. You would think they would be played at night. Perhaps they could introduce no play days, where no games are played but maybe play back to back games on Saturday/Sunday, or have a random Weekday where 6 games are played.

But massive scope for TV rights, but imo this is the biggest hurdle, sustaining the viewers and crowds. We dont have the population to bring in millions of fans, but maybe this new type of competition could get the attention of neighbouring countries like NZ or reach into untapped markets because its available so often
 

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slashin_velvet

Norm Smith Medallist
Sep 5, 2011
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playing each team 3 times is excessive - your point about the extended audience is flawed in that attendance at games is high because games are on at times where people arent working. You move to a more games style system, you either have a lot more weeknight games, or make the season longer.

I think a smarter idea to match this would be to extend the current season by another 10 weeks or so, so it would be a 34 round season, with 2 weeks for finals.

The maths on this works as follows - the season proper starts 3 weeks earlier than this year (first w/e of march), with only 2 games of preseason - and no preseason cup. Unlike this year, that also buys an extra week because we wouldnt have the sydney/GWS split round. Each team plays each other twice until mid october. Then top 4 in the ladder after 34 rounds play a knockout finals series with no second chances.

To facilitate this, you extend the team lists and force player rotation (no player can play more than 17 consecutive games). This will avoid byes as all players are forced to have a rest, but not miss whole weeks of play. All teams play each other twice. The season is 1 month longer than usual, but with a few extra weeks of proper season instead of preseason.
 

DardySingh360

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Mar 16, 2011
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Well, this is certainly from left field... You're effectively doubling the player numbers, and tripling the games, standard would drop and there would be so much football, too much.
 

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