It was not the other boot dropping that had us on alert.

An entire shoe store has dropped, as the sports world deals with a circumstance that was so unexpected that anyone who had advance plans would have been labelled a lunatic.

Today, we learn that the Toyota 2020 AFL Premiership competition has been chopped from 23 rounds to 17.

Each club will play every other club one time.

At first glance, the cut would have seemed to affect the beginning of the season, but the AFL plans to play the first four rounds of the fixture, and then do a new draw for the rest of the season.

Still, there is uncertainty over whether the season will begin Thursday with the Thursday night opener between Richmond and Carlton at MCG.

An announcement could be forthcoming in the next several hours and the situation makes planning nearly impossible.

AFL boss Gillon McLachlan told reporters that the league is trying to implement a plan that will be nimble and flexible.

“If it’s done by the end of September — fabulous — but if we need more time we’ll do that,” McLachlan said. “We have flexibility now with a 17-round season that buys more time.”

However it plays out, fans will not be in the seats to watch the games.

McLachlan declared that one AFL player testing positive for the virus would result in the complete suspension of the season.

That declaration was close to reality when Geelong captain Scott Pendlebury required testing. He was cleared, but the Magpies took the precaution of isolating Pendlebury from his teammates.

Meetings of all manner, between many different parties, continue to be held at breakneck pace.

The AFLW is poised to go on as scheduled, but the VFL has suspended play.

AFL players might find it reminiscent of their junior days, when mums and dads, but few others showed up to watch games, to play in empty stadiums, but as Tigers’ captain Trent Cotchin said, “For me, first and foremost, the health and safety of our players is absolutely paramount and then that obviously extends to our families and so forth as well.”

Back To Blog