There is no need for golden point in the AFL

Pat Hornidge Roar Rookie

By , Pat Hornidge is a Roar Rookie

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23 Have your say

    It’s only been two weeks since he retired, but I already find myself disagreeing with Nick Riewoldt.

    On Sunday he suggested that it is time for the draw to be axed, and for games that are level at full time to go into extra time.

    I could not disagree more. To be honest, draws are not central to the game, and removing them will not be overly detrimental to the sport itself. It would also not improve the game in any way, making it a pointless exercise.

    There are three equal and legitimate outcomes from a game of football: win, loss and draw. If scores are level at full time, then neither team deserves the win, but they also do not deserve the loss.

    Of course, in finals we need a result, and the size and importance of each game in modern times rules out the possibility of replays. So extra time is certainly needed in that situation. But for the regular season, draws should and need to remain.

    Toby Greene GWS Giants AFL 2017

    (AAP Image/Julian Smith)

    The first recorded game of what was to become Australian football in 1858 ended in a draw after three Saturday’s worth of play. So the draw has been an acknowledged result of the game since its very beginning.

    Of course, that’s not a reason for it to remain part of the game; the game has continually evolved. One fact has remained though, you have a certain amount of time to score more than your opponent.

    If you fail to do this, you do not win the game – and you shouldn’t be given an extra opportunity to win if you couldn’t do it in regulation time. That is why the draw should remain.

    Luke Shuey’s goal on Saturday night was extraordinary fundamentally because it was an extremely rare moment. Draws themselves are of course rare, finals draws are even rarer and goals after the siren in extra time are basically unheard of.

    Their rareness of these events is what makes them special. Some have argued that this rareness is exactly why they need to be abolished – i.e. that they are a remnant from another time.

    Of course as GWS found out this season, two draws puts you right back in the pack with everyone else. We shouldn’t change rules like this just to make the ladder more exciting. Premiership points have always been more important than percentage and they will remain so.

    A draw is a recognition that on certain days two teams may be equal. One does not necessarily have to be better. It’s important for the AFL to remember this and keep the draw for the regular season. Let moments like Luke Shuey’s extra time goal be saved for finals, that will mean games like that remain extra special.

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