Quarters lengths to increase

Quarters lengths to increase

THE AFL’s experiment with 16-minute quarters is over as the competition prepares to again increase game time next year.

The length of quarters was slashed from 20 minutes for the 2020 season as the AFL managed the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

AFL football operations boss Steve Hocking has confirmed the duration of games will rise in 2021, but by how much remains to be seen.

There is a possibility of 18-minute quarters, instead of the traditional 20-minutes plus time-on.

“(AFL chief executive) Gil (McLachlan) and myself have both said we won’t be going back to 16,” Hocking told SEN.

“It will lengthen, it’s just we need a little bit more time to finalise that part of it.

“Hopefully 2021 we do get back to some sort of normality, but it’s certainly not looking that way at this stage.”

AFL Players Association president Patrick Dangerfield is keen not to go back to 20-minute quarters.

“My personal view is that 16 is too short. I think 18 is about right,” the Geelong superstar told SEN.

“Adding an extra layer of complexity to that is I think at different stages this year, the shorter breaks worked quite well.

“I think in a normal season you may be able to improve the quality of the fixture because that was always a stumbling block.”

It comes a day after the AFL announced a number of rule changes designed to increase scoring and make the game more appealing to fans.

Interchange rotations will be cut to a maximum of 75 per team – down from 90 last season.

Players standing the mark will only be allowed “minimal” lateral movement, and the location of the mark at kick-ins will be set at 15m from the centre of the kick-off line.

(C) AAP 2020