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Poor State of the Game

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I'm certainly in the barely interested camp, have been for a good number of years.

I will begrudgingly watch Melbourne games each week, but probably only watch the first 5-10 minutes of the Thursday or Friday night game and that's it for the weekend.

Increased professionalism and fitness levels has taken the game to a new level, but it has destroyed the product.

My fondest football memories are around big name forwards having a day out against their direct opponent. No zoning, no 3rd man up, just 2 blokes going head to head for the day.

 

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I am increasingly of the view  the only way to increase scoring is to incentivise it .

And the most logical way to do is say a priemership point for 100 points, win or lose (Or 80 in 16 minute quarters).


As we have seen rules changes have unintended consequences but more importantly don't work. Coaches will always find a way to have defence as the fundamental tactical strategy.

For example let's say we didn't allow any rotations. The coaches would just then implement the go slow tactics Scott employed so players can simply get their rest on the ground (remembering the principle of rotations is players getting 2 or 3 minute tests so they run in bursts).

They might do the same if we went to 16 a side. No better way to stop your opponent scoring than by controlling the ball. Its exactly how weak soccer teams generally look to beat teams with more gifted players. It is what Scott did to us.


If coaches had a premiership point as an option their risk reward assessment would change. And whilst they would still be inherently defensive they would at least have another option.


Conditions are a furphy. The issue is defensive zones and systems not conditions. 


And contrary to standard argument there is no advantage at the docklands as it is narrower and harder to break zones there. The g is easier to score on.


Sure rain is an issue but  luck has always played a part and it would even out in any case.

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I hope the AFL sit down and watch last nights Storm v Roosters match. 

Their product is light years ahead of us and far more enjoyable to watch. They are 2 of the best defending teams for a decade and yet it was fast,  attacking, entertaining and high scoring. 

I'm a footy tragic in my 50s but my interest is at an all time low. The spectacle is putrid right now. 

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I agree with previous posts. I was a serious watcher of the game. Would even go live to non Melb games. I’m lucky to watch one game a week on tv as it doesn’t entertain me. I’d rather do something else.
It amazes me how players get the ball and the first thing they do is look for a sideways option or hug the boundary. Too much focus on defense and holding possession. 

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It all started when Kevin Sheedy had the interchange bench changed in the mid 90’s. that is the root cause.

Other rule changes bought in since then have added to the problem

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Posted (edited)

Shorter quarters without reducing the interchange cap means mids are getting rotated more regularly and the fatigue is less, resulting in more congestion. Should have reduced interchange cap to 60 or 70, or even lower.

Edited by Clintosaurus
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16 minutes ago, Hell Bent said:

I hope the AFL sit down and watch last nights Storm v Roosters match. 

Their product is light years ahead of us and far more enjoyable to watch. They are 2 of the best defending teams for a decade and yet it was fast,  attacking, entertaining and high scoring. 

I'm a footy tragic in my 50s but my interest is at an all time low. The spectacle is putrid right now. 

This is spot on, I turned over at quarter time and didn't turn back, I know they are allowed crowds so they have some atmosphere as well, but nearly all AFL games this season have been somewhat close (yes there's been a few really dud ones), but none of the close games have had me wanting more, as much as the NRL did last night. 

The ALF's biggest issue is the ball not moving quick enough. I'd change the following -

(1) if the ball is kicked backwards then it's play on, no matter where you are on the ground. (2) The defensive team only has 5 seconds are a mark to move the ball on, otherwise it's play on. (3) Greater rewards for tackles, bring the holding the ball back to what is was a few years ago, and if a ball up is needed it's done immediately, no waiting for rucks to run over etc. (4) When kicking for goal players get 15 seconds, not 30. 

These are only minor changes but should speed the game up, which in turn will open it up more.

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First thing they need to do which is not even a rule change is stop the ruck nomination and just toss the ball up as soon as the umpteenth gets his hands on the ball.

