Hawks coach backs shorter half-time breaks

The length of quarter-time and halftime breaks could be shortened in 2020.
The length of quarter-time and halftime breaks could be shortened in 2020.

Hawthorn head coach Alastair Clarkson has backed the shortening of half-time breaks in the AFL as long as player performance isn't affected.

The AFL are considering reducing half-time breaks from 20 minutes to 10 minutes in 2020, as well as the reduction of quarter-time breaks to six minutes.

The league briefed all 18 club chief executives on the possible changes at a meeting on Wednesday, which the league feels would improve the television product.

Hawks coach Clarkson agrees with the potential changes and says the game is too long in its current format.

"My (concern) is not so much messages the coaches can get to the players, mine is what's best for the players in terms of being able to perform again in the second half," Clarkson said on RSN927.

"Does 20 minutes allow them to play better in the second half?

"If that's the case then keep it at 20 minutes. If there's no difference, let's get it back to 10 or even five minutes and get the game over quicker.

"Our whole game goes for far too long. We've got 30-32-minute quarters by the time you have time on and all that sort of stuff.

"Our guys are playing 100 minutes thereabouts and in some cases 110-115 every week. It's unbelievably taxing."

Hawthorn midfielder Isaac Smith is also unconcerned by the rumoured changes.

"It would have more of an impact on the coaches," Smith told RSN.

"As a player it doesn't worry me."

Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin also supports the idea.

"I'm OK with it," he told SEN.

"If you look around the world in terms of the game, our game is incredibly long.

"Ten less minutes for me is not going to affect the way we coach."

The proposal will be discussed at a second meeting between the AFL and the 18 club football bosses on Thursday.

The league could also allow players to challenge decisions made by goal umpires as soon as next season, football chief Steve Hocking has revealed.

The move, which would shift some of the onus to players when it comes to touched-off-the-boot calls only, was discussed at the AFL's competition committee meeting in Melbourne on Tuesday.

Australian Associated Press