AAP AFL

Hardwick, Scott back shorter AFL games

By AAP Newswire

Premiership-winning coaches Damien Hardwick and Chris Scott have backed the concept that shorter is better when it comes to AFL matches.

It is among the many topics being considered by the AFL's new competitions committee as they examine the state of the game.

AFL Player Association president Patrick Dangerfield reckons matches run on for too long, an opinion backed by both his club coach at Geelong and Richmond mentor Hardwick.

"You only have to look at how it goes - some sides, for example, play 33-minute quarters and others play 28-minute quarters," Hardwick said on Friday.

"Over the course of a week that doesn't seem significant but over the year it can be quite significant.

"When you look at games with young sides, the blowouts tend to happen in the last five minutes of quarters.

"If it's all about what's best for the competition, I think it's a no-brainer."

Scott said shorter matches would be more appealing to younger fans.

"It does open up the potential for even more games," Scott told reporters on Friday.

"If the game was much shorter I think there would be a really strong argument to stretch the season and maybe even consider a move that would assist the integrity of the game by having more teams play each other twice.

"I don't think we'd lose much from the spectacle if the game was up to even 25 per cent shorter."

Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson said his club was asked by the AFL to trial some proposed structural changes at a session last weekend at Etihad Stadium because they had requested to train at the venue ahead of three matches there.

"They said 'well, if you do, in some of your 18 versus 18 stuff would you be able to allow us to just trial a couple of things?'" said the four-time flag-winning coach.

"We gave the AFL two 10-minute opportunities to use our players.

"It was only around one particular thing and that was at stoppages.

"Either centre bounce or between the arcs, (they asked) 'could we see what it looked like with more numbers staying inside 50, rather than all going up to the stoppage?'"

Clarkson said it was incumbent on the AFL to accumulate as much evidence as possible if they were to lock in any rule changes before the draft in October.

"There were parts of it that looked really, really effective and I'm sure the AFL were pleased with some of the outcomes," he said.

"There were other parts that you think 'that's not going to work at all.'"