B. (bigbrain61) wrote in aussierules,

Expansion, the finals, and you!

So Demetriou came out before the start of Round 1 last week and said that he predicts a buttload of expansion in the next twenty years and that the AFL of 2030 would look "much different than the AFL of today". Also mentioned in the article was the more short-term challenge of adapting the schedule and finals fixtures to an 18-team AFL once that happens in 2012 (assuming GWS goes off without a hitch).

That leads me to the following polls:

Poll #1545516 AFL Expansion

How many games should clubs play in the expanded AFL?

28 or more

How many teams should be in the finals in the expanded AFL?

More than 10

I'll give you my opinions under the cut.

Unless the AFL wants to resort to a schedule of over 30 games, it will never be perfect because there won't be any way to get a level home-and-away season. That's been the issue ever since they expanded in the 80's. I'm sure that an expanded schedule would best befit an 18-team AFL, but simple math would seem to dictate that you divide the teams into three groups of six and have them play everyone once (17 games) and then the five teams in your own group a second time (5 games) for a total of 22. Anything else would seem over complicated.

Now, as for the finals -- I think that after a season or two of staying at 8 teams, the AFL should expand it to 9 or 10 teams. A ten team finals system would be similar to what the NRL used in 1998 when it had 20 teams (Basically the Final Five system times two) and would extend the finals by a week, meaning that the season would either need to start a week earlier or have a Grand Final in October.

A nine-team final would probably do the same thing and ensure all teams' 50/50 chance of making it past Round 22, but I can't possibly think of a way to pull it off (even a "Final Seven", which was used by the ARL, looks extremely awkward). The only way that might work is if 8 plays 9 either the Wednesday before or the week before the other teams start, with the winner advancing to take on the 5th placed side in the Elimination Final. Anything else would just make my brain hurt.

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