The 2022 AFLW season kicks off between St Kilda and Richmond on January 7. (Photo: AFL)

With more rounds and games played in every part of Australia, the 2022 NAB AFLW Season promises to be bigger and better than ever before.

With the AFLW competition only getting bigger and better each year, the 2022 season is set to explode with ten home-and-away rounds and a top six finals series.

Starting with the first ever AFLW game at SkyBus Stadium on January 7 between St Kilda and Richmond, the opening weekend will be full of rivalries.

This includes grudge matches between the Western Bulldogs and Melbourne at VU Whitten Oval on Saturday night, as well as the always-spicy rivalry between Carlton and Collingwood at Ikon Park on Sunday, January 9.

With 14 teams now taking part in the nation-wide NAB AFLW competition, the 2022 season will be a year of firsts – it’s the inaugural year where matches will be played in all Australian states and territories, as well as a competition-first ten round season, to be followed by a three-week finals series played between the top six teams on the ladder.

Highlight weekends will include the popular Pride Round in Round 3, with Carlton and the Bulldogs set to renew their Pride Round traditional bout, the Toyota Good for Footy Round in Round Six and the Round Eight Indigenous Round.

The latter will feature an exciting WA Derby between the Eagles and Dockers, while the Q-Clash between the Suns and Lions will showcase Pride Round.

Although there’s been recent attempts to split the competitions into two conferences with separate ladders, the AFL confirmed today that the structure will remain as one ladder. Ticket prices have also been frozen at $10 for adults and free for kids under 18 for all home and away games, which will be played at 24 venues across the country.

To ensure fairness, the fixture has been based off last year’s ladder positions, with the match-ups being divided into two bands of a top and bottom seven to determine which team will stand alone in 2022.

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AFL General Manager of Women’s Football Nicole Livingstone said the structure of the 2022 AFLW season took time to work out, but was excited that it would all be worth the wait.

“We acknowledge the ongoing pandemic has been a challenging period for so many in our game and the wider community and we thank all players, clubs and supporters for their patience as we worked towards finalising the fixture for the 2022 NAB AFL Women’s Competition,” she said.

“We look forward to watching the young stars who are set to immediately impact the competition and, equally, the veterans who continue to lead the way.”

The AFLW will be looking to get their fixture and timeslots steadfast as the competition expands to 18 teams in 2023.

The opening round fixture can be found below, as the AFLW announced today that Rounds 9 and 10 will have floating fixtures, meaning time slots will be confirmed closer to the games.

NAB AFLW 2022 Season Round One Fixture

Friday January 77.15PM EDTSkyBus Stadium, VictoriaSt Kilda v Richmond
Saturday January 85.10PM EDTArden Street, VictoriaNorth Melbourne Tasmanian Kangaroos v Geelong
Saturday January 87.00PM EDTVU Whitten Oval, VictoriaWestern Bulldogs v Melbourne
Saturday January 88.50PM EDTFremantle Oval, WAFremantle v Adelaide
Sunday January 9 4.10PM EDTIkon Park, VictoriaCarlton v Collingwood
Sunday January 96.10PM EDTGreat Barrier Reef Arena, QueenslandGold Coat v GWS
Sunday January 9 8.10PM EDTMineral Resources Park, WAWest Coast v Brisbane

Full fixture available on the AFL Women’s website here.

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