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AFL launches new seven-a-side format

AFL launches new seven-a-side format
November 20, 2017

Following in the wake of Fast4 tennis and Twenty20 cricket, the AFL has launched its entry into short form sport with its new pre-season AFLX completion.

To be played on a rectangular field with dimensions similar to that of football and rugby fields, the experimental seven-a-side format will debut at Adelaide’s Coopers Stadium on 15th February next year with three separate round-robin tournaments.

The modified game will be played in three cities across three nights in the week prior to the commencement of the 2018 JLT Community Series, with six AFL clubs represented in each competition.

In addition to Coopers Stadium, the new competition will be staged at Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium on Friday 16th February and Sydney’s Allianz Stadium on Saturday 17th February.

AFLX was trialled by North Melbourne during last year's pre-season, while VFL clubs Port Melbourne and Coburg have also experienced the shortened format.

AFL General Manager of Game Development Andrew Dillon said AFLX was an exciting alternative that could be used to expand the game overseas.

Dillon told afl.com.au "AFLX has been created to provide us with the options to play a form of the game in places where oval grounds are limited and to showcase our game internationally at a point in the future.

"Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide have each been chosen to host the individual tournaments with six clubs playing against each other in a round-robin format.

"The decision to hold three individual tournaments during the men's 2018 pre-season period has been chosen to introduce clubs, their players, their fans and the wider public to the AFLX game."

All 18 AFL clubs were provided with an AFLX document last Friday, which outlines the fixture and format of the tournament.

Born out of an innovation project at AFL headquarters, and aimed at allowing a version of the code to be played in smaller spaces, AFLX sees the game looking to emulate the success of other short form sport concepts including Fast5 netball, Fast 4 tennis and Twenty20 cricket.

AFLX is also being launched at a time when AFL is under pressure to reduce the length of games to cater for the shorter attention spans of modern sport fans and consumers.

The hosting of AFLX games at Coopers Stadium is being criticised by Football Federation Australia officials and Adelaide United Chairman Greg Griffin for being scheduled just 48 hours before Adelaide United plays its Round 19 A-League fixture against Central Coast Mariners on Saturday 17th February.

Griffin claims not to have been notified by Stadium landlord Adelaide Venue Management.

The X in AFLX relates to the Roman numeral character for the number 10, with each playing squad having 10 players and the game to be played over 10-minute quarters.

While rules for AFLX are still being finalised, games will feature:

• A rectangular field (approximately 70 metres wide x 110 metres in length) with four posts at each end (as per a normal AFL field). Ground markings will showcase X as the centre square and 40 metre arcs.
• Two field umpires, two boundary umpires and one goal umpire at each end of the ground.
• 10 players per team, seven on field at all times and three on the interchange bench. No restrictions on player rotations.
• 10-minute quarters or halves depending on the tournament format.
• Free kick against for last touch out of bounds.
• Kick-ins from behind the goal line after all scores.
• No marks paid for backwards kicks (except in forward 40 metre area).
• Quarters commence with a ‘ball up’ in the centre and at least two players from each team starting • inside the 40 metre arc.
• Free shot from forward 40 metre arc – directly in front for deliberate rushed behinds.
• 10-point super goals when goals kicked on the full from outside the 40 metre arc.

AFLX tournament
Pool A, Coopers Stadium, Thursday 15th February

Adelaide, Collingwood, Fremantle, Geelong, Port Adelaide, West Coast

Pool B, Etihad Stadium, Friday 16th February
Carlton, Essendon, Hawthorn, Melbourne, North Melbourne, St Kilda

Pool C, Allianz Stadium, Saturday 17th February
Brisbane Lions, Gold Coast, Greater Western Sydney, Richmond, Sydney, Western Bulldogs

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7th September 2017 - AFL BREAKS HOME-AND-AWAY SEASON ATTENDANCE RECORD 

20th June 2017 - AFL PLAYERS AGREE SIX-YEAR PAY DEAL

4th May 2017 - ALLIANZ STADIUM GROUND STAFF TO WORK AROUND THE CLOCK TO PREPARE SURFACE FOR A-LEAGUE GRAND FINAL 

3rd May 2017 - MASTER PLAN FOR SYDNEY’S MOORE PARK PROPOSES ENHANCED CONSERVATION AND NEW SPORT FACILITIES 

30th October 2016 - AUSTRALIA FALL SHORT BUT FAST5 PROVES A SUCCESS IN MELBOURNE

7th October 2016 - AFL AGREES ETIHAD STADIUM PURCHASE

30th September 2016 - ADELAIDE VENUE MANAGEMENT APPOINTS GENERAL MANAGER 

15th February 2016 - EDINBURGH MILITARY TATTOO MARCHES INTO ETIHAD STADIUM 

12th January 2016 - SELL-OUT CROWD WATCHES FAST4 TENNIS AT THE ALLPHONES ARENA

13th October 2014 - COOPERS EXTENDS ADELAIDE STADIUM SPONSORSHIP DEAL 


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