AFLX

AFLX is a shortened variation of Australian rules football, played intermittently as a pre-season event in the Australian Football League (AFL). The altered version of the game was founded in 2017 in an attempt to appeal to a wider audience outside of its origin country of Australia.[1]

The format of AFLX events has varied, though currently it consists of four teams each captained by a high-profile AFL footballer. The 2019 competition took place at Marvel Stadium in Victoria.

AFLX
Upcoming season or competition:
Current sports event 2019 AFLX tournament
AFLX Official Competition Logo
SportAltered version of Australian rules football
Founded6 February 2018
Inaugural season2018
CEOGillon McLachlan
No. of teams18 (2018), 4 (2019)
CountryAustralia
HeadquartersMelbourne, Victoria, Australia
TV partner(s)
Sponsor(s)Zooper Dooper and Toyota
Related
competitions
Official websiteAFLX.com.au

Rules

The rules of the game differ from Australian rules football in some significant ways. The game is played on a rectangular soccer-sized pitch, allowing matches to be hosted by stadiums that usually lack the suitable field dimensions for Australian rules football. The format is evolving and AFLX 2019 will see slightly changed rules:[2][3]

  • Games consist of two 10-minute halves with a two-minute break at half-time
  • Played on a rectangular field with dimensions similar to that of a soccer field
  • Eight players on the field per team, with six players on the bench and no limit to rotations (up from the 10 players per side in 2018)
  • Last touch out-of-bounds rule introduced (team that had last touch loses possession)
  • The field umpire will throw the ball up to begin play at the start of each half and after a supergoal is scored
  • 10-point super goals are registered for goals kicked from outside the 40m arc
  • No marks paid for backwards kicks (except for kicks/marks inside the forward[4] 40m arc)
  • Free shot from inside the 40m arc to the opposite team in the event of a rushed behind
  • Players can run 20m without taking a bounce or touching the ball on the ground.

History

On 6 February 2018, AFLX was launched by AFL Chief Executive Officer Gillon McLachlan at Docklands Stadium. McLachlan said that AFLX would help promote football internationally.[5]

The 2018 competition attracted more than 40,000 fans to tournaments in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney. In Melbourne, TV ratings were reported as "modest" by AFL standards, with the three events drawing an average five-city metro audience of over 120,000 on Channel Seven's secondary channels.[6]

Reception

The reception to the game among fans and the media has been mostly poor,[7][8] with ABC Grandstand journalist Richard Hinds being particularly savage in labelling it a "hollow, unappealing, pressure-free, atmosphere-deficient, oval-in-a-rectangle hole yawn-fest".[9] Other critics have also noted that admitting a Tasmanian team to the competition would cost less and be of greater benefit to the league. Con Stavros of RMIT's school of Economics, Finance and Marketing, has expressed doubts about the potential of AFLX to export Australian rules football but acknowledged that using rectangular playing fields instead of the standard cricket ones would make such expansion easier.[10]

Despite the heavy criticism, the AFL remains steadfast in supporting the shortened version of the game, and insists the game will stay in an attempt to capture audiences not accustomed to the length of regular AFL premiership matches.[11]

Future

"The AFLX will hold exhibitions around the world, starting almost certainly in Hong Kong in November 2019 with as many as 6 clubs involved." AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan anticipated.[12] The league had interests coming from multiple clubs, promoters and international stadiums to play the game overseas from 2019.[13]

AFLX GM of China and India Dave Stevenson said that there would be some changes around the structure of the game such as changing the zones or adding more players than the current 7.[6]

Tournaments

Season Winner(s)
2018 Group A: Adelaide Crows
Group B: Melbourne Demons
Group C: Brisbane Lions
2019 Rampage

Teams

Note: teams are correct as of 2019 tournament.

