Almanac AFLX: What is this rubbish of a game all about?

I lasted about five minutes. Bored out of my mind, I stopped watching and deleted the Fox recording.


What is this game supposed to be be? Who is it supposed to appeal to? Why has it been invented? And what is its purpose?


I just don’t get it. Load of rubbish, that’s what it is. And I won’t even be watching the Swans guys playing.


No doubt others will be penning their thoughts about this AFLX business, so I’ll sign off now and return to my much more enjoyable book.

About Jan Courtin

A Bloods tragic since first game at Lake Oval in 1948. Moved interstate to Sydney to be closer to beloved Swans in 1998. My book "My Lifelong Love Affair with the Swans" was launched by the Swans at their headquarters at the SCG in August 2016.


  1. Yvette Wroby says

    I think it’s to compete with Big Bash and it’s for export to places that have spare ovals . I watched to begin but have it on in background just to see what happens. It hasn’t got my interest as something I will bother with. I don’t think we r the market. The players are saying they do a lot of this kind of work at training. Crowd is like Big Bash Snd the constant noise is driving me nuts!

  2. Hi Jan,

    I have just watched the replay of Crows versus Cats on watch AFL and am with you.

    It’s totally rubbish. As for the concept I agree with Yvette and I sense it’s like Rugby seven.

    The game is so boring. Women’s games are much more interesting. Why AFLW season cannot stand alone?

    St Kilda are playing this rubbish code tonight, but I won’t watch the replay (luckily or unluckily I am working tonight…)



  3. I think the biggest problem, Jan, is the muddled introduction of this version of the game. Clearly this product is much more suited to social and international competitions where it is not easy to get 36 people on a ground and it is not easy to locate an oval. For players at the elite level, capable of hitting a target in such open spaces and kick the ball 50 metres, this is a training drill (it is actually very similar to a drill the Crows run where they just practice transitioning the ball from end to end).

    Presumably they wanted the glitz to get the form into the public consciousness, which they have achieved, even if cringeingly so. It’s not the BBL and never will be because the BBL was replicating the appealing things about AFL in terms of product presentation, timing, etc. The greatest shame is the timing, seemingly deliberately designed to distract attention from the serious product they have before us at the moment. Seems, at best, ill considered.

  4. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Can’t say it was a ‘Zooper’ experience, although BT seemed to think so.
    I liked the fact that there was space and one to one contests. Lots of code violation happening.

    Footy was played like this less than 20 years ago with 36 players on a standard size field.

    Damn those coaches, scientists and professional congesters…

  5. AFLX imo people need to see it for what it is fun and fast paced training run and with enormous possibilities world wide
    A game which can be played on hockey and soccer ovals
    With the explosion of numbers wanting to play in Aust re female footy we now have a lack of ovals this game can be used fantastic initiative AFL

  6. Well, if BT thinks so, Phillip, all the more reason to think otherwise!

    The few remarks I made while watching the five minutes or so were along the lines of “Surely this is just like a training drill”; “It’s almost as it was back in the old days, when the ball just went backwards and forwards…”; “Where are the ruck duels, the tackling….10 points for a goal….bloody hell…turn it off.”

    So, I agree with all your comments – many thanks for enlightening me further.

    But what I really don’t understand is why, as you say, Dave, if it is “suited to social and international competitions” because of the size of available grounds, why are they calling it AFL? OK if they want to invent a new sport altogether and give it a different name, then let them do that; but this is a travesty of our great game. As is 20/20 a bastardization of cricket’s great game.

    Even if it was played internationally, and it “took on”, can you imagine the generation of today – wanting and needing that immediate result, that immediate emotional response – then wanting to watch the “real thing” – a two-hour, far more detailed and comprehensive version?

    The more we dumb-down our sporting codes, the more we are prone to the inevitable effects of a dumbed-down society. Perhaps we’re there already!


  7. Rubbish. I am a dedicated AFL fan of THE real game. This is NOT AFL. Waste of space. Kids game for the park yes. As for all the screaming commentators going into ZOOPER overdrive. Get over it. Unbearable. We are not stupid Roll on real season and I hope I recover from the 10 minutes of horror I subjected myself to

  8. Pamela Sherpa says

    Jan , dumbed down society – sadly we are there already . This is an example of the tripe that we will be continued to be invaded with because the head honchos of sport need to justify their bloated pay packets/ feel the need to invent entertainment they think will appeal to us.

  9. Circle work should be left on the training track. It aint entertaining..

  10. I’m pleased you agree with me, Ron, Pamela and Paul. Thanks

  11. Totally concur Jan. Compounding the inanity of it is Brian Taylor commentating. FFS what is a zooper !?!

    I remember in the late 1970’s the VFA had their lightning premiership for sides that missed out on the finals. This Is like an attempt to ‘update’ it, on a bizarre shaped ground, all apparently designed for an international market

    At the same time as AFLW is making great strides the AFL trot out this pap. I watched a bit of it Wednesday, did not like it, find Brian Taylor trying to commentate challenging, then it left my TV screen: for ever.

    Modern sport is about marketing, making money; it’s big business. The BBL is a good example, where the on field action is a background for spectators to be there and be seen; as they buy the product(s). Who would rush to be seen at the AFLX ?


  12. Australian Football World says

    “AFLX imo people need to see it for what it is fun and fast paced training run and with enormous possibilities world wide”
    Yes, AFLX is a bit of entertainment just like IR. AFLX is well thought out to be different at AFL level. ATM IR generates more passion than AFLX.
    “A game which can be played on hockey and soccer ovals”. Australian Football is played acrooss the world on mostly rugby fields with 9-s-side. A amateur level AFLX is worse (less components) than 9-a-side football.
    “With the explosion of numbers wanting to play in Aust re female footy we now have a lack of ovals this game can be used fantastic initiative AFL” With the skill level of grassroots 9-a-side football is a much better format than AFLX.
    AFLX is set up for AFL players. Take away the AFL players and you have players kicking for goal within the 40m arc and not appreciating ruckwork etc. However, take away the AFL players and you return to a game with all the stoppages due to umpiring.

  13. Thanks Glen!
    Up until maybe 10 years ago, I felt a part of humanity, but have to admit, I think it’s passing me by!

    This sort of garbage (AFLX) doesn’t help; just compounds it.

    To say nothing of all the other “instant gratification” that surrounds us……

  14. Robyngiantlion says

    Couldn’t agree more Jan – had a look at one game yesterday which my beloved Lions won. But let’s devote the time to the womens game and funds to women and other higher priorities – like Tasmania.

  15. Thanks AFW and Robyn.

    Having lived in Brissie for 22 years, my “second” team is Brisbane; and with no Swans Women’s team, Robyn, I have a soft spot for the Lionesses.

    As Glen says “Modern sport is about marketing, making money; it’s big business” and AFLX certainly comes under this banner.

  16. Jan,
    AFLX is a completely different, new game. It is a bastardisation.
    Why aren’t the AFL being completely honest about why this is being foisted upon us?
    It was a series of glorified training session

  17. How true are your words, Smokie!!

  18. Australian Football World it’s ironic in that we were having a discussion re 9 a side v AFLX both have there place and I stand by what I have written above it will be a important game in the future re development and the size of the oval required is a vital component

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