The Roar
The Roar


Here's how to make the AFL go global

Brett Deledio of the Giants celebrates a goal during the 2017 AFL First Semi Final match between the GWS Giants and the West Coast Eagles at Spotless Stadium on September 16, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)
Roar Guru
30th April, 2018

As it stands, the AFL is arguably the most popular sport in Australia, but is unknown away from our shores.

There are a number of tweaks that can be made to the game, rules and the adjudication of AFL in order to successfully market it to other countries and to make it even more popular than it currently is in Australia. Below are some alterations that I believe will further increase the popularity.

Shorten the game
Make the quarters 15 minutes instead of 20 in order to lengthen careers of players and decrease fatigue.

Mid-season trade period
In order to even up the competition and give fringe players an opportunity a mid Season trade period should be introduced. It works well in soccer.

Every team plays against each other twice
This will prevent teams from being favoured. The Victorian teams would play interstate a minimum of eight times; the draw would be evened up.

Geelong Cats AFL Finals 2016

(AAP Image/Julian Smith)

Promotion and relegation
This will give clubs in the Foxtel Cup hope, by allowing them to be promoted to the AFL level and will get rid of tanking for the bottom teams in the AFL. I think three teams is the right amount to be promoted and relegated.

Introduce a yellow and red card
In particular for a grand final or when a player is playing their last game; there are no consequences for a player if they can’t get sent off. There has to be a punishment given in the game.


There is nothing to prevent a player from endeavouring to injure an opponent if they don’t care about suffering a suspension. The temptation to injure an opponent has to be taken away through punishment being put in place in a game.

Nine points for a goal outside fifty
This would make the game more exciting and could even encourage teams to recruit players with longer kicks.

No more deliberate out of bounds
In order to eliminate confusion, ensure that the last player to touch the ball concedes possession to the opposition.

Can’t kick backwards from half way

This will make the game more even and quicker. As it stands there is nothing stopping teams wasting time by kicking backwards deliberately and maintaining possession; when this is done it detracts from the spectacle.

Have a countdown clock at the grounds
Every other sport in the world, the players have knowledge of the amount of time left in the game. The runners can tell the player how long is left in the game anyway.

Have the names on the back of the guernseys
If the game is to be more attractive the surnames of players must be printed on the back of their guernseys, especially if we start having more overseas players playing our game.

Simplify the rules in order to take it overseas
In particular the holding the ball and dropping the ball rule. For fans new to the sport some of the rules need to be clarified and made basic so that these people don’t turn away from the game.