Is Footy Too Long?

This morning, I saw the AFL Fan’s Association Facebook page post saying Carlton coach Mick Malthouse wants shorter games.

Later, I read the relevant The Age article written by Rohan Connolly.

Malthouse told Fairfax media that firstly, the AFL  have got to understand about our game is that it’s too long.

Then the veteran coach is comparing times with other codes, soccer and rugby.

Soccer games are played 90 minutes basically with half time breaks that must not exceed 15 minutes. It is around 110 minutes totally.

Rugby has 80 minutes to play with a 10-minute half time break that is around 90-minute game.

Footy has time-on which differs total game times on the average of 124 minutes recorded in 2011.

But what does it matter? As long as the games are played with much physical contacts and balls are going around the field, long games are not boring at all. Baseball games often last three hours and pitchers and catchers always seek where the best position to pitch is – this communication spends a lot of time.

Therefore, as a person who has watched baseball a lot in the past (not any more), watching footy is not too long.

Malthouse points out the society’s expectation that general people want more than footy in one day at the weekend. I understand that kids want to spend more time with parents and to keep active. On busy modern days, adults have less time to spend time with their partners and kids. Then they need long hours at the weekend to do more recreations including watching movies.

But is it the excuse to expect footy to shorten?

If I were Mick, I would appeal that we need balanced life. Work is important, but people can work thanks to family. Working for long hours is bad for families and may affect relationships.

I would spend more on footy on Saturday or Sunday if I were in a relationship and had a child, unless my future partner does not like footy. Then watching movies can be done on other days.

Watching footy games is a great entertainment for me. If I want my (future) kids and myself to keep active, then we would join kick-to-kick at the ‘G. Then we could relax on the beach or watch a movie on another day at the weekend.

Shortening the footy play time will make the sport less attractive, I reckon. I like footy because it is very unique. If it were similar to soccer or netball or whatever, I might not watch the sport.

Checking comments on AFL Fan’s Association’s Facebook page’ post, many fans disagree with Malthouse’s opinion.

We must consider players’ conditions and welfare, but fans have right to express opinions on the unique footy.

Is footy too long for you?

About Yoshihiro Imagawa

Love, passion and pride are seen on the footy that is the biggest part of my life. 1. St Kilda Club member: I am a passionate and crazy Sainter. Just hope we will win the second flag soon, especially after Dogs and Tigers having ended long premiership draughts. 2. The Osaka Dingoes Player and Public Relations Officer: Player number 44 that I chose to honour Stephen Milne with my wish being like a small forward like him. Lenny Hayes' hardworking attitudes are adopted on my trainings and practices. Nick Riewoldt's great plays are in my player audiobook too. 3. Writing: Here on the Almanac and also on the World Footy News. My skills utilise on great footy websites.


  1. My opinion Yoshi:
    – if my team is in front – footy games are too long
    – if my team is in front by 10 goals – footy games are about right
    – if my team has an unassailable lead in a Grand Final – footy games can go all day as far as I am concerned
    – if my team is behind by less than 5 goals – footy games are too short
    – if my team is behind by more than 5 goals – footy games are too long

    Imagine how Einstein’s ideas about the nature of time would have benefited from him being an Aussie Rules fan…

  2. G’day Dave,

    Thanks for your comment with different angles. I totally forgot differences between when the favourite club leads, the game is close and the favourite club is far behind… However I will watch or listen to the game until the final siren even if my St Kilda play poorly this season to show my big support and loyalty to the club.



  3. Yvette Wroby says

    Love it Yoshi. Love Dave’s take – exactly right. It all depends on whether you are winning and losing and by how much, for the fan. I am still rewatching the smashing lof Fremantle by the young Saints last year, that game is way too short. So I just have to rewatch it for fun and pleasure.

    Can’t wait for the season to begin, and I am very happy. I make a day or night of it and am surrounded by family and friends so it is part of my social life. Go Saints for 2015 and beyond!


  4. Hi Yvette,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and warm compliment on my writing.

    Yes, watching the replay of the St Kilda vs Fremantle game (Round 18 last year) is great and fun! Billy Longer’s pointing out the score board with suggesting Zac Clarke to see is absolutely brilliant and a great entertainment.

    We want the Saints to go marching in more and more in 2015 and beyond!



Leave a Comment