Segregation at AFLX? No thanks

Pat Hornidge Roar Rookie

By Pat Hornidge, Pat Hornidge is a Roar Rookie


6 Have your say

    The AFL recently announced that it was considering introducing ‘fan zones’ for the three AFLX carnivals in February.

    With six teams competing in each tournament, at any time there will be fans of four teams not invested in the game that’s going on. The AFL argues that this means that the atmosphere will not be as animated as possible.

    So, as a solution to this, the AFL has suggested that fans should be encouraged to sit in special ‘fan zones’ with their own clubs’ fans. This would give both a visual impact as well as an audible one – massed fans will always be louder than fans scattered throughout the stadium.

    And this isn’t a new idea. Grand final crowds are semi-segregated because it looks effective on TV.

    However, the idea that crowds at a preseason game should be segregated in order to create a better atmosphere is one that has very few redeeming qualities. First off, I would imagine that few in the crowd will be taking the games that seriously.

    The atmosphere at pre-season games is already quite different from the regular season, and that fact that the teams will in essence be playing a totally different game will mean that crowds will most likely treat it as a bit of a laugh. Having supporters grouped together will not solve this problem.

    Of course, having sections of the crowd barracking against both teams on the ground could be a bit of a laugh, but really that would be an accidental outcome of this proposal.

    This could even work against the concept of the game, and the tournament. If I go to the games, it will be a chance to sit with mates who support many different sides.

    If we were to be ‘encouraged’ to all sit separately then I would definitely reconsider going. (I do like the word ‘encouraged’, it suggests that someone will be at the game to sort out the crowd into their ‘correct’ section.)

    Crowd segregation doesn’t seem like something that is going to be heavily enforced by the AFL at AFLX games. But even a hint of separating fans brings up mental images of some of the worst aspects of other sports. Certainly the AFL should try to innovate and create new fan experiences. But to segregate fans is a step along the wrong path.

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    The Crowd Says (6)

    • Roar Guru

      December 30th 2017 @ 9:09am
      mds1970 said | December 30th 2017 @ 9:09am | ! Report

      Other than cheer squad areas, there’s no need for it.
      With six teams in one ground on the same day, how the cheer squad areas are allocated will take some working out. Particularly in Melbourne with six local teams all playing. Less of an issue in Adelaide or Sydney – I can’t imagine cheer squads or supporters travelling interstate for AFLX.
      But around the rest of the ground, there’s just no need for segregation.

    • December 30th 2017 @ 11:04am
      Norad said | December 30th 2017 @ 11:04am | ! Report

      Fake news. Predicated on there actually being a crowd in the first place.

    • December 30th 2017 @ 5:25pm
      dave said | December 30th 2017 @ 5:25pm | ! Report

      Apart from families of the players I cant really imagine anyone paying to watch AFLX.Even if free it might not be too tempting because there is plenty of other things to do on a weekend.
      Things that get put off during the regular AFL season.
      Although the AFL is pretty good at marketing they could probably sell a watching paint dry competition.

    • December 30th 2017 @ 6:09pm
      Kangajets said | December 30th 2017 @ 6:09pm | ! Report

      What is xafl, a gala day of footy or something, haven’t heard of it yet up here in Newcastle.

    • December 31st 2017 @ 2:07am
      dave said | December 31st 2017 @ 2:07am | ! Report

      Does anyone know what the x stands for?
      It is usually used for extreme sports even though extreme starts with an e.

      • January 5th 2018 @ 4:59pm
        Brad said | January 5th 2018 @ 4:59pm | ! Report

        The ‘X’ is Roman numeral for 10.
        10 players a side…10 points for goals outside 40m…

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