If you win the ball at ground level it shouldn't be a free against you if another player falls over you, the interpretation is the problem not the rule itself, this is what happens when you bring in knee jerk rules and don't trial them as the AFL have a habit of doing.
A big problem is commentators keeping on talking about sliding...that isn’t part of the rule. Also whether a player was 1st to the ball or not isn’t relevant.
The problem is that the action is potentially dangerous, if a player makes contact below the knees and a players foot is planted they risk knee or ankle injury.
So the rule is designed to penalise players who go lower and harder, something that people have watched and applauded for 100 years.
The biggest problem for mine is that randomly you will see games where player get awarded a free kick for too high when they have actually taken a player below the knees with their head...best case being 2016 GF when Dogs players consistently took Swans players legs out with no frees against. Eastern Wood caved Hannerz knee in for fecks sake and just play on.
So yes, Lewis and Brayshaw should have been penalised for going lower as it has the potential to cause injury.
And McGovern shouldn’t have got a free for too high last week when he dove down as DeGoey ran in...
the AFL doesn’t want players diving on the ball, umpires enforced the rules correctly...they needs to ensure the commentators are educated better, Carey has no idea, as the general public listen to theirbleating.
Gunston ran into Brayshaw, not Brayshaw into Gunston. Have no problem with the rule. The issue is players risking their body and fellow team mates body in trying to draw the free kick. The commentators are clueless just like they are in all other rules
I have been fed up with this rule for a while. It is utter, utter garbage.
It NEVER feels right to see a guy go down to pick up the ball and the guy standing there not going for the ball gets the free kick.
Just pay a free kick if someone slides in legs first.
What a trash rule and I'm sick of seeing them paid.
2 of them paid within 5 minutes tonight.
Umpires are getting it wrong. It's the spirit of the rule that needs to be considered more which is don't slide in late and take the legs not don't be on your hands and knees while some idiot trips up on you.
Its a bit like the kicking in danger rule. Umpires have never had a problem interpreting this. If you kick a ball gently or toe-poke it in the vicinity of an opponents hands you wont get pinged.....because its not putting anyone "in danger".
I really cant see why or how this "sliding rule" cant be umpired with the same common sense. If youre likely to cause injury through rough below-the-knees contact then thats the line where the umpire blows the whistle. Otherwise he puts the whistle away and lets the guy who was first to the ball, keep the ball.
Additionally if the slide was a seperate first action (protecting space before the ball gather) then its also a free kick