I had hoped that the AFL’s rumored ‘Round Zero’ launch for the 2024 season was just a leaked idea, but it seems the league is determined to go through with it. The event will be a four-game weekend spread across Sydney, Brisbane, and the Gold Coast. However, the concept is riddled with poor decision-making, and the name ‘Opening Round’ is confusing and nonsensical. The league’s execution is flawed, and the decision to begin the season with only four matches will cost the AFL its usual big start. The fixturing of the teams also presents issues of match fitness and competition integrity. Giving Gold Coast and GWS weeks off is baffling, and the whole concept fails to give the teams clear air away from the NRL as intended. Additionally, rounds do not correspond with the number of games teams have played, making the concept even more nonsensical. Overall, the ‘Opening Round’ is a poorly thought out idea and fails to give the season an opening momentum while frustrating thousands of supporters nationwide. It is a move that robs the 2024 season of any excitement and fails to achieve its intended goals.