Tuesday, 11 May 2010

The problems of modern AFL

When I arrived in Australia I was taken to an Australian Rules football match within 24 hours of touching down.  I was quite impressed with the game as it was very tough and exciting (even though this first sample was a SANFL game, Glenelg vs Woodville).  The Bays ran out winners by about 100 points with Fred Phyllis kicking 10 goals.  (Obviously it wasn't a Grand Final for Fred to kick like that.  After one (of several) despicable performance in a Final they burnt his boots: unfortunately they let him take them off first.)

But I digress.

The game has changed a lot since then.  The good old shirt-front has disappeared - apparently mothers were objecting to their Nathans and Trents getting hurt by tactics like that so were sending the poor little dears off to play soccer wheer they wouldn't get hurt.  (Obviously they've never watched any Italian or South American games.)  Many of the kicking styles used in my few games have disappeared, and there is a lot of frigging about with the ball to 'set up good structures' whatever the heck they are.

The following image is taken from the AFL Match Centre during a game between the two worst sides in the AFL in 2010. (Note: in other games in Round 7 some other clubs appear to be making a serious challenge for that rating.)
There are several things to note about this image:
  • Richmond Tigers (denoted by a yellow circle) are attacking the goal at the bottom of the screen.  Despite this they mange to shift the ball 50m away from that goal;
  • It takes them 7 transfers (from the distance per disposal, presumably mainly hand-passes)  to achieve this; 
  • The ball passes right across the goal face the Tigers are defending; and 
  • The movement starts off by a Crows player passing (again, from the distance gained, presumably a hand-pass) the gonad to a Tigers player and ends with the ball being lobbed out of bounds. (I did say they were the two worst teams.)
 In the olden days the Crows player would have given the ball a large roost into the attacking zone and if no score resulted a Tigers player would have replied in kind.  Perchance the AFL is recruiting its skills development people from netball for lack of physicality (or full-contact tiddleywinks for all the fiddling about)?


Shevaun said...

Firstly, I was offended by your derogatory comments concerning netball. Secondly, if you don't like AFL, maybe you have no need for a ticket to a corporate box?

Flabmeister said...

Well done for getting a Google account.

My comment was not derogatory to netball at all. I was merely saying that a game which used to be interesting because of its physicality seems to be adopting the rules of a game which bars physical contact. In theory anyway.