AFL makes ‘rollercoaster’ call on AFLW season
The AFL Women's season will go ahead this weekend with an adjusted three-week finals series to begin immediately.
But it wasn't without confusion.
The league on Wednesday night was working through the structure of the finals series as players were initially led to believe that their season may be over.
Watch every match of the 2020 NAB AFLW Finals Series LIVE & On-Demand on KAYO. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >
In the collective bargaining agreement, it was mandated to be a three-week series contested between the top three teams of each conference.
But, as the coronavirus crisis gripped the game, women's players were surveyed and indicated their preference for a three-week series between the top four teams of each conference.
That was approved and will begin this weekend.
Six teams have had their season ended effective immediately as confusion swept the playing fraternity last night.
What a whirlwind of a night! Thought we were out - but now we're in! We're stoked to say the least.. feeling for the club's whos season has ended.. know how hard everyone of you have worked. The world is such a bizarre place right now, grateful for this opportunity at this time❤ https://t.co/fSxvsLP2WV— Sharni Layton (@Sharni_Layton) March 18, 2020
But Collingwood, which sits fourth in Conference B, rode a rollercoaster of emotions, with many players in tears as they were initially falsely told their season was over.
A club official later clarified that the incorrect information had been passed along with the relief among the group palpable.
A second email from the players' association later clarified that an incorrect graphic had been published that had stated only the top two teams would contest the flag.
The structure for the finals series is still being worked through by the league.
"We are of course disappointed that our home and away season has ended this way," the initial email from the players' association read to players last night.
"But we understand that this is an issue that all of Australia, and the broader world, is impacted by - not just football.
"Although bittersweet, the best teams at this point of the competition will at least be provided the opportunity to play for a flag.
"It's going to be a really exciting weekend for the AFLW players who are playing in the finals, and all other players should be really proud of what has been achieved through 2020 as we show the world what AFLW is capable of."