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AFLX on its way: Footy 'Big Bash' set for September

Damian Barrett, AFL.com.au  June 22, 2017 11:55 AM

AFLXWEB.jpg

The AFL is planning to launch its version of cricket’s Twenty20, with a series of matches involving non-finalists in September this year.

Under the proposal, the Saturday after round 23 - when the top eight teams are given the bye - would be set aside to launch AFLX, a fast-paced, scaled-down version of traditional football.

The AFL recently alerted clubs to its plans, and on Thursday night confirmed its September launch hopes for the radical concept.

"We are currently investigating the opportunity of using the Saturday of the bye round to showcase AFLX via the best players from teams which have missed the finals," AFL football operations manager Simon Lethlean told The Footy Show.

"We are exploring this with the clubs, and have contemplated incentives to play and prize money.

"We are very excited about AFLX.

"It’s a fast-paced, high octane version of our game and it will be a new way to view AFL."

AFLX would be played on soccer-sized pitches, have seven players per side (with three or more per side on the interchange), and consist of quarters lasting no longer than 10 minutes.

Melbourne ruckman Max Gawn said he liked the plan, but hoped he wouldn’t be playing at the launch competition.

"If I’m not playing finals, and Melbourne don’t make finals, it would be a great concept," he said on Thursday night.

"I wouldn’t mind the IPL format, where you can go play for a different team … if you look at the IPL and the Big Bash, the guys love the Vic Bushrangers but some of the guys end up playing for the Queensland Twenty20 team.”

One concept under consideration would see clubs pay a fee to enter the inaugural AFLX event, with the entry fees pooled to help fund prizemoney.

It is known the AFL has looked at the model used by Sydney horse racing officials in their creation of 'The Everest', a race which will carry $10million of prizemoney, largely funded by entry fees to the race paid by owners of competing horses.

What is AFLX?

  • Played on a soccer-sized oval
  • Played between two sides of seven, three on each interchange bench
  • Ten-minute quarters
  • No centre bounces (kick-ins from full-back after each goal)
  • One umpire