Ministry of Sport

AFL To Consider Reducing Half-Time Break

The AFL is considering cutting the length of half-time breaks from 20 minutes down to 10 minutes for the 2020 AFL Premiership season.

The idea was proposed to all 18 club chief executives before the start of the NAB AFL Draft at Marvel Stadium on Wednesday, and the AFL will speak with GM’s of football today.

The aim of the shortened break is to reduce the overall length of games and to help keep fans and TV audiences engaged.

Melbourne Demons coach, Simon Goodwin, said he supports the idea and it likely won’t change the way coaches deliver their half-time messages.

“I’m OK with it,” Goodwin said in an interview on SEN.

“If you look around the world in terms of the game, our game is incredibly long.

“If we can find ways to reduce the length of the game for our spectators and the people involved in the game, I think it’s a good thing.

“Ten less minutes for me is not going to affect the way we coach.

“It takes two or three minutes to get them off the ground, they take a little drink, and by the time they’re in the room, you’ve only got them for three or four minutes anyway.

“A 10-minute break is fine,” he said.

Hawthorn Hawks coach, Alastair Clarkson, said he would like to see the shorter break trialed before it is fully implemented.

“My (concern) is more for not so much messages the coaches can get to the players, mine is what’s best for the players in terms of being able to perform again in the second half,” Clarkson said in an interview with RSN927.

“Does 20 minutes allow them to play better in the second half?

“If that’s the case, then keep it at 20 minutes.

“If there’s no difference, let’s get it back to ten or even five minutes and get the game over quicker.

“Our whole game goes for far too long,” he said.

The proposed change to half-time breaks would likely mean teams would stay on the ground during the shorter break, rather than going back to the change rooms.

The concern of what would happen to AFL Auskick games, which have been a staple during AFL half-time breaks for many years, was also raised and the consensus was to move them to a pre-game event.

Joshua Hodson

Joshua Hodson