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Friday, February 22 2019 @ 02:05 am ACDT

Asia On The Expansion Plan – AFLX


According to Matt Thomson on the www.afl.com.au website, he AFL will be taking the new AFLX version of the game into Asia on a bigger scale very soon. Whilst the jury is still out to some degree on the success of the game here in Australia with the AFL clubs involved as part of the pre-season schedule, smaller versions of the game have already been successfully adapted across the world through local leagues.

These amendments have included smaller grounds – rugby and soccer fields – smaller player numbers (predominantly using an AFL 9’s format adapted to include normal playing rules) and other adjustments. But the move into Hong Kong (see below) might be the catalyst for more countries to consider adapting further to the seven per side AFLX format.

AFLX appears headed to Asia, with the prospect of a November tournament in Hong Kong on the League's agenda.      

 It follows three experimental tournaments last month in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney.      

"We've literally just been talking about it," League chief executive Gillon McLachlan told radio station 3AW on Friday morning.      

"I think the future's enormous," he said.     

"I think you can have a distinct product potentially with different owners, you can involve past players.      

"I'd like to see us have a crack at it in November somewhere into Asia, we've got venue availability, new audiences are closer to the game … it's just a bit easier for new people to consume.      

"(Maybe we) take 10 players to Hong Kong, or 12 players, after the draft and you have to take two of your top two draft picks, maybe you have to have one recently retired player and a number of other players and make it a bit interesting and have a look at it.      

"They're some of the ideas we're kicking around."    

AFLX is a shorter, modified version of Australian football played on a rectangle field with teams of seven players and three on the bench.  

The original story can be found at: http://www.afl.com.au/news/2018-03-02/afls-xpansion-plans-asia-on-the-radar

Picture Credit: Fremantle FC


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Asia On The Expansion Plan – AFLX | 5 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Asia On The Expansion Plan – AFLX
Authored by: Harley Vague on Friday, March 02 2018 @ 04:51 pm ACDT

It's pretty clear where AFLX stands with Australians. AFLX is "entertainment" that ranks along side IR, JLT and maybe AFLW. As such it's another tool in the football promotional arsenal like Rec. Football, Auskick or AFL9s.

The big difference is that the AFL see this format as a cost effective tournament style promotion. The AFL has had exhibition games O/S before but they have been expensive and need a lot of follow-up work to leverage any benefit. e.g. N.Z. and China. If the AFLX encourages the AFL to return to O/S promotions then there is a good chance that football will benefit. If people play AFLX like they currently play 9-a-side then the emphasis is ultimately always to achieve "traditional football".

The technicalities are irrelevant. People will shrink the size of an AFLX ground down to 100m (standard rugby and soccer pitch) and use whatever number of players they deem appropriate, because AFLX is an AFL product played by AFL players and amatuers are going to find it pretty much like current 9-a-side football.

Asia On The Expansion Plan – AFLX
Authored by: Wesley Hull on Friday, March 02 2018 @ 06:07 pm ACDT

Agreed, Harley. When I chatted with Kevin Sheedy couple of years back his idea about growing the game outside of Australia was to continually modify the game to suit the market/location - not expect the market to just embrace the standard game. I believe he is right. Lookin to now and you wonder if Sheeds had anything to do with the idea in as much as the AFL has now come up with an even further reduced game (fields, timings, players, rules) which can be adapted anywhere you can find 14 like-minded people.

On a separate note, I really don't like that the AFL is so condescending to leagues overseas when they claim they have a "new" game for them. Most leagues I have dealt with have always embraced nine a side and always had in the back of their minds further reductions if needed to keep the game accessible. clearly most would love to expand to 18 per side - some have. But they have also been pretty adept at using Sheed's mantra of adapting to their own markets - generally without the help of the AFL. Just my opinion, though.

Asia On The Expansion Plan – AFLX
Authored by: Cam Homes on Friday, March 02 2018 @ 10:45 pm ACDT

What you say about the rest of the world adapting our game to local conditions and the number of players is absolutely true, Wes.

