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2018 AFLX fixtures and rules

Shaun Atley of North Melbourne (L) and Jack Billings of St.Kilda pose with AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan during the AFLX launch. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

st-kilda-saints-afl-genericAFLX is the newest version of Australian Rules Football – smaller, faster, and perhaps with a little more X-factor? Here you’ll find everything you need to know about AFLX.

» Go straight to 2018 AFLX fixtures

What is AFLX?
Think of what T20 is to cricket, what sevens is to rugby, what fast four is to tennis – that’s what AFLX is to AFL. In the AFL’s own words, AFLX is “an express form of the game”.

Essentially it’s shorter, smaller version of Australian rules football, one that might be easier to scrounge together a few mates for, or not as much of a time commitment to sit down and watch.

What are the rules?
The change you’ll notice right away is that AFLX is played on a rectangular stadium, rather than the traditional oval.

Each team also has just seven players on the field, and three on the bench (for a total of ten, which is where the ‘X’ comes from). Matches are also divided into a pair of ten-minute halves with no time on.

In terms of how the game is played, the rules have been designed to speed up and streamline movement of the ball in any way possible.

This includes a last touch out of bounds free kick, no marks for backwards kicks (except in forward 40), a 20-second shot clock for set shots, and kick-ins from behind the goalline after any score.

In terms of scoring, a goal kick from outside the 40m line will be a ‘supergoal’, and worth ten points. A rushed behind will award a team one point – however, the team will also get a free set shot on goal from 40m out.

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Also, what would be a 50m penalty in AFL will only be a 25m penalty in AFLX.

Why on earth does it exist?
Good question. The simplest answer is that AFLX is seen by the AFL as a way to take the game international, as the rectangular ground and reduced numbers will make it easy to play in nations that don’t commonly have sporting ovals.

“AFLX has been created to provide us with the options to play a form of the game in places where oval grounds are limited and to showcase our game internationally at a point in the future,” said Andrew Dillon of the AFL.

Of course, if it proves a hit with Australian audiences, AFLX might also eventually provide the AFL with a product to put on television during the AFL’s off-season, perhaps featuring a combination of recent retirees and state league stars.

AFLX

(Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

When is it?
AFLX will make its debut in the 2018 pre-season with all eighteen teams competing across three nights in groups of six in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney.

These nights will be mini-tournaments that divide the six teams into two pools of three, with a round robin in each pool, and the winners of the pools playing off in the seventh and final match of the night, a ‘grand final’.

AFLX Adelaide

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Thursday 15 February – Hindmarsh Stadium
Pool Match Time (AEDT)
A Port Adelaide vs Geelong 6:40 PM
B Adelaide vs Collingwood 7:08 PM
A Geelong vs Fremantle 7:36 PM
B West Coast vs Adelaide 8:04 PM
A Fremantle vs Port Adelaide 8:32 PM
B Collingwood vs West Coast Eagles 9:00 PM
GF Pool A winner vs Pool B winner 9:33 PM

AFLX Melbourne

Friday 16 February – Etihad Stadium
Pool Match Time (AEDT)
A Carlton vs Melbourne 6:40 PM
B Hawthorn vs Essendon 7:08 PM
A North Melbourne vs Carlton 7:36 PM
B Essendon vs St Kilda 8:04 PM
A Melbourne vs North Melbourne 8:32 PM
B St Kilda vs Hawthorn 9:00 PM
GF Pool A winner vs Pool B winner 9:33 PM

AFLX Sydney

Saturday 17 February – Allianz Stadium
Pool Match Time (AEDT)
A GWS vs Richmond 4:10 PM
B Sydney vs Bulldogs 4:38 PM
A Richmond vs Brisbane 5:06 PM
B Bulldogs vs Gold Coast 5:34 PM
A Brisbane vs GWS 6:02 PM
B Gold Coast vs Sydney 6:30 PM
GF Pool A winner vs Pool B winner 7:03 PM