(Australian Associated Press)
THE BASICS OF AFLX
* Played on rectangular fields about 110 metres long
* Seven players per team on-field, with three interchange players
* Two 10-minute halves, no time-on
* Team that touches ball last before going out of bounds surrenders possession opponent
* Ten points awarded for goals from outside 40-metre arc
* Kick-ins from all scores
* No marks paid from backward kicks, except in 40m-arc
* Twenty-second shot clock for scoring attempts
* Three round-robin tournaments featuring six clubs
* The six teams split into two pools. Each team plays two games
* Winners of both pools to play-off in a grand final
* Adelaide, Thursday night: Port Adelaide, Geelong, Adelaide, Collingwood, West Coast, Fremantle
* Melbourne, Friday night: Carlton, Melbourne, Hawthorn, Essendon, St Kilda, North Melbourne
* Sydney, Saturday night: Greater Western Sydney, Richmond, Sydney, Western Bulldogs, Brisbane, Gold Coast
North Melbourne coach Brad Scott has a blunt message for doubters of the AFLX experiment: don’t bag it until you try it.
The AFL’s short-format competition kicks off in Adelaide on Thursday, with seven-a-side teams playing abbreviated games at a soccer stadium.
“We can’t tell exactly how it’s going to look on TV and for the fans but to any naysayers, all I would say is ‘try it’,” Scott told reporters on Wednesday.
Six clubs will be the guinea pigs for AFLX on Thursday night at Adelaide’s Coopers Stadium – home ground of A-League club Adelaide United.
Six games of 20 minutes each will be played on a field 110 metres long before what has been dubbed a grand final between the two most successful teams.
Scott, a renowned deep thinker on AFL issues, said clubs were embracing the experiment.
“There’s a fair element of the unknown,” he said.
“We think it’s a really exciting concept.
“That’s not to say that we think it’s going to be a raging success or otherwise but certainly from North Melbourne’s perspective we think it’s a really good idea to trial it.
“We’re more than willing to put some of our good players out there and see how they go.
“Hopefully it’s a great product and if it’s not we haven’t lost anything.”
After the Adelaide debut, AFLX round-robin tournaments will be played in Melbourne on Friday night and Sydney on Saturday night.
Most clubs have picked teams with a blend of top-end talent and untried youth, including Port Adelaide.
“It’s a chance to have a look at some younger guys but we wanted to keep enough experience in the team so that they weren’t thrown out in the deep end,” Power assistant coach Matthew Nicks said on Wednesday.
“What you find, when you get out in the bright lights, anything from 10,000 to 15,000 people, the mind changes things.
“Some of our young guys who have been training really well, we would love to see them in that pressure environment.
“There will be some real pressure on because it’s one-on-one in a smaller field.”