Club Icon Est. Captain First
season
Tournaments AFLX
Premierships
Most
recent
Bolts
    
2018 Patrick Dangerfield 2019 1 0 2018
Rampage
    
2018 Jack Riewoldt 2019 1 1 2018
Flyers
    
2018 Nat Fyfe 2019 1 0 2018
Deadly
    
2018 Eddie Betts 2019 1 0 2018

References

  1. ^ "AFLX: the business strategy behind the spectacle". Australian Financial Review. 11 February 2018.
  2. ^ "AFLX 2019 rules explained". YouTube, AFL official account. 4 February 2019.
  3. ^ AFLX 2019 rules explained, Essedon FC official site
  4. ^ "AFLX Explained". AFL.com.au. 13 February 2018.
  5. ^ Lusted, Peter (6 February 2018). "AFL launches AFLX, using rectangular fields to attract new supporters overseas". ABC News. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  6. ^ a b "AFLX Opening Weekend Attracts Int'l Interest". Sports Business Daily. 19 February 2018. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  7. ^ Jackson Ryan (16 December 2018). "The AFLX Is The Greatest Farce In Professional Sport". Ten Daily.
  8. ^ Alana Schetzer (17 December 2018). "Not even superpowers can give soulless AFLX what it most needs". The Guardian.
  9. ^ Richard Hinds (16 February 2018). "AFLX: If you wanted to kill AFL stone-dead, you'd turn it into this hollow yawn-fest". ABC News.
  10. ^ "AFLX - a stroke of sport marketing genius?". ESPN. 14 February 2018. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  11. ^ Sam Duncan (23 December 2018). "AFLX: It's back and in all likelihood, it isn't going anywhere". The Age.
  12. ^ "AFLX: Silver balls, 'Zooper' goals, Hong Kong?". ABC News. 6 February 2018. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  13. ^ "AFL launches AFLX, using rectangular fields to attract new supporters overseas". ABC News. 6 February 2018. Retrieved 18 February 2019.

External links

2018 AFLX competition

The 2018 AFLX competition was the inaugural Australian Football League (AFL) pre-season series of matches, played under the laws of AFLX, a variation of Australian rules football. The matches were played from 15–17 February 2018.

2018 AFL season

The 2018 Australian Football League season was the 122nd season of the elite Australian rules football competition and the 29th under the name 'Australian Football League', having switched from 'Victorian Football League' after 1989. There were 18 teams competing in the league, the same as the previous six seasons. The first game was played on Thursday, 22 March, and the season concluded with the 2018 AFL Grand Final on Saturday, 29 September between West Coast and Collingwood. West Coast defeated Collingwood by five points, winning their fourth premiership.

2018 Adelaide Football Club season

The 2018 Adelaide Football Club season will be the Adelaide Football Club's 28th season in the AFL. It was also be its second season in the AFL Women's and its 5th season fielding a reserves team in the SANFL. The men's team started the season successfully, winning the inaugural AFLX competition.

2018 Carlton Football Club season

The 2018 AFL season is the 122nd season in the Australian Football League contested by the Carlton Football Club Statistically, the club had its worst season since 1901, finishing with 2-20 win/loss ratio. The club also collected the wooden spoon for the fifth time since 2002. The club's women's team also contested its second season of the AFL Women's competition, finishing last out of the eight teams in the competition, and the club will field a team in the VFL Women's competition for the first time.

2018 Hawthorn Football Club season

The 2018 season was the Hawthorn Football Club's 94th season in the Australian Football League and 117th overall, the 19th season playing home games at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the 18th season playing home games at the University of Tasmania Stadium, the 14th season under head coach Alastair Clarkson, and the 2nd season with Jarryd Roughead as club captain.

Hawthorn improved on their 10–11–1 record in 2017, finishing in fourth place with a 15–7 record. Their 4-point win against St Kilda in round 22 clinched a finals series appearance for the first time since 2016, and their 10th in the last 14 seasons. Their 9-point win over Sydney in round 23 clinched a double chance for the first time since 2016, and their 7th in the last 8 seasons.

Hawthorn were defeated by the defending premiers Richmond 64–95 in the qualifying final. This was the first time the two had played a final against each other. This was Hawthorn's third consecutive finals defeat having lost two finals in 2016. It was also Hawthorn's third consecutive qualifying final defeat having lost qualifying finals in 2015 and 2016. Hawthorn were eliminated from the finals by Melbourne 71–104 in the Semi-final. This was the seventh time the two teams had played a final against each other, and the first time since 1990. This was Hawthorn's fourth consecutive finals defeat equalling the club record. It was also Hawthorn's second consecutive semi-final defeat having lost the semi-final in 2016. Hawthorn also became the first team under the AFL final eight system to be eliminated in straight-sets twice having also being eliminated in straight-sets in 2016.

