Just hours before the end of round one, the AFL announced the season will postponed until at least the end of May due to the decision of several state governments to impose restrictions on travel due to the COVID-19 virus. The postponement will be reviewed at the end of April. The AFLW season, which just finished the semi-finals, has been completely canceled with no premiership awarded. The league did go ahead with the West Coast vs Melbourne match, the last of the round, which had yet to get underway. In a statement, CEO Gil McLachlan said, "...
COVID-19 - SARS-CoV-2
Before and during the opening round of the AFL, footy was getting attention internationally. This was due to the AFL continuing to play while so many other sports were on hold. Links to the various articles are below. While some make only brief references to footy, others are more in depth with stories about more American fans discovering footy with games played despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Articles often included brief outlines of the rules. Several journalists have already become fans and will continue to watch when the league recommences. Some of the articles have fan or Twitter comments, or video clips.
During the televised broadcast of the game between Melbourne and West Coast, commentator Gerard Healy asked if someone could explain for American viewers why it is only a point when the ball hits the goal post but no point when it hits the behind post. One of his colleagues said it was just the rules and that is how it had always been. (Click on "Read more >" to see the links.)
The AFL announced on Sunday, Australian time, that the season would be suspended following the conclusion of round one. Our staff, reporters, photographers, and staff working on areas like TV and radio schedules, tipping contents, etc. are hard at work on news articles and schedule changes occurring as a result. We'll be posting more here today and tomorrow. Stay tuned.
Adelaide forward Taylor "Tex" Walker was interviewed on a Triple M radio morning show and came up with an idea to help spread the game and give sports fans something to watch with other competitions canceled or postponed.
He said the AFL should stream games directly to the United States, saying it could "... open a new market of AFL fans." He understands the AFL wanting to shorten games and possibly have games played on non-traditional days during the week "... trying to cram games in before a case occurs... " and added, “Put on a show for people sitting at home wanting to watch something.”
(Ed. note: apparently Mr. Walker is unaware that they already do so via WatchAFL.)
Two days prior to the scheduled start of round one, the AFL advised all leagues and Auskick centers across the country. that all activities and operations will be postponed until the end of May. The recommendation also applies to AFL community matches, AFL community training sessions and face to face AFL, WAFC (West Australian football) and SANFL (South Australian) education courses. Among the affected programs affected are the Rio Tinto program, the Bachar Houli programs, the junior Boomerang team, the international cup, and wheelchair league.
in a statement released by the AFL, the league is "... determined to be part of the ... response to slow the COVID-19 virus down and ... help the broader community and our health systems manage the situation as effectively as possible."
In the wake of the COVID-19 international pandemic, the AFL has decided to cut the season to 17 rounds and suspend all second-tier competitions and talent pathways until the end of May. There is also the possibility of Round One being postponed. It was due to commence on Thursday, March 19th (US EDT). The shortened season would see teams play each other just once. The AFL had previously announced that no fans would be allowed to attend matches. While some of the Round Six AFLW games had attendances, others did not. The remaining AFLW matches will be played with no fans in attendance. AFL boss Gil McLachlan said at the first sign of any player testing positive would bring the competition to a halt for a minimum of two weeks.