|Most recent season or competition:|
2019 AFLX tournament
|Sport||Altered version of Australian rules football|
|Founded||6 February 2018|
|No. of teams|
|Headquarters||Melbourne, Victoria, Australia|
|Sponsor(s)||Zooper Dooper and Toyota|
AFLX was a shortened variation of Australian rules football, played in 2018 and 2019 as a pre-season event in the Australian Football League (AFL). The altered version of the game was founded in 2017 in an attempt to appeal to a wider audience outside of its origin country of Australia. The format of AFLX events has varied – the 2019 tournament consisted of four teams each captained by a high-profile AFL footballer.
In August 2019, the AFL confirmed AFLX would not return in 2020.
The rules of the game differed from Australian rules football in some significant ways. The game was played on a rectangular soccer-sized pitch, allowing matches to be hosted by stadiums that usually lacked the suitable field dimensions for Australian rules football. The format was modified in the second year with AFLX 2019 seeing slightly changed rules:
On 6 February 2018, AFLX was launched by AFL Chief Executive Officer Gillon McLachlan at Docklands Stadium. McLachlan said that AFLX would help promote football internationally.
The 2018 competition attracted more than 40,000 fans to tournaments in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney. In Melbourne, TV ratings were reported as "modest" by AFL standards, with the three events drawing an average five-city metro audience of over 120,000 on Channel Seven's secondary channels.
In August 2019, the AFL confirmed AFLX would not return in 2020 to allow a greater focus on AFLW.
The reception to the game among fans and the media was mostly poor, with ABC Grandstand journalist Richard Hinds being particularly savage in labelling it a "hollow, unappealing, pressure-free, atmosphere-deficient, oval-in-a-rectangle hole yawn-fest".
Con Stavros of RMIT's school of Economics, Finance and Marketing, expressed doubts about the potential of AFLX to export Australian rules football but acknowledged that using rectangular playing fields instead of the standard cricket ones would make such expansion easier.
|2018||Group A: Adelaide Crows|
Group B: Melbourne Demons
Group C: Brisbane Lions