Denmark plays 12-a-side as does the South China AFL (sponsored by Port Adelaide.) and Balikpapan League (Borneo), California league, Solomon Islands, Skane League(Sweden), all 12-a-side comps. Also a new comp in India I believe.

Guangdong AFL (china) is/was played at 10-a-side, as does Philippine AFL. Czech Republic was played at 10-a-side.

Sweden and Germany have both 14-a-side and 9-a-side comps. Texas AFL , ARFL Ireland is14-a-side (Uni's at 9-a-side)

New league in Columbia is going to be played at 9-a-side. Argentina, Quebec and Nova Scotia leagues, all Metro leagues in USA, Fiji, Japan AFL (for a number of years now), Wales and Scotland, England outside of London, Russia, Italy, Norway, Croatia, France, Netherlands, Finland, Austria, Spain and India all play at 9-a-side.

5/6-a-side indoor comps have been played in Sweden and Denmark that I have heard about, and the junior comp in Sweden is/was played at 6-a-side. I think a short lived women's comp in Italy was played at 6-a-side too.

I would hazard a guess that AFL (Aussie Rules) played outside Australia is more often played with reduced numbers than with full 18-a-side teams. Ontario League proudly "boasts" that they have always been 18-a-side comp tho' I seem to recall.

So have to agree with you that the AFL seems to be a bit condescending towards the international footy community with this push/introduction of a 7-a-side comp.

PS Sorry if I've omitted some leagues and countries, the above are those that I am reasonably sure about. Some countries' playing numbers are very sketchy, and change from year to year.
Open to be properly informed or corrected, actually please do. :-)

Asia On The Expansion Plan – AFLX
Authored by: Cam Homes on Sunday, March 04 2018 @ 06:07 pm ACDT

Just a thought, after re-reading Gillon McLachlan's statement "(Maybe we) take 10 players to Hong Kong, or 12 players, after the draft and you have to take two of your top draft picks etc. etc. .....and make it a bit interesting and have a look at it."

I thought it would it would make it even more interesting if some local players (not ex-pats) were included in these teams. (each team would have at least two or three local players).(maybe even ensuring that at least one on the field during the game).

Not only would the "viewing" footy fans (in this market) be getting the chance to watch AFL(X), the players (locals who have taken up our game) would get exposure (eg. AFL - Aussie Rules is actually already being played in this "market") both at home and in Australia.

Not only would the AFL benefit "financially" (all the footy fans paying to see the games) but "promotionally" (if that is a word) as well,

More Australians would be better informed to the extent that Aussie Rules is played overseas, and more of the population in "the market" would be made aware that the game is also already being played there.
Only this week, speaking to a chap involved in my local footy league (selling advertising in the local footy Budget/Record) who had virtually no idea that AFL (Aussie Rules) is played outside of Australia by non-Australians.

Further more, the non-Aussie part of "the market" would see that games are not just for the benefit of ex-pat Aussie fans, but also a chance for the locals to strut their stuff to a wider audience.(at home and in Aussie).

How many more of the locals (family, friends and curious acquaintances) would be dragged along to these games if locals are actually playing. :-) Probably not huge numbers, BUT how significant are they to the development of the game in the "market".

Just A Thought!

Asia On The Expansion Plan – AFLX
Authored by: Wesley Hull on Sunday, March 04 2018 @ 08:02 pm ACDT

I hear you Cam and I wonder what the Lantau Lizards, Hong Kong Dragons, Macau Lightning, Guangzhou Scorpions et al would make of an all-Aussie invasion when they could likely run their own from senior to junior leagues.

If the AFL were to go ahead with their proposal, I would be very disappointed if it weren't made into a huge local showcase as well. Imagine those kids from local clubs meeting their "heroes" (assuming they have heard of them) and running out onto the fields with a potential TV audience to watch.

I coached my girls here in Cairns for two consecutive Suns/Tigers games as the half time NAB Auskick games - on both occasions there is footage (behind Brereton's boof head for on of them) of our girls playing - what a highlight it was for them in their footy lives - and it could be for Hong Kong kids as well.