Would 15 or 16 a side work and would you want it?

Would you be open to a 15 or 16 a side rule change?

  • 15 a side

    Votes: 6 4.9%
  • 16 a side

    Votes: 36 29.5%
  • Leave it at 18 a side

    Votes: 80 65.6%

  • Total voters
    122

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Kwality

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It does.
If you watched the game closely for more than just a couple of decades you would know it.
Basically all the interchange up to early 2000's was essentially around injuries or tactical positional moves like changing rucks around or bringing on a small forward/rover type or utility and had nothing to do with rotations.
Rotations started to come in vogue once coaches got onto the idea of rotating players on and off in mass numbers to allow them to flood more or just have 2 or 3 guys try to run with best midfielder on opposing team. Basically from early 2000's this started to happen and then exploded well past 40, 60, 80, 100 etc.
Before rotations interchanges would have been between 6 to 25 a game from time interchange came into the game until the bench went from 3 to 4 in mid to late 90's. But once the ideas of rotations came into vogue it been a clear case of the spectacle of a game has mutated to big chunks of games more and more congestion in each forward 50 arc.
:thumbsu: Then throw in the spectacular features of our game that we want to retain: the high marking, the one on ones, leading full forwards.
 

Chopperdave

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As much as people want high-scoring matches coaches will always try to find a way to win by any means necessary. This often includes trying to find the most suffocating tactic. Clarkson's cluster, Collingwood forward press, Richmond manic pressure. Even Melbourne this year had their defense built to intercept which dominated the 666 rule.

If we drop down to 15/16 players coaches will just figure out another way to stop scoring...
 

Juddernaut08

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I don’t think simply reducing the number of players on the ground will necessarily result in a certainty of increased scoring. With such a drastic change to the game, I would want it to be trialled for at least a number of years at the state level first.

This fundamentally changes our game and should not be a rule brought in on a wim in the hope it increases scoring. Their needs to be clear evidence over time which suggest a strong correlation between less players on the ground and higher scoring and greater enjoyment from the fans.

I don’t think it will make a huge difference. I’d say the positions which go would likely be the wings. This opens space in the corridor however the coaches will adapt and protect the defence as they do now. Teams may be able to move the ball through the centre cleaner however it would still result in a blockage fest within the arcs and limited space for forwards and defenders to move.

The increase in coaching and tactics is the cause of decreasing scoring and that’s what needs to change instead of the fundamentals of our game.

I think offering incentives for coaches to implement more attacking game styles will have a greater effect on scoring than significant rule changes if this is the path the AFL want to go down. Whether that’s a bonus point for scores over 100 or something I’m not sure but perhaps for teams which are equal on points, instead of using percentage to determine ladder position, bonus points could be used to seperate teams position on the ladder and then percentage if there is still a tie.

All in all, I don’t think increased scoring necessarily makes a game better. I think we would see improvement if the current rules were implemented correctly more often. Defenders are able to get away with murder some days compared to touchy frees given in the midfield. Pay these frees up forward and problem solved without recreating the wheel. I wouldn’t be against having 2 extra umpires on the field with 1 each only staying within the 50m arcs or even watching from the boundary so they aren’t taking up space. Their sole purpose is to watch for those holds and sh*t that the umpires down field miss as a forward tries to lead and create space.
its a good point
perhaps instead of %, teams on the same premiership points are sorted in order of points for

teams will still defend to the extent that its required to win
 

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RUNVS

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As much as people want high-scoring matches coaches will always try to find a way to win by any means necessary. This often includes trying to find the most suffocating tactic. Clarkson's cluster, Collingwood forward press, Richmond manic pressure. Even Melbourne this year had their defense built to intercept which dominated the 666 rule.

If we drop down to 15/16 players coaches will just figure out another way to stop scoring...
It will be a lot harder though as there will be a lot fewer players who can be part of the defensive structures, meaning there will be much wider gaps for attacking teams to exploit.
 

Chopperdave

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It will be a lot harder though as there will be a lot fewer players who can be part of the defensive structures, meaning there will be much wider gaps for attacking teams to exploit.
Have you watched AFLW... You'll just end up with 32 players in one half instead of 36... It'll just end up with teams setting up 2-3 lightning quick forwards lobbing the ball over the back and trying to run into open goals.
 

footyfan1978

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:thumbsu: Then throw in the spectacular features of our game that we want to retain: the high marking, the one on ones, leading full forwards.
Thankfully the high marking has not completely gone but there a lot less contested marks which a shame.
Just the general one on ones is the biggest feature missing. It nice in middle when see one on one at centre bounces and watch a Petracca etc beat a direct player with skill and strength combined. When it congested in forward 50 metre arcs for big chunks of game time that when we lose the one on one. It then just becomes rolling mauls for too much of game time to retain the spectacle it should be.
 
