The AFL is strongly considering a shake-up that could see bottom six teams be given the chance to play finals.
The AFL is tossing up options to change the fixture that include a 'wildcard weekend', where lower-placed teams compete for a place in September, according to a report by Jay Clark in the Herald Sun.
He reported the league is strongly considering splitting the league into three pools of six after round 17 - where presumably every team plays each other once.
Fixture and broadcast boss Travis Auld said creating an incentive for lower-placed teams in the bottom pool was tricky.
"It is definitely one of the challenges," he said.
"I think there is a mixture of (possible incentives for lower-placed clubs including) draft selections, draft points or a quite dramatic one would be the opportunity to play finals.
"It’s at the more dramatic end, but it’s a genuine incentive for (lower-placed) clubs to do that (finish as high up the ladder as they can)."
It is part of a plan to ensure the competition is more even and more interesting for all teams across the whole season.
"I don’t know if I’ve got a view on it just yet, because I need to get a better understanding of the impact of things like draft picks," Auld said.
"But there is no doubt we need to find — if we are going down a fixture format that splits teams into groups — then the challenge is no doubt to find an incentive for that bottom group."