The AFLW 2018 season guide

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By The_Wookie, The_Wookie is a Roar Guru

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    The second AFLW season is less than four weeks away. Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the opening round.

    The teams
    The number of teams hasn’t changed in 2018. The AFL postponed expansion of the AFLW competition until 2019, when North Melbourne (together with Tasmania) and Geelong will enter new teams into the league. In 2020 West Coast, Gold Coast, Richmond and St Kilda will enter, taking the total number of teams to 14.

    The fixture
    The season opens on 2 February with Carlton playing Collingwood at Princes Park, and it continues until 24 March, meaning the latter parts of the competition will be up against the men’s preseason competition and the AFLX weekend. Despite this, the AFLW fixture has no double-headers with men’s games in 2018.

    Matches will be played at Traeger Park in Alice Springs for the first time for AFLW, with Melbourne scheduled to play Collingwood there in a move to support programs in the Northern Territory. The Pies have not moved to play at Victoria Park, with two games at Olympic Park and a game at Moe.

    Like last year, Adelaide will play one game in Darwin and GWS will play one game in Canberra. The Crows games in Adelaide have been moved from Thebarton Oval to The Parade after the success of games held last year at the larger capacity venue.

    (AAP Image/Dan Peled)

    Ticketing
    Like last season, all matches will have free entry, with the sole exception of the Fremantle vs Collingwood game at Perth Stadium on 10 February, where entry will cost $2.

    Broadcast
    At least one game per round will be broadcast on Channel Seven or 7mate across the entire competition, including the season-opening fixture. Adelaide and Fremantle games will also be broadcast locally into Adelaide and Perth. GWS and Brisbane games will not be shown locally on the Seven network unless they’re part of the Saturday night fixtures.

    All games will be broadcast live on Foxtel as well as free on the AFL website.

    List changes
    There were some big movements over the offseason through various trades. Carlton traded picks for Nicola Stevens from Collingwood and signed Tayla Harris from Brisbane while losing Nat Exon and Isabella Ayre to Brisbane and Bianca Jakobsson to Melbourne, who traded Deanna Berry to the Bulldogs as part of a three-way trade.

    Melbourne later traded Pepa Randall to GWS for Ashleigh Guest. Collingwood would get Jamie Lambert from the Dogs, while the Giants would gain Alicia Eva from Collingwood in another three-way trade.

    (AAP Image/Dan Peled)

    Rule changes
    Three rule changes come in for the 2018 season, the biggest being that the AFL has decided to modify the out of bounds rule. A player will now give away a free kick if they kick or handball the ball over the boundary line without it being touched by an opposition player.

    There will also be a reduction in the number of interchange players from six to five, meaning teams will now have 21 players in total – 16 on the field plus five on the bench.

    Finally, there will be the implementation of time-on for the last two minutes of each quarter, as happened in the women’s grand final last season.

    Pay
    Total player payments have increased by $500,000 this year under a revised payment system whereby the minimum wage of a senior listed player rose from $8,500 to $10,500. However, it should be noted that it amounts to a 36 per cent increase in contracted hours but only a 20.96 per cent increase in total player payments.

    Players have signed 24-week contracts which include two weeks of annual leave. Players will now commit 13 to 15 hours per week during the preseason and ten hours during the season proper. Matchday hours are on top of the ten-hour week.

    Postseason
    At the close of the season there will be a period during which Victorian AFLW clubs will have to give up certain players to be recruited by incoming clubs to the value of 100 points, with players being ranked by an AFLW committee that will place a value of between ten and 50 points on every listed player. Points will be based on performance and will also take into account injury, age and other relevant factors.

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    The Crowd Says (9)

    • January 6th 2018 @ 11:08am
      Giantscrew said | January 6th 2018 @ 11:08am | ! Report

      Can’t wait to see the ratings for this wafl in Sydney

      • January 6th 2018 @ 6:51pm
        Martin said | January 6th 2018 @ 6:51pm | ! Report

        Good luck with Gigi’s Sydney debut. She comes from Canberra and it might take some time for her to settle in.

    • January 6th 2018 @ 7:38pm
      Mat said | January 6th 2018 @ 7:38pm | ! Report

      By the look of the responses to this article the AFLW has already peaked. Nothing against the ladies but geez the standard of play last year was atrocious. If they can somehow improve that they might have a chance to be relevant. Then again the Melbourne centric media will lap it up no matter what it looks like.

      • January 6th 2018 @ 10:32pm
        Mattyb said | January 6th 2018 @ 10:32pm | ! Report

        I wouldn’t be using the lack of responses as a guide Mat,often responses can just be people looking for an argument or trying to settle old scores on a particular website like this.
        Young girls can see a connection to AFLW which the AFL is trying to push,young girls aren’t commenting on this website at this point of time but that doesn’t mean AFLW isn’t making some sort of impact,maybe they’re commenting on a girls website which they frequent?

        • January 7th 2018 @ 8:46am
          Macca said | January 7th 2018 @ 8:46am | ! Report

          So you think AFLW is only for young girls?

          For it to become successful it needs the vast majority of male AFL supporters to get behind it.

      • Roar Guru

        January 6th 2018 @ 11:02pm
        Cat said | January 6th 2018 @ 11:02pm | ! Report

        Or maybe you just need to realise with only 8 teams there will not be as many people invested into it as the 18 team men’s comp. I’ll certainly be more vocal next year when there is a Geelong side playing. Right now though, for me, it is harder to get into without a side to support. I’ll still go to a few games, like I did last year though.

        • January 7th 2018 @ 12:15pm
          Martin said | January 7th 2018 @ 12:15pm | ! Report

          It’s easier for people to be invested when your state just has the one team because it can be perceived as being a state side. When the Eagles enter the AFLW competition in 2020 it’s going to split the state in half.

      • January 7th 2018 @ 8:43am
        Macca said | January 7th 2018 @ 8:43am | ! Report

        Mat – I agree on the standard of play last year but you have to remember the players were essentially amateurs. I heard Nicole Stephenson on the radio a few months back saying a lot of the young women had never done any serious fitness training, I would expect the standard to steadily improve as the players become more professional and the increased number of females playing the sport starts to flow through

      • Roar Guru

        January 10th 2018 @ 11:27am
        Penster said | January 10th 2018 @ 11:27am | ! Report

        Nowhere near peaked, not even close and you can’t judge the interest in a sport based on the number of comments on an article in early Jan. The number of grassroots girls teams coming up negates that argument, it’s going gangbusters here in NSW, as you’d expect since it recently become a viable career option for the girls. Standards will improve each year, huge buzz around GWS (my adopted team), they’re taking it seriously.

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