AFL quarter lengths are set to remain at 16 minutes for the remainder of 2020 despite what is set to be a relatively normal looking fixture when footy returns on June 11th.
The original decision to shorten quarters was a move to keep players fresher in case matches needed to be crammed into a shorter timeframe.
Former All-Australian midfielder Kane Cornes is worried about the players who depend on their endurance running to separate themselves from the pack.
“What happens to Sam Walsh? What happens to Andrew Gaff? What happens to Brad Hill whose one major weapon, and good luck trying to run with these guys for 120 minutes, you can’t do it because they’re just endurance animals, they’re biggest strength is just gone,” Cornes told SEN’s the Captain’s Run.
“I mean, Brad Hill is a slight guy. He can’t go inside and power away at a stoppage like Nathan Fyfe can do, but what he can do is get 15 possessions in the last quarter because no one can run with him.
“That is completely removed if you shorten quarters so I’m concerned for guys like that and the influence they’re going to have this season.”
According to Champion Data, Gaff covered the most distance in a single game of any player in 2019, running 17.6km against Adelaide in Round 10.
North Melbourne’s Ben Brown covered the most distance per game with an average of 15.6km per match.
Carlton’s Walsh finished fourth despite being in his rookie season, covering 15.2km per game on average.
The average AFL player ran 12.8km per match in 2019.