Details for the 2020 Optus WAFL Premiership Season were endorsed at a Board meeting of the West Australian Football Commission last night, Tuesday May 26.
The WAFC is pleased to be able to support the launch of the WAFL for 2020, as part of protecting the competition’s long history and the important role the WAFL clubs play within our community.
WAFC Executive Manager - WAFL & Football Operations Scott Baker thanked the WAFL clubs for their input into the 2020 season model and said it was exciting to now have a set date and confirmed details around the format of the competition.
“A lot of work has gone into developing a model that will allow us to get a season underway in 2020 that is affordable for both the clubs and the WAFC during these financially challenging times,” he said.
“The rules for this condensed season have been designed to make it affordable for all Clubs to participate whilst ensuring we retain the integrity of the competition.”
“It is possible the season will start without spectators however we are optimistic fans will be able to attend games when further restrictions are lifted by the State Government towards the end of the season or during finals.”
“This is crucial to the ongoing sustainability of the clubs, and one of the key reasons we have delayed the start of the season for as long as possible.”
“We believe that playing for a Premiership and having our traditional awards on offer are very important components of an exciting and successful, albeit shorter, season.”
“I would like to thank the clubs, players, coaches, support staff and umpires for their patience and understanding throughout this planning process. I acknowledge that everyone has to be flexible and willing to adapt so that we can get a season underway.”
“Whilst launching the WAFL I am just as pleased that we can also announce the WAFLW season will commence on the same date. This will be the second year of the WAFLW, which is such an important part of our female pathway and a key part of our WAFL Clubs.”
“I really encourage all footy fans right across Western Australia to support their WAFL and WAFLW clubs during these unprecedented times by signing up as a member, tuning into a game on TV, and then attending games when that becomes a possibility.”
“WAFL clubs have a long, proud history in our State and we want them to be a key part of the community for many years to come, so everyone’s ongoing support is greatly appreciated.”
The 2020 season format will see every team play each other once across nine rounds and the top four teams on the ladder compete in a Finals Series, which will conclude no later than the week prior to the AFL Grand Final.
The winner of the Grand Final will be awarded the 2020 Optus WAFL Premiership Cup and individual awards, including the Sandover Medal, will also be presented.
Quarters will consist of 16 minutes plus time-on to align with current AFL rules.
Total Player Payments (TPP) will be reduced by more than 50% up to a maximum of $6250 per match, with clubs being given the flexibility to determine how much they pay players within this amount based on each club’s financial circumstances.
Other financial sustainability measures will include reduced payments for umpires, as well as exploring the option of setting up a single venue for television broadcast purposes.
The WAFL League, Reserves and Women’s competitions will commence on the first weekend in August, while Simply Energy Colts fixtures will be finalised pending confirmation of an AFL National 18s Championship in 2020.
Channel 7 will continue to be the competition’s major broadcast partner and showcase League matches and finals, as well as the Colts and WAFLW Grand Finals.