Will have a huge effect on crowded stoppages and open the game up.  

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, Hell Bent said:

First thing they need to do which is not even a rule change is stop the ruck nomination and just toss the ball up as soon as the umpteenth gets his hands on the ball.

Will have a huge effect on crowded stoppages and open the game up.  

This (ruck nomination) is an example of a rule change brought in to "fix" things which has not helped.

All the while, squads of track and field athletes constantly dash on and off in relays to freshen up ready for another burst of rolling mauls.

It's like having an infestation of ants and trying to cope by hiding the sugar. Get rid of the root problem first!

Edited by Mazer Rackham
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3 minutes ago, Hell Bent said:

First thing they need to do which is not even a rule change is stop the ruck nomination and just toss the ball up as soon as the umpteenth gets his hands on the ball.

Will have a huge effect on crowded stoppages and open the game up.  

Absolutely. Watching some old games during lockdown the umps didn’t wait for 8 blokes to gang tackle a player before they decided to ball it up and as soon as they grabbed the ball it was up in the air. 

On your comment above about the NRL HB I agree, since resumption the NRL spectacle has been fantastic. 

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41 minutes ago, Sir Why You Little said:

It all started when Kevin Sheedy had the interchange bench changed in the mid 90’s. that is the root cause.

Other rule changes bought in since then have added to the problem

You could also add in the 15 meter penalty to 50 meter penalty.

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I tried to post something yesterday but for some reason it didn't get approved?

https://www.sen.com.au/news/2020/07/02/afl-analyst-debunks-state-of-the-game-backwards-kicking-myth/

This analyst discusses his thoughts and the data behind potential rule changes.

His recommended changes are:

1. Remove the ruck nomination rule and ball up quickly - absolute no brainer and ever since this rule was brought in it was a disaster.

2. Include a bonus point for sides that score 100 points in a game (would reduce to 80 this season in line with 20% less game time) - I really like this idea as it provides an incentive to coaches to have a gameplan that's focused on scoring rather than defending).

The AFL rules committee really need to consult with analysts who can review the trends of the game and numbers to come up with logical and well thought up rule changers rather than knee jerk reactions.

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I don’t like Bonus points, (teams could make finals with less wins)

But it could be the only way Coaches will allow big Scores again

I went to the 1972 GF as a 9 year old

Fantastic High Scoring Game

Those memories stay with you

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They should implement a starting 6/6/6 at centre bounces. 
 

That’ll help increase scoring. 

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Posted (edited)

Good article, agree with most points. 

I disagree that the talent pool has become too thin with the addition of the suns and GWS - if that were really an issue, why are more gun players than ever being plucked from state leagues after missing out on several drafts? Also, the population is continually growing, so basic maths says the talent should be available to fill additional teams. There have always been, and always will be sub-par players on AFL lists - that's nothing new. The talent is there - it's just that any natural flair and creativity is being coached out of players.

I don't think the problem is low scoring per se. Low-scoring games can be great - think back to the Sydney vs West Coast grand finals. Similarly, high scoring does not equal quality football. 'All Star' style matches where both teams kick 20 + goals are generally rubbish.

That said, modern footy is increasingly hard to watch. You almost never see any individual player dominate entire games any more. 

As others have said, getting rid of the ruck nomination should be a no-brainer. Any other measures need to be properly trialed before they are introduced. That's half the problem - the AFL continually introduce rule changes with the best intentions, only to have them immediately backfire because they weren't tested properly. 

I don't like bonus premiership points for reaching a certain score. My solution: perhaps instead of using % to separate teams on equal points, we could just use points scored?

 

Edited by Accepting Mediocrity
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7 minutes ago, Sir Why You Little said:

I don’t like Bonus points, (teams could make finals with less wins)

But it could be the only way Coaches will allow big Scores again

I went to the 1972 GF as a 9 year old

Fantastic High Scoring Game

Those memories stay with you

I understand your view regarding teams making finals with less wins.

