The AFL has officially added new hybrid game AFLX to the 2018 pre-season schedule.
One of the AFL's worst-kept secrets is finally official, with the league announcing on Friday that AFLX will be part of the 2018 pre-season schedule.
Dubbed the AFL's answer to cricket's Twenty20 format, AFLX is designed to be a fast-paced game played on soccer-sized fields.
Three separate round-robin tournaments with six AFL clubs competing in each will be played at Adelaide's Hindmarsh Stadium, Etihad Stadium in Melbourne and Sydney's Allianz Stadium.
In October, the pre-season series was cut from three rounds to two to accommodate AFLX, but the league held off announcing the move while remaining logistical issues were dealt with.
The round-robin tournaments will be held on the weekend before the pre-season series gets under way.
"AFLX has been created to provide us with the options to play a form of the game in places where oval grounds are limited and to showcase our game internationally at a point in the future," AFL game development chief Andrew Dillon said.
"The decision to hold three individual tournaments during the men's 2018 pre-season period has been chosen to introduce clubs, their players, their fans and the wider public to the AFLX game."
The league has extensively trialled AFLX, which is played between two teams of seven, with three players on the bench, and features 10-minute quarters with no centre bounces.
Timeslots for all matches are yet to be confirmed.
2018 AFLX FIXTURE:
* Thursday, February 15
Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide
Teams: Adelaide, Port Adelaide, Fremantle, West Coast, Collingwood and Geelong
* Friday, February 16
Etihad Stadium, Melbourne
Teams: Carlton, Essendon, North Melbourne, St Kilda, Hawthorn and Melbourne
* Saturday, February 17
Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Teams: Sydney, Greater Western Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Richmond and Western Bulldogs