Shortened quarters – positive or negative for the competition?
By Madison Mifsud-Ure
This year’s AFL matches were reduced to 16-minute quarters from the traditional 20-minute quarters due to the uncertainty surrounding the season during the coronavirus pandemic. The shortened quarters were introduced in the event that teams would have to play multiple games in a week, giving them more time to recover in a shorter turnaround. This effectively changed the length of he AFL matches from 120 minutes to 100 minutes. But what impact is that having on the games and the results?
One aspect of the game that has significantly changed has been the number of high-scoring contests. This season there has been the lowest average scoring for 53 seasons. Teams scores are only averaging 59.5 points per game, which is a significant decrease from the 2019 season which averaged 80.4 points per game. However, given the reduced time on field it makes sense. While some close games can be extremely entertaining, the Round 6 match between Richmond and Sydney was close but lack lustre. It was also the lowest scoring match of the season so far with the two sides not even exceeding a half a century worth of points between them.
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