AFL looks at 'floating' round 22 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

AFL looks at 'floating' round 22

By Roger Vaughan 13/09/2009 05:47:47 PM Comments (0)

AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou has used Collingwood's short break last week as an example of why the league could introduce a "floating" round-22 schedule.

The league will release the 2010 fixture next month and it might feature only the opponents for the last round of the regular season.

This would give the AFL more flexibility ahead of the first week of the finals.

Under the proposed change, the league would settle on game dates and times shortly before round 22, when ladder positions were more predictable.

Collingwood played the Western Bulldogs in a Sunday night twilight game in round 22, then lost their qualifying final to St Kilda the following Sunday.

The Magpies only had a six-day break before Saturday night's thrilling five-point semi-final win over Adelaide.

"Our (fixturing) team is looking at that at the moment - there is some merit in perhaps just having eight games scheduled at round 22, but not putting them into the times and slots," Demetriou told Channel Seven.

"In fairness to Collingwood this week, they've come into a six-day break in the second week of the finals and Adelaide (had) eight days.

"Yes, Adelaide had to travel, but it wasn't the ideal preparation.

"We try to preserve the seven-day break going into the preliminary final."

The league already schedules five games on Saturday in round 22 to help ensure long breaks for the finalists.

All the non-Victorian teams play by Saturday night.

Meanwhile, Collingwood captain Nick Maxwell has challenged Demetriou on-air about the stricter rules that apply to bumping.

Maxwell's successful appeal against a pre-season suspension prompted the league to tighten the rules.

Now, any contact to an opponent's head while bumping effectively guarantees a suspension.

"Personally, (from) a player's perspective, I am second-guessing myself, I'm confused as to what I can and can't do and why I can and can't do it," Maxwell told Demetriou on Seven's Game Day.

"In my opinion, the bump's gone, I can't afford to do it any more because if I accidentally clash heads with someone and injure them, I'm going to be rubbed out and I don't want to be missing any games."

Demetriou conceded the rule change had caused some confusion but was unapologetic.

"I hope it doesn't confuse people - I saw a game last night, and Nick, you were absolutely magnificent ... I saw you lay some really good bumps and some physical contact," Demetriou said.

"In fairness to the players and coaches, they've had to adjust in the last year or two to this new interpretation.

"It's simply because we want to unashamedly protect the head.

"Any change is difficult for players, umpires and coaches to adapt to, but I've got to give credit to the players ... people are still attacking the ball."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2024 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news