2018 JLT Community Series

The 2018 JLT Community Series was the Australian Football League (AFL) pre-season competition played before the 2018 home and away season. It featured 18 matches across 16 days, reducing each team's games played from three to two, seemingly to create space for AFLX events. For the fifth year in a row, the competition did not have a grand final or overall winner. 2018 was also the first pre-season competition played without the nine-point super goal, since its inception in 2003. The competition continued under JLT Sport as a sponsor. All matches were televised live on Fox Footy as well as on the AFL Live app.

2018 North Melbourne Football Club season

The 2018 AFL season was the 93rd season in the Australian Football League (AFL) contested by the North Melbourne Football Club.

North Melbourne were widely predicted for a second-straight bottom six finish, including several predictions which would see them winning the wooden spoon. Strong performances by Shaun Higgins and Ben Brown meant the Kangaroos finished comfortably mid-table, finishing 9th with 48 points and a percentage of 108.9%.

2018 Richmond Football Club season

The 2018 season was the 111th season in which the Richmond Football Club participated in the VFL/AFL.

2019 AFLX tournament

The 2019 AFLX tournament was the second Australian Football League (AFL) pre-season series of matches, played under the laws of AFLX, a variation of Australian rules football. The tournament took place on 22 February 2019 at Melbourne's Marvel Stadium.

2019 AFL season

The 2019 Australian Football League season will be the 123rd season of the elite Australian rules football competition and the 30th under the name 'Australian Football League', having switched from 'Victorian Football League' after 1989. There are 18 teams competing in the league, the same as the previous seven seasons. The first game will be played on Thursday, 21 March, and the season is scheduled to conclude with the 2019 AFL Grand Final on Saturday, 28 September. The reigning premiers are the West Coast Eagles.

Australian Football League

The Australian Football League (AFL) is the pre-eminent professional competition of Australian rules football in Australia. Through the AFL Commission, the AFL also serves as the sport's governing body, and is responsible for controlling the laws of the game. The league was founded as the Victorian Football League (VFL) as a breakaway from the previous Victorian Football Association (VFA), with its inaugural season commencing in 1897. Originally comprising only teams based in the Australian state of Victoria, the competition's name was changed to the Australian Football League for the 1990 season, after expanding to other states throughout the 1980s.

The league currently consists of 18 teams spread over five of Australia's six states (Tasmania being the exception). Matches have been played in all states and mainland territories of Australia, as well as in New Zealand and China (although no professional teams or leagues exist outside Australia) to promote the sport abroad. The AFL season currently consists of a pre-season competition (currently branded as the "JLT Community Series"), followed by a 23-round regular (or "home-and-away") season, which runs during the Australian winter (March to September). The team with the best record after the home-and-away series is awarded the "minor premiership." The top eight teams then play off in a four-round finals series, culminating in the AFL Grand Final, which is held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground each year. The grand final winner is termed the "premiers", and is awarded the premiership cup. The current premiers are the West Coast Eagles.

Elliott Himmelberg

Elliott Himmelberg (born 4 June 1998) is a professional Australian rules footballer playing for Adelaide in the Australian Football League (AFL).

Himmelberg grew up in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales and played football for Redland. He moved to Queensland in 2016 and played for the state and the Allies in the 2016 AFL Under 18 Championships. Himmelberg broke his leg, which stopped him from attending the AFL Draft Combine, and missed the rest of the 2016 season. He was involved with the Lions Academy but was not eligible for exclusive selection in the 2016 AFL draft because he had not spent enough time in Queensland. Himmelberg was selected by Adelaide with pick 51 in the 2016 national draft, their third selection.In 2017, Himmelberg played 13 South Australian National Football League (SANFL) games, kicking 19 goals, including four in round 12 against the Port Adelaide Magpies. He suffered a foot injury in July which kept him out for the remainder of the season. In 2018, Himmelberg signed a two-year contract extension, tying him to Adelaide until 2020. He was named in the Adelaide squad for the inaugural AFLX tournament, and as an emergency for the JLT Community Series. He played more often as a ruckman in the SANFL, as fellow key-position players Paul Hunter and Reilly O'Brien suffered injuries. Himmelberg made his AFL debut in round 23 against Carlton at Docklands Stadium. He recorded 13 disposals and five marks, and kicked his first goal with a banana shot. Coach Don Pyke said, "He's performed really well and didn't look out of place at all."Himmelberg is the brother of Harrison Himmelberg, who plays football for the Greater Western Sydney Giants.