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RUNVS

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Have you watched AFLW... You'll just end up with 32 players in one half instead of 36... It'll just end up with teams setting up 2-3 lightning quick forwards lobbing the ball over the back and trying to run into open goals.
Massive difference with the AFLW as generally speaking an AFLW player can only kick 40 metres, while an AFL player can kick over 50 metres. That makes a difference as it means the women need to cover far less ground when setting up defensive structures as they know the person kicking the ball can't go over 40 metres. AFL teams would need to zone at least another 25% space to cover the fact that AFL players can kick the ball a lot further.
 

Kwality

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As much as people want high-scoring matches coaches will always try to find a way to win by any means necessary. This often includes trying to find the most suffocating tactic. Clarkson's cluster, Collingwood forward press, Richmond manic pressure. Even Melbourne this year had their defense built to intercept which dominated the 666 rule.

If we drop down to 15/16 players coaches will just figure out another way to stop scoring...
or would it swing the game away from dominant defences ?
 

footyfan1978

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As much as people want high-scoring matches coaches will always try to find a way to win by any means necessary. This often includes trying to find the most suffocating tactic. Clarkson's cluster, Collingwood forward press, Richmond manic pressure. Even Melbourne this year had their defense built to intercept which dominated the 666 rule.

If we drop down to 15/16 players coaches will just figure out another way to stop scoring...
Exactly.
32 players congested in one part of ground is not going to be much difference to 36 players down that end.
It more an issue that none of the players are spread towards the other end of ground that is the problem. It is not the number of players on field that needs addressing. Just the spreading of players more across the ground.
Even Hocking got this. The issue is he never did anything but tinker with new rules that did not really do anything of note or remove rules that caused the issue in first place.
 

Kappa

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VFA had 16 a side and AFLW has 16 a side.

Our game is best when it’s fast, open and with high marking.

4 less players on the park will create extra space.
What if the 2 players cut from each team are forwards, leaving both defences with man advantages as coaches try to clamp down defensively.
 

Chopperdave

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Even Hocking got this. The issue is he never did anything but tinker with new rules that did not really do anything of note or remove rules that caused the issue in first place.
I completely hate the idea of "Zones" but I think that one possibility would be some sort of half-court rule where you must have at least 6 players in the forward half or maybe 2 in the forward 50 at all times. At least that way you could create the chance for more 1v1 in the front half and also stops the 36 players in the back half?
 

HairyO

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Why stop at 15?

11 a side on a full size ground means bugger all congestions and heaps of one on ones.

3 - 5 - 3, 2 wings so only 3 in the middle meaning the top teams will romp in the goals.

So much advert money for Ch 7 !!!
 

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NeutralFan

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I am a huge fan of the idea (although this thread seems to appear every few months).

Will ask though how people are against this by arguing it'll favour athletes over """""""""""footballers""""""""""""" but think we should have no interchange which would favour,,, athletes. Funny.

Honestly we're a professional sports league. Being a good footballer isn't enough these days sorry, can't just be talented and not put in the work.
 

Kwality

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What if the 2 players cut from each team are forwards, leaving both defences with man advantages as coaches try to clamp down defensively.
Positions are no longer a feature of the game. Are you suggesting limiting players ability to run out of the forward line?
 

Kwality

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Exactly.
32 players congested in one part of ground is not going to be much difference to 36 players down that end.
It more an issue that none of the players are spread towards the other end of ground that is the problem. It is not the number of players on field that needs addressing. Just the spreading of players more across the ground.
Even Hocking got this. The issue is he never did anything but tinker with new rules that did not really do anything of note or remove rules that caused the issue in first place.
Daves idea is exactly why we need to go back to where the changes started to be made from 18 players playing the game to the 22/23 playing the game with interchange.
Fiddling around the edges has failed us & if we arent dinkum about looking at the game, we will ignore how we got here, e.g a rules committee that doesnt change the rules, wont exist if they didnt fiddle, fiddle ..
 

