THE 2018 AFL season is fast approaching, which means the unique concept of AFLX is less than a month from its debut.
But, what is AFLX?
Well, according to the AFL website, it is “a fast and exciting version of Australian Football, is to be played on a rectangular field and aims to showcase the unique and most thrilling aspects of the game to attract new fans”.
“The X in AFLX relates to the roman numeral character for the number 10, which is a constant through the alternative version of the game.”
When this idea was first announced, I was confused as to why the AFL would go ahead and make a whole new game, despite the fact it hasn’t perfected the main game yet.
However, after a while it began to make sense.
The most important factor in this whole new bizarre world of AFLX is the rectangular field.
Why? Because these fields are scattered across Europe, the United States, and so forth, making AFLX the perfect tool for international expansion.
Realistically, a foreign country won’t develop a gigantic oval simply for a game of Australian Rules, a sport which has very limited popularity overseas.
AFLX will be a fast-paced game, but will use many of the basic rules of proper AFL.
This will make it easier for any foreigner to easily adapt to the main sport from AFLX.
As a fan of the game itself, and the potential it could have, I believe the AFL needs to continue to branch out of Australia, where it is the number-one supported sport, and push international markets.
Both South Australian clubs – Adelaide and Port Adelaide – are in a group with West Australian clubs Fremantle and West Coast, along with Collingwood and Geelong, for a round robin AFLX series at Hindmarsh Stadium on February 15.
Whether AFLX will become a success remains to be seen but, football fans, I urge you to go out and view it, and give it the support it needs to become an international success.