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MODIFIED football game AFLX is set to be part of a drastically different lead in to the home and away season next year.
The AFL is well advanced in its pre-season plans for 2018, and new general manager of football, Steve Hocking, said an announcement would be made late next week to outline them.
The JLT Community Series appears likely to be shortened from three matches per club to two, with a round-robin weekend of AFLX games to fill the void.
AFLX is being dubbed the AFL's answer to Twenty20 cricket and will include fewer players on a smaller field competing in matches of shorter duration.
"Certainly (the pre-season schedule) will look different," Hocking told NAB AFL Trade Radio.
"We need to accommodate the AFLW season as well, to make sure both those parts of the business are working well together and the women are getting their time in the sun, but at the same time that the men are able to prepare for the season."
Hocking hinted speculation about the pre-season format was accurate and that grounds had already been booked to accommodate AFLX requirements.
"Most of that work's been done … it will certainly give all the fans something different, and also the young kids coming through as well," he said.
"It's a different vehicle, so I'm looking forward to seeing that at the appropriate time and seeing the players involved in it."
What is AFLX?
- Played on a soccer-sized field
- Played between two sides of seven, three on each interchange bench
- Ten-minute quarters
- No centre bounces (kick-ins from full-back after each goal)
- One umpire