AFL 2020: We have a decision (for now)

Round 1 of the AFL men’s season is to proceed as scheduled from tomorrow night. The AFL intends to play the first 4 rounds as per the original fixture, with the rest of the season to be decided later.


The AFLW season is to move straight to preliminary finals this weekend. Venues and times to be confirmed. If we presume this to mean the current top 2 in each conference will participate, then North Melbourne will play Carlton, while Fremantle will play the GWS Giants.


Let us know what you think, Knackers.


HOLD THE PHONES! The AFL has just clarified a “miscommunication” re AFLW. There will be an eight team finals series, commencing this week. This is in line with the preferred option of the players expressed last week. Presumably, details will be provided tomorrow.






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  1. John Butler says

    Personally, I think the way this has played out says everything about the current state of leadership in the country. The AFL were obviously looking for the government to take the decision effectively out of their hands. The Federal government said “over to you”.

    Nobody would deny the complexity and difficulty of the current situation, but leadership ultimately comes down to decision making. Anybody care to make one?

    The AFLW seems to have been dealt with in pretty summary fashion. Even though the Blues are now in a Prelim, there’s pretty mixed feelings about it all.

    As there are about tomorrow night.

  2. He did not look convinced by his own reasoning for the decision and neither am I. Has the potential to go terribly wrong and it will all fall on him. He seemed quite keen on letting everyone know that the Government said it’s OK. I haven’t heard anyone bagging other competitions and sports for cancelling their seasons but I reckon this decision to continue might cop a bit of flak.

    I thought the journo’s questions at the presser were very soft.

    Let’s see what happens but in my mind the season is over.

  3. John Butler says

    RE AFLW – if this isn’t a shambles, it will do to the shambles comes along.

  4. Terry Riordan says

    For once the AFL has done something for the fans … It is the start of the season and we want a game and we have got it. So what if it is in an empty stadium it should lift some of the gloom and doom around the country which presides at the moment
    Some interesting points ….
    . Will the stadium play the very annoying loud music and crappy advertisements to no audience
    . Will the broadcasters insert false cheering and booing in an effort to add atmosphere
    . Nobody will get ripped off by inground caters supplying lukewarm mid strength beer and either undercooked or overlooked pies , chips and other crap
    The only people l feel sorry for are the Pubs and eateries around Richmond who provide a great to what is normally a great night
    There is probably a few pollies and corporate high flyers who will miss out on a freebie in the corporate boxes but Aaaahh … Stuff em

  5. Playing AFLM Round 1 Game 1 is a reasonable player health & financial decision. Players & coaches are as likely to become infected with Covid19 at a coffee shop; family/friend contact as in a game. So the individual health risks are the same as any community member cautiously going about their work/lives today.
    That said I will be amazed if we get more than 2 rounds played or the 153 game “season” completed given the picture of exponential infection growth from European & US sport and society. I cannot see enough games being played to have a credible finals fixture. Infected numbers doubles every 3 days and our current social distancing will only slightly moderate that. Once the season stops in the next week or two it is unlikely to resume inside 3 months.
    But the bigger picture with AFL being played is what public health message does it send to the wider community? For the AFL it is a very specific player health/competition financial risk management assessment. By that criteria it is fine to play.
    But from a community health perspective it normalises things when we should be anything but normal. Intelligent people I have talked with are understandably struggling to comprehend the infection spread/growth rate picture and that thousands of Australians will die/get very sick. Struggling to understand the need/process of changing their normal life/work habits.
    Playing AFL this weekend reinforces that complacency when it most needs to be challenged.
    AFL self interest masquerading as community interest.

  6. The season should have been put on hold. We are dealing with, as the PM noted, a once in a hundred year event. That is ultimately about life and death. That is how all sectors should be dealing with it. This is an unnecessary high risk decision that immediately contradicts basic general expert health messages and puts players in a situation contrary to a core COVID19 instruction re social distancing. And for what? A hunger to watch a game of footy as an argument makes hoarding toilet paper seem like a rational decision. Cheers

  7. AFL players somehow have a higher immunity than VFL/SANFL/WAFL players obviously, can someone please explain?

  8. Let’s start tonite. There is talk of a 8 week hiatus mid season,so it would be good to get as many matches played as possible, early on.

    We’re aware of sport closing down in the northern hemisphere, but while we have a chance to play down here, let’s go for it.

    No one denies the gravity of the crisis unfolding, but a concern we tend to down play is the mental health problems related to the impact of Covid 19. When people can’t go out, can’t find forms of escapism, it’ll be horrendous. If we can play footy now, let’s go for it.


  9. What I find most interesting is how we adapt.

    For most of us footy-loving people, this weekend would be at the top of the list: media articles consumed, TV shows watched, footy websites devoured, new players’ numbers learnt, the health of players known, preparations for travel to the game complete, and whatever other footy-related activity ticked-off. But not this year. Apart from cancelling our flights to Sydney for next week, football has not been that important. (And coming from me, that’s saying something!)

    What with the virus, other people’s health and financial struggles, concern for close loved ones, my own suppressed immune system putting me in the most vulnerable groups, and becoming starkly aware of just how fragile our world really is, has certainly helped me to prioritize all aspects of my life. And footy hasn’t really come into it!

    However, whether the games should be played, I agree with Peter B and Rick Kane.

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