One division for men's AFL competition
AUSTRALIAN RULES: In a bid to bring all Darling Downs clubs together, the 2018 men's competition will now be competed across one division.
As the new season approaches, Chinchilla Suns, Dalby Swans, Highfields Lions, Lockyer Valley Demons and Warwick Redbacks will return to the top flight competition.
AFLDD regional manager Jeff Neumann said the move aimed to create a stronger sense of community.
"It's about keeping everyone together and creating that atmosphere on match day,” Neumann said.
Last season six teams battled it out in division one with five going head-to-head in division two.
This year all teams will play each other once and face four other teams twice based on ladder position from the previous season.
Neumann said in an exciting change, all Allied Pickford's Cup matches would be played at the traditional Saturday afternoon time-slot of 2.30pm.
The 2018 home and away season will start with a grand final rematch between reigning premiers USQ Cougars and Goondiwindi Hawks on Saturday, April 21.
"There will be footy all over the region,” Neumann said.
This year there will be a three-week finals series where the top four teams will contest the Allied Pickford's Premiership Cup and Tom Wills perpetual trophy.
However, in a AFLDD first, teams that finish fifth to eighth will also continue throughout the final series keeping the Adrian Jericho perpetual shield alive.
The grand final will be played on Saturday, September 8 at Rockille Park.
Neumann said the changes to the men's divisions took into account the Westpac Cup women's competition which had grown by two teams.