The Roar
The Roar


Covid-19 has given the AFL a chance to improve the draw

Autoplay in... 6 (Cancel)
Up Next No more videos! Playlist is empty -
Roar Rookie
20th April, 2020

Last month I wrote a piece about making the AFL draw fair. That was before the full extent of the Covid-19 virus was felt.

Since then I’ve had another think about the opportunity that presents itself with the unfortunate arrival of Covid-19. It has given the AFL the chance to have a least one fair AFL season were teams play “true” home games.

The chance is given because the crowds will not likely be in attendance for season 2020. With no crowds, the expected attendance for a game can’t play its natural part in fixturing.

The clubs it benefits the most are Geelong, Western Bulldogs at Whitten Oval and Carlton at Princess Park as these grounds are already in use by those clubs at least at U18 and AFLW level – and are trained on by those teams.

Others could play at their training grounds to some extent. St Kilda at Moorabbin. Hawthorn could play at Waverley, Collingwood at Goschs Paddock. Melbourne out of Casey fields. North at Marvel and Richmond at the MCG.

The only issue with some of the grounds is maintaining the current community restrictions (and these look like continuing for the 2020 season anyway).

With a true home-and-away season while crowds can’t attend, finals can be played on the higher ranked team’s home ground without carrying on about ground capacity.

Debate about the grand final being played away from the MCG could be had. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a firm believer in the grand final being at the MCG, however, for the other finals I believe at least the hosting team gets to choose, i.e. Geelong (yes I choose the Cats as an example, as they are the main club who is disadvantaged under the current arrangement) could choose Kardinia Park, Marvel or MCG.

Western Bulldogs could choose the Western Oval, Marvel or MCG. Same goes for the other teams or any other ground used throughout the season. This would somewhat even out the playing of one less home game for half the competition in a 17-round season.


All home games would be played at the ground of the home team. For the 2020 season, the MCG tenants wouldn’t get it mostly their way. The reason that is mainly given about the crowd sizes is no longer valid for season 2020 at least.

When crowds can return, maybe more consideration to home games and home finals being played at the home teams’ ground. The winner would truly have earned their title.

Hindsight is a virtue and now is the chance to ensure that when looking back at season 2020 it isn’t with the value of hindsight – why didn’t we try something different when we had the chance?