While the AFL has been quiet on many details; Flack Sports have exclusive content about the more delicate details of the much-maligned AFLX.
AFL general manager of clubs and broadcasting Travis Auld spoke to Flack Sports in regards to AFLX, the AFL’s exciting new venture. Auld talked with gusto as he struggled to hide his excitement in this Flack Sports exclusive.
“For starters, we think the AFLX name is a winner. We re-hashed some results from previous market research. “The name, AFLX came second to Futureball in 1992, so it has been a long time coming”.
“Being able to play on a rectangle field makes the game easily accessible,” Auld said. “We want to make sure the format is right, especially because we feel the sport can take off all over the world.”
“Along with the rectangle playing field, we have included some other differences to accommodate for international audiences. “We have taken a few things from Futureball as a part of the plan for AFLX,” Auld said. Futureball was a Coca-Cola commercial from the early 1990s in which they partnered with the AFL.
“Similar to Futureball, the players are going to wear some Virtual Reality goggles which will help their in-game decision making. “Considering the game will be targeted at new audiences, the VR goggles will help with player development. “Being able to analyse decisions in real time will develop international players at an advanced rate.” When asked if the VR technology would ever take form in the traditional AFL competition, Auld was more diplomatic. “While it may help some, we like to keep the game somewhat traditional. We can’t even get players to wear protective gear to stop brain-damage in their forties”.
Flack believes that there will be some format of exhibition AFLX matches, as a way to introduce the sport to the general public. “We have no official start-date. However, we are trying to suss out appropriate dates that line up with the AFL clubs. “It may be a hard ask, especially considering we cannot even get clubs to take part in the State of Origin.”
What else does AFLX have in store?
Along with the rectangle playing field as mentioned earlier, and the VR glasses, there is a slew of changes in creating AFLX.
- Smaller sides, believed to be seven per side.
- Due to AFL balls being hard to find overseas, the game will be played with a round ball, or a Grid Iron ball, or a frisbee, or basically whatever you can find.
- Teams can only score within a permitted zone, similar to Netball.
- In the Northern Hemisphere, the game can also be played on ice.
- On the second Wednesdays of the month, the game is played with an extra on-field player; these are called ‘Wacky Wednesdays.’
- Players can attach sharp objects to their shoes, similar to the chariots on Ben Hur.
- There are three in-ground trampolines on the playing surface to encourage high-flying marks.
- The inclusion of a ‘sin-bin,’ where a player has to stand in the corner of the field, hop on one foot and touch their nose until the next score.