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Calm needed in the AFL golden point debate

Nick Riewoldt is still top class. How did he miss All Australian selection? (Lachlan Cunningham)
Roar Guru
19th April, 2016
4

Judging by the alarmist reaction by many on social media and even in the newspapers, some would have you believe the golden point had just attempted to kidnap kids from Lebanon.

There haven’t been many drawn AFL grand finals, only three that I can remember. It’s not likely to impact many seasons.

But up until this change, the sport dealt with draws in three different ways.

A home-and-away draw meant splitting the points.

A finals draw meant extra time.

A grand final draw meant a replay.

That’s kinda messy. The extra time system used for finals has been a raging success.

It meant no more coming back next week. It meant we got a result on the day. And isn’t that why we all turned up to the ground in the first place? To get a result?

Some deep thinkers and a random guy on Twitter who tagged me from Hoppers Crossing reckon that a grand final should only be won in extra time via a goal. Even Eddie has spoken out against it.

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Why does Eddie even care? It’s not as though Collingwood will be playing in another grand final in his lifetime anyway. Doesn’t he have more urgent things to worry about?

“A rushed behind could decide a grand final. That’s horrible.” they say.

Yes it could, and so it should be able to.

Why should a rushed behind in normal time be allowed to decide a season, but in extra time, it now takes on some mythical evolutionarily characteristics that make it unappealing?

Imagine taking away Plugger’s point after the siren against Essendon in the 1996 preliminary final. “Sorry Mr Lockett. Doesn’t count. You can’t prevent a team from playing in a grand final with a point.”

We have goals and behinds. Both are legitimate forms of scoring. A game of footy is won by the team who scores the most points. Not the team who kicks the most goals.

If you don’t like the golden point system, then here’s how to avoid losing to it:

1) Beat your opposition in normal time; or
2) Beat your opposition in extra time; or
3) Let’s just remove behinds as a scoring option altogether and be like soccer. It’s really just a point for missing right?

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I usually write about cricket and some Roarers will undoubtedly comment that I should stick to it. The funnier ones will tell me I should drop cricket too.

Anyhow, can you imagine that you could only win a World Cup if you hit a six? Or that you couldn’t win a Test match off a no ball?

Because if you are arguing that the golden point is inappropriate, you don’t understand AFL football.