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20-minute quarters ‘most likely’ to return in AFL next season

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A return to 20-minute quarters would increase the effect of the decision announced this week to reduce interchange rotations from 90 to 75 as the AFL attempts to fatigue players in order to ease congestion and open the game up.

The AFL will also need to consider the length of breaks between goals, and quarter- and half-time breaks, in making their decision. Those breaks were adjusted in 2020 when a compressed fixture was played to ensure the season could be completed.

With quarter length reduced in 2020, the average game length for the season was 102 minutes and three seconds, a dramatic drop from the 2019 average game length which was 122 minutes and 33 seconds. It had hovered just above 120 minutes per game since 2016.

The AFL are keen to have what was termed “a footy frenzy” during 2021 but they remain in discussions with broadcasters over that issue with the fixture to be released next year as uncertainty about the COVID-19 pandemic and state borders remains high.

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