The AFL fixture; there must be a better way?

Robert Gaggini

The AFL have 18 teams in the competition that play 22 games in the minor round to determine who play in finals to win the major prize.


All teams play each other once, and another 5 games are allocated.


This system is accepted without much question.


But take a step back and take a look at the big picture, this system should not be accepted.


There must be a better way/

The Problem


Fairness is the problem. An unequal fixture when teams are separated by small margins to qualify on a league ladder for a premiership is not right.

If the AFL is considered only as an entertainment and not a sporting contest then this fairness issue is not a problem.


Other variables regarding fairness in the fixture include;

  1. The time of the day when the game is played, eg day games versus night games
  2. The day the game is played, Friday night for example
  3. Interstate Travel that is Required
  4. Number of days rest between games
  5. Football clubs hosting limited teams for home games

Alternate Solutions

A variety of solutions have been proposed.

  1. Reduce the pre season to allow extra games
  2. Divide the competition into 2 conferences and each team play each other twice
  3. Retire some teams in the primary competition
  4. Extend the length of the season to allow 34 games

The Solution


The fixture must have 17 home and away games although it is regarded that 34 AFL games is too much of a heavy load on the players. This is seen where teams rest players before the final series.

My suggestion is that game time can be reduced to allow an increase in the number of games.

An average of 120 minutes per game (4 x 30 minutes) for 22 games is a total of 2640 minutes.

If 34 games are played over 2640 minutes it could be played via 4 x 20 minute quarters or why not 2 x 40 minute halves?

There are questions regarding the "fabric of the game".  Although, changing the length of the game is comparable to changes in interchange numbers, substitute players, time on rules and even changes in game style.

Introducing 34 games will restore the "fabric of the competition", my only question is regarding physical capability.

Are the physical demands playing 34 games over 2640 minutes in the same season possible?

Thank You for Reading. Please Share.

Robert Gaggini
Mt Gambier Winner 2005




Robert Gaggini is founder of Adelaide Cycling Academy and owner of Infuga Retreat. As a cycling coach Robert brings years of experience to a wide range of Cycling Activities.


Winner of multiple cycle races including Mt Gambier 100mile classic 2005, and Alphutte 2003, (4th in 2012). Participant in a variety of endurance events including Paris-Brest-Paris, and is a 40km per day commuter for over 20years.


If you require any assistance with training plans, cycle coaching or if you just want to ride faster, Robert is happy to assist.





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