The great scandal of the game: the draw (and a neat way of dealing with the problem)

by Jim Young


The great scandal of the game in recent years has been tanking – or farting or shagging or whatever else they call it.  Last game or two –

make sure we lose, in order to get an extra draft pick early on.

Never mind that a good kid dragooned into a dud team doesn’t turn out to be as good as you hoped.


What’s wrong is the not the draft but the draw.


My suggestion is that equalisation of the clubs, rather than being through the draft could be achieved through the draw.  It is based on the notion that nothing does a footy club so much good as winning, and a complete belting doesn’t help either the club or the competition as a whole.  Let alone a scheme that induces teams to lose.


As long as we have 18 teams in the competition it is simple arithmetic.  There are 22 rounds in the season.  After each team has played everyone else there are five rounds remaining.


Based on the previous season’s placings, teams 1 to 6 play each other:

teams 7 to 12 play each other; teams 13 to 18 play each other.


This means the 6 closing rounds are as competitive as can be arranged beforehand (whilst also being a measure for supporters against last season).  You can watch your team with some hope of a result, and mismatches are, as far as possible eliminated, whilst the only team given a dream run into the finals is one that has improved significantly on last year’s performance..  Home and home games end with important match-ups, and the coming finals can be scented in the air.


Two or three seasons ago the AFL produced a draw whereby the two best teams from the previous season (Hawthorn and Geelong, I’m sure) did not meet until Round 18 – by which time every club had played every other club and everyone had already played someone twice before the two best teams in the competition got to play.  This is folly of a high order.


The League has so many “traditional clashes” (some as many as five years old) – Anzac Day, Queen’s Birthday, etc – none of which enter into the last five weeks of the season.


Everyone wants to play Collingwood twice for the gate money – well, they can earn the right by qualifying for the correct tercile of the ladder.



What do you think?











  1. Jim

    I think it’s flawed mate. Sorry. Your system means the team that came 6th get a horror run home, whereas the team that came 7th only plays teams below it. Does’t seem fair at all.

    I wrote something last year about a system that would eliminate tanking. It was devised by mate Phil Groenewegen (yes brother of Rob the Dogs player) with enhancements by myself. If you’d like to look it over, here’s the link

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