|Most recent season or competition:|
2019 AFLX tournament
|Sport||Altered version of Australian rules football|
|Founded||6 February 2018|
|No. of teams|
|Headquarters||Melbourne, Victoria, Australia|
|Sponsor(s)||Zooper Dooper and Toyota|
AFLX was a shortened variation of Australian rules football, played in 2018 and 2019 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. The format of AFLX events has varied – the 2019 tournament consisted of four teams each captained by a high-profile AFL footballer.
In August 2019, the AFL confirmed AFLX would not return in 2020.
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:
- 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 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.
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.
The reception to the game among fans and the media has been mostly poor, 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". Other critics[who?] 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.
|2018||Group A: Adelaide Crows|
Group B: Melbourne Demons
Group C: Brisbane Lions
Note: teams are correct as of 2019 tournament.
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- "X off the map: AFL to remove AFLX from pre-season fixture". afl.com.au. Retrieved 7 August 2019.
- "AFLX 2019 rules explained". YouTube, AFL official account. 4 February 2019.
- AFLX 2019 rules explained, Essedon FC official site
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- Lusted, Peter (6 February 2018). "AFL launches AFLX, using rectangular fields to attract new supporters overseas". ABC News. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
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- Jackson Ryan (16 December 2018). "The AFLX Is The Greatest Farce In Professional Sport". Ten Daily.
- Alana Schetzer (17 December 2018). "Not even superpowers can give soulless AFLX what it most needs". The Guardian.
- 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.
- "AFLX - a stroke of sport marketing genius?". ESPN. 14 February 2018. Retrieved 18 February 2019.