Please stop with the ‘premiership quarter’ nonsense

Lance Skelton Roar Rookie

By Lance Skelton, Lance Skelton is a Roar Rookie


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    ‘The premiership quarter’ refers to the bizarre notion that, somehow, the third quarter of an AFL game is more important than any other quarter. I have no idea where it originated, but the sooner it goes back to where it came from, the better.

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    Every weekend, without fail, you’ll hear some footy commentator who really should know better, blurt out “Well, this is the all-important premiership quarter!”

    Really? So what about the first two quarters? What about the last quarter? Should we just forget about them?

    Last time I checked, the game of Australian rules football is played over four quarters, where each point won and each point conceded is worth exactly the same. Each quarter runs for 20 minutes, plus ‘time on’, so what exactly are these commentators banging on about? It makes no sense.

    Every second of a football game, every contest, every mark, every handball, every tackle, every ruck contest, every hardball get, every shepherd, every chase, every desperate spoil, every out-of-bounds, every penalty, every goal, every point… It all counts towards the end result.

    The team that manages to do all of this most consistently over the course of the season makes it to the finals. Then, who plays well enough in the finals to actually win the grand final, guess what? They win the premiership.

    Can you imagine any coach saying to his or her players before the game, “Don’t worry about the first two quarters, or the last. Do anything you like. It’s all about the third quarter, that’s the premiership quarter!”

    Surely, there’s got to be something else commentators can talk about than to continue to bleat out nonsense every time the third quarter of a football game commences? It’s lazy and does nothing to further enhance our enjoyment or understanding of the game.

    It reminds me of a crazy tennis theory that was all the rage about 25 years ago, when respected commentators like John Newcombe and Fred Stolle used to prattle on about the “all-important seventh game” of every set. Remember that utterly ridiculous idea?

    The seventh game is no more or less important than any other game played, but Newcombe, Stolle and co. would carry on like pork chops every time the seventh game came around.

    Thankfully, this ludicrous theory is pretty much dead and buried. My hope is that the so-called ‘premiership quarter’ goes the same way, and as quickly as possible.

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    The Crowd Says (23)

    • September 7th 2017 @ 3:11am
      Timewaster said | September 7th 2017 @ 3:11am | ! Report

      Instead of a such a lazy argument why don’t you look at the statistics of how the points scored in the 3rd quarter relate to the outcome of a game?
      The Premiership Quarter phenomenon relates to third quarter dominance leading to a win – watch some footy and try again.

      • Roar Rookie

        September 7th 2017 @ 8:11am
        Lance Skelton said | September 7th 2017 @ 8:11am | ! Report

        Really? Please share your stats with me.

    • September 7th 2017 @ 7:42am
      Pete said | September 7th 2017 @ 7:42am | ! Report

      The Carlton team of the late 70s early 80s was renowned for coming out and blitzing their opposition in the 3rd quarter. I think it may have originated from then.

      • September 7th 2017 @ 8:05am
        Lroy said | September 7th 2017 @ 8:05am | ! Report

        I think your correct, Drew Morphet used to make reference to it on the “Winners”. I don’t recall anyone using it prior to that Carlton side, good call.

    • September 7th 2017 @ 8:17am
      I ate pies said | September 7th 2017 @ 8:17am | ! Report

      The premiership quarter happens all of the time – the first half will be close and the third quarter is the one where the better team gets on top and kicks away. It happens every week in every competition.

    • September 7th 2017 @ 8:18am
      BigAl said | September 7th 2017 @ 8:18am | ! Report

      The most important quarter in ANY game of AFL football, premiership or otherwise is the FIRST quarter.

      How often do we a side come out and absolutely pummel the opposition in the first quarter, establishing a demoralising quarter time lead and then pretty much coasting for the rest of the game with the score differential barely changing for the rest of the game.
      Variations on this situation are:
      the opposition will launch “spirited” but short term comeback efforts but final analysis shows the game was over at quarter time;
      the opposition just “goes home” at quarter time and game turns into an embarressing and meaningless debacle !

      Personally speaking as an objective AFL supporter I don’t like any of the above scenarios ! . . . nothing worse than a game being over at quarter time…

    • Roar Guru

      September 7th 2017 @ 9:23am
      Wayne said | September 7th 2017 @ 9:23am | ! Report

      More modern revival was Port Adelaide 2004. They werr known for going very hard/strong in 3rd quarter to finish games with a quarter to play.

    • September 7th 2017 @ 9:36am
      Roger said | September 7th 2017 @ 9:36am | ! Report

      The “premiership quarter” is just a point of momentum. Resuming after half time, its when true changes can be made and a team can pull away or get back into a contest before the final 30 min of play.

      Of course every minute is of equal value, but in all sports momentum is plays a massive part. Scoring just before half time in soccer can dramatically change a game, a big run late in a quarter in basketball, a late break of serve in a set of tennis etc. All key points that can change the a match dynamic based on a momentum swing during a critical point.

      In AFL, the third quarter is often this point. Sometimes its other quarters sure, and the fourth quarter can obviously be the decider, but the match can be won and lost in the third quarter and is often a pivotal point in the match.

      I’ve never heard of someone getting upset over it.