Two groups dudded by AFL fixture change

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The AFL has launched its full fixture for 2023 and two groups who struggled in 2022 seem to have been dudded by a scheduling tweak.

Hawthorn and Adelaide will play an additional prime six crew subsequent 12 months due to a change to the AFL’s weighted rule.

The AFL confirmed it had adjusted the weighted rule to accommodate the additional ‘Collect Spherical’, which suggests every membership performs double up video games in opposition to six groups (as an alternative of 5) in 2023.

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The league additionally confirmed there can be a pre-finals bye subsequent 12 months, regardless of opposition from top-four golf equipment that it benefits groups within the decrease a part of the eight.

The change to the weighted rule dealt an additional hurdle for backside six groups Hawks and Crows who must play two groups that completed 2022 within the prime six on the ladder subsequent season.

The Crows and Hawks will face the identical variety of prime six groups as Collingwood and Melbourne, who completed within the prime six final season.

Beforehand, golf equipment who completed within the backside six performed both none or just one double-up recreation in opposition to prime six groups.

However the AFL has needed to regulate the weighted rule to incorporate the additional ‘Collect Spherical’ in South Australia subsequent season.

Fixture boss Travis Auld stated there had been a low key change to how the weighted system would work in 2023.

“The weighted rule stays central to the fixture, nevertheless we needed to make an adjustment for the twenty fourth spherical and add a sixth double-up match up for every membership,” Auld stated.

“You get a minimal of two and most of three double-up matches in opposition to groups in your bracket of six, and both one or two double-up video games in every of the opposite two teams of six.”

The weighted rule, which divides the competitors right into a prime six, center six and backside six based mostly on final 12 months’s ladder, has been closely supported by golf equipment and has been profitable for serving to create a extra honest and attention-grabbing fixture because it was launched in 2013.

However it means the Hawks sort out premiership contenders Fremantle and Melbourne twice and the Crows will meet Brisbane and Collingwood twice.

That’s in comparison with different years the place backside six golf equipment tried to keep away from any double up video games in opposition to premiership heavyweights.

Carlton is one other membership with two video games in opposition to prime six groups as Michael Voss seems to steer the Blues again into finals for the primary time in a decade.

West Coast, North Melbourne, GWS Giants and St Kilda all play just one double up recreation in opposition to the highest six groups.

The Hawks have been handed the annual Easter Monday blockbuster conflict in opposition to Geelong on the MCG however have been in any other case locked out of the prime time spots.

The Magpies paid a small worth for the Anzac Day recreation falling on a Tuesday subsequent 12 months, that means Collingwood solely performs a complete of three matches within the prime time Thursday and Friday night time slots regardless of an exciting 2022 season.

Essendon was additionally given double-up video games in opposition to two prime six groups however will tackle three groups under it on final season’s ladder from the underside six, in a lift for coach Brad Scott in his first 12 months in cost.

The Bombers’ fixture is taken into account one of many softer schedules, alongside the struggling North Melbourne and West Coast, who all have three double-up video games in opposition to bottom-six sides.

Grand finalists Geelong and Sydney, and the Western Bulldogs and Fremantle face a lot harder runs.

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