footyfan1978

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I completely hate the idea of "Zones" but I think that one possibility would be some sort of half-court rule where you must have at least 6 players in the forward half or maybe 2 in the forward 50 at all times. At least that way you could create the chance for more 1v1 in the front half and also stops the 36 players in the back half?
I do not believe in strict zones. I do not think we need to have at least 6 players in forward half at all times. I think the issue is when ball at either 50 metre arc it more sensible that if there a ball up for throw in, at that point each side must have something like 3 players down the other 50 metre arc. Does not matter which player, just any 3 of your 18. Which essentially it just keeps an actual forward line in place down other end which is what is needed. Becomes a farce when team has all players down one end, gets out of defence and got nobody to kick to. Horrible for spectacle. The thing is if you are required to have 3 up other 50 metre arc it not like a coach going to allow all the space in middle when no one and then all other 15 players on his team at other end where ball is. He going to also try to clog up space in between so a gun forward does not have all that open space to lead into. As a result you stretching out the 18 players on both teams more often than we been seeing since rotations to compliment the super flood and forward press became a norm negative coaching tactic. You will still see some congestion but it would not be the regular 36 up one end we been seeing for big chunks of games that just becomes a rolling maul for 4 or 5 minutes at a time. But keep in mind it not a strict zone. It just for ball up and throw ins so players can still run out from full forward to wing like game had for decades before.
 

Kwality

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I am a huge fan of the idea (although this thread seems to appear every few months).

Will ask though how people are against this by arguing it'll favour athletes over """""""""""footballers""""""""""""" but think we should have no interchange which would favour,,, athletes. Funny.

Honestly we're a professional sports league. Being a good footballer isn't enough these days sorry, can't just be talented and not put in the work.
Its not anything new.
 

RUNVS

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I do not believe in strict zones. I do not think we need to have at least 6 players in forward half at all times. I think the issue is when ball at either 50 metre arc it more sensible that if there a ball up for throw in, at that point each side must have something like 3 players down the other 50 metre arc. Does not matter which player, just any 3 of your 18. Which essentially it just keeps an actual forward line in place down other end which is what is needed. Becomes a farce when team has all players down one end, gets out of defence and got nobody to kick to. Horrible for spectacle. The thing is if you are required to have 3 up other 50 metre arc it not like a coach going to allow all the space in middle when no one and then all other 15 players on his team at other end where ball is. He going to also try to clog up space in between so a gun forward does not have all that open space to lead into. As a result you stretching out the 18 players on both teams more often than we been seeing since rotations to compliment the super flood and forward press became a norm negative coaching tactic. You will still see some congestion but it would not be the regular 36 up one end we been seeing for big chunks of games that just becomes a rolling maul for 4 or 5 minutes at a time. But keep in mind it not a strict zone. It just for ball up and throw ins so players can still run out from full forward to wing like game had for decades before.
I don't mind that general idea but the problem is that it could lead to a lot of awkward moments where players are trying to get back into their zones for an unexpected ball up or something like that. I would involve a lot of fiddling around and teams would likely regularly stuff up and you probably would see reasonably common free kicks as a result.
 

Kappa

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Positions are no longer a feature of the game. Are you suggesting limiting players ability to run out of the forward line?
What position did Josh Thomas play for Collingwood the last 2 years? You don’t think small pressure forward is a position?
 

footyfan1978

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I don't mind that general idea but the problem is that it could lead to a lot of awkward moments where players are trying to get back into their zones for an unexpected ball up or something like that. I would involve a lot of fiddling around and teams would likely regularly stuff up and you probably would see reasonably common free kicks as a result.
The thing is players and coaches will end up not trying to put all players at one end of ground like they do now. So yeah, there likely would be mistakes made by teams and odd player at times but that just going to teach them overall the idea to spread out more rather than congest together. We already see with 6, 6 ,6 it only happens once or twice a year a team stuff ups and gives away a free from centre. I think you would see it change the whole mindset of coaches from save the game at all costs with negative priority tactics and now be way more offensive. So they will actually want structure their forward line up better. Right now a lot of time there is no forward line structure at all. The first line of forward line is 65 metres out from opposition goal, or over 100 metres from their own goal and not 50 from their own like would have been norm in decades before late 1990's.
 

RUNVS

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The thing is players and coaches will end up not trying to put all players at one end of ground like they do now. So yeah, there likely would be mistakes made by teams and odd player at times but that just going to teach them overall the idea to spread out more rather than congest together. We already see with 6, 6 ,6 it only happens once or twice a year a team stuff ups and gives away a free from centre. I think you would see it change the whole mindset of coaches from save the game at all costs with negative priority tactics and now be way more offensive. So they will actually want structure their forward line up better. Right now a lot of time there is no forward line structure at all. The first line of forward line is 65 metres out from opposition goal, or over 100 metres from their own goal and not 50 from their own like would have been norm in decades before late 1990's.
There is no reason why both ideas can't be tried, see what works. Have the VFL be a 16 a side competition in 2022 and have the WAFL be the soft zone idea you propose in 2022, see how both systems work in practice for a full year.
 

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