Fergus Greene

Fergus Greene (born 20 December 1997) is a professional Australian rules footballer playing for the Western Bulldogs in the Australian Football League (AFL). He made his debut in round 19 of the 2018 AFL season against Port Adelaide at Eureka Stadium.

Jack Madgen

Jack Madgen (born 25 April 1993) is a professional Australian rules footballer playing for Collingwood in the Australian Football League (AFL). He previously played professional basketball for the Cairns Taipans in the National Basketball League (NBL) and U.S. college basketball for Delta State University in Mississippi.

Kane Farrell

Kane Farrell (born 17 March 1999) is a professional Australian rules footballer playing for Port Adelaide in the Australian Football League (AFL). He made his debut in round 19 of the 2018 AFL season against the Western Bulldogs at Eureka Stadium, kicking one goal.Farrell grew up in Castlemaine, Victoria supporting the Geelong Cats. He played junior football with Winters Flat in their under-10s team through to their under-15s team. Farrell then played for Castlemaine Football Club and the Bendigo Pioneers' under-15s, 16s and 18s teams. He represented Vic Country in the 2017 AFL Under 18 Championships, averaging 14 possessions and three marks per game. At the 2017 AFL Draft Combine, Farrell recorded the equal-best time of 8.10 seconds in the agility test and the second-best 20 m (66 ft) sprint with a time of 2.90 seconds. He was drafted by Port Adelaide with their second selection (no. 51 overall) in the 2017 national draft. Farrell inherited number 24 from Jarman Impey.Farrell was named in Port Adelaide's 2018 AFLX squad. Before his AFL debut, he played 13 matches in the South Australian National Football League, kicking 20 goals. Farrell was named as an emergency for the senior side in the two weeks before his first match. Ahead of his debut, Port Adelaide development coach Aaron Greaves described him as a "lovely left foot" and a "classy finisher".Farrell's parents are Sue and Stephen. He has one brother, Brodie.

Lightning football

Lightning football is a shortened variation of Australian rules football, often played at half of the duration of a full match.

Lightning football is typically used as a means to accommodate a small tournament inside a single day or weekend, particularly at junior or amateur level; these tournaments are generally known as lightning premierships or lightning carnivals. At the top level of Australian rules football, lightning matches have most recently been staged as part of the Australian Football League pre-season competition.

Lightning football is distinct from AFLX, a different shortened variation of Australian rules football. Lightning football is not significantly different from standard Australian rules football other than the length of its games, while AFLX is a heavily modified variant played with on a smaller field with fewer players.

Michael Hurley (footballer)

Michael Hurley (born 1 June 1990) is a professional Australian rules footballer with the Essendon Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL) and professional AFLX player with the Flyers in the 2019 AFLX tournament. He attended Viewbank College and was recruited by the Essendon Football Club with the fifth overall selection in the 2008 national draft.

Nathan Broad

Nathan Broad (born 15 April 1993) is a professional Australian rules footballer playing for the Richmond Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL). He became a premiership player with the club in 2017.

Variations of Australian rules football

Variations of Australian rules football are games or activities based on or similar to the game of Australian rules football, in which the player uses common Australian rules football skills. They range in player numbers from 2 (in the case of kick-to-kick) up to the minimum 38 required for a full Australian rules football.

Some are essentially identical to Australian rules football, with only minor rule changes, while others are more distant and arguably not simple variations but distinct games. Others still have adapted to the unavailability of full-sized cricket fields. Other variations include children's games, contests or activities intended to help the player practice or reinforce skills, which may or may not have a competitive aspect.

Most of the variations are played in informal settings, without the presence of umpires and sometimes without strict adherence to official game rules.

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AFLX tournaments

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