But really at the moment our season isn't fair anyway. We have some teams playing top 4 teams twice and some playing bottom 4 teams twice more.

The other thing to consider is if the change was made, the best teams would likely be the highest scorers anyway, so they would usually win more games (not always but the majority of the time).

I just think it's a great way to force a change without actually changing the in game rules, which just confuses everyone.

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Just now, Action Jackson said:

I understand your view regarding teams making finals with less wins.

But really at the moment our season isn't fair anyway. We have some teams playing top 4 teams twice and some playing bottom 4 teams twice more.

The other thing to consider is if the change was made, the best teams would likely be the highest scorers anyway, so they would usually win more games (not always but the majority of the time).

I just think it's a great way to force a change without actually changing the in game rules, which just confuses everyone.

Yes. But winning should still be number 1

Teams may have played in pouring rain and won, but are still penalized  

not right

So bonus points do bother me. 
It all comes back to the interchange bench

that is where players are re energized. 
 

Put the brakes on there

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Throw the Channel 7 commentary team into the sea. Won't do anything for the quality of the game but it will help my ears.

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bench of 2 or 3 players, no free interchange (yep, zip, nada)

only allow

1. permanent substitution

2. temporary substitution for concussion testing (with time limits)

3. temporary substitution for blood rule (with time limits)

4. temporary substitution for doctor approved medical attention (with time limits)

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8 minutes ago, Supermercado said:

Throw the Channel 7 commentary team into the sea. Won't do anything for the quality of the game but it will help my ears.

shades of alan jones and burlap bags........hmmm

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15 minutes ago, Sir Why You Little said:

Yes. But winning should still be number 1

Teams may have played in pouring rain and won, but are still penalized  

not right

So bonus points do bother me. 
It all comes back to the interchange bench

that is where players are re energized. 
 

Put the brakes on there

Don't disagree with you.

I agree with reducing interchange caps. Should be 10 -15 max a quarter in my view.

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How about no interchange after goals are scored. Thats when the bulk of rotations happen, during that long-ish stopage.

Only allowing interchanges during play would reduce the frequency, and make it more tactical. Would make players think for themselves as well, and maybe only come off when they actually need a break.

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4 minutes ago, daisycutter said:

bench of 2 or 3 players, no free interchange (yep, zip, nada)

only allow

1. permanent substitution

2. temporary substitution for concussion testing (with time limits)

3. temporary substitution for blood rule (with time limits)

4. temporary substitution for doctor approved medical attention (with time limits)

and reduce the players on the field to 16

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Hell Bent said:

I hope the AFL sit down and watch last nights Storm v Roosters match. 

Their product is light years ahead of us and far more enjoyable to watch. They are 2 of the best defending teams for a decade and yet it was fast,  attacking, entertaining and high scoring. 

I'm a footy tragic in my 50s but my interest is at an all time low. The spectacle is putrid right now. 

I agree Hell Bent.  I have adopted  Mel-Stormers  as my other team.  And watch them when ever I can.

 

Of the product watch-ability;  I think for me its become, in NRL's case,  It's more Listenable.

Last night I noticed that I could here the sounds of the stadium,  & the ball being kicked and I was enjoying it,  and at the same time I noticed that the commentary paused for moments, between calls of the game...  moments of commentary silence.

This is the big thing for me;  that the NRL commentary is Not it's own Wall of Sound. 

 

The AFL commentators by comparison,  are quicker than the modern game was trying to become. 'remember speeding the game up'. Machine Gun commentary is turning me right off.

Are the commentators being payed by the word.?  Shut the F()@k Up Ch7 commentators,  take a breath,  take 5 breaths,  and let the game be the show.

 

STOP being a constant,  live,  Special Comments commentary.

 

You guys are talking,  'AT US'....   You have lost the art of talking,  TO US...  with us and give us time to think.

Stop talking so much, commentators.

Edited by MyFavouriteMartian
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