Ending congestion

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Bunk Moreland

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As per Dimma after SOO game

Give them more interchanges, they'll give you more scoring.
Bahahaha

I really like Dimma (premiership player in the red and black and a brilliant coach) but there is no way that will happen in the current environment.

Interchange grew of its own volition to huge numbers and what happened?

He’s fibbing. We know exactly why coaches want more interchange.

It allows less positional play, more players being able to follow the play and be closer to the ball all over the ground, forcing the aim of all coaches: stoppages.

They love stoppages because they’re predictable. They know play is starting in a certain position, and they can then place their players where they want. The more of them there are, the more predictable and trainable the game is. They spend all weeks practicing them.

Their job is to influence the game so to do that they need to control it.

All you have to do is to decrease the stoppages and get the game moving.

After that you can actually get rid of any limits on interchange and let them have as many as they like - because you’ll be rid of the enemy of the game: stoppages.

Continual movement is what made the game great. Stoppages are the enemy of it. Stoppages are congested, unskilled and unathletic. They’re simply blokes piling in and on top of each other: rugby union, the absolute worst spectator sport of all that is obviously where it belongs: in the toilet.
 

harrythetiger

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Bahahaha

I really like Dimma (premiership player in the red and black and a brilliant coach) but there is no way that will happen in the current environment.

Interchange grew of its own volition to huge numbers and what happened?

He’s fibbing. We know exactly why coaches want more interchange.

It allows less positional play, more players being able to follow the play and be closer to the ball all over the ground, forcing the aim of all coaches: stoppages.

They love stoppages because they’re predictable. They know play is starting in a certain position, and they can then place their players where they want. The more of them there are, the more predictable and trainable the game is. They spend all weeks practicing them.

Their job is to influence the game so to do that they need to control it.

All you have to do is to decrease the stoppages and get the game moving.

After that you can actually get rid of any limits on interchange and let them have as many as they like - because you’ll be rid of the enemy of the game: stoppages.

Continual movement is what made the game great. Stoppages are the enemy of it. Stoppages are congested, unskilled and unathletic. They’re simply blokes piling in and on top of each other: rugby union, the absolute worst spectator sport of all that is obviously where it belongs: in the toilet.
What breaks down a modern defence and ‘beats congestion’ is speed. The players we salivate over the most are those who have the power and speed to break away from the contest and set up plays. These players can’t keep doing this constantly. After doing that too many times in a short period they lose that ability. Increase the amount of rotations, they can have shorter bursts, but most importantly they are able to break every contest they attend, rather than just those for the first 5min of their stint.

From 2009 to 2013 average scores were between 90 and 93. There had been the slightest of downward trends since the late 90s - scores dipping from mid-high 90s to low 90s.
Then some bright spark at AFL house decided to cap interchanges and average scores suddenly dipped to 86.88 in 2014. The highest we’ve been since then was 89.1 in 2017. There was a dip in 2018 which lead to absolute crisis talks and a host of new rules specifically designed to increase scoring. Which, predictably, failed, and 2019 was the lowest scoring season since 1967.

There is zero evidence to suggest that reducing interchange will increase scoring - the opposite effect is closer to the truth. Ever since the AFL has started trying to increase scoring, all they’ve done is reduce it. The best way to beat congestion is not to actually try to beat it, it’s to give the coaches the tools to beat it. The coaches who are the most switched on football minds in the country, and probably the only people who truly knows what goes on in their own heads. One of those tools is the interchange.
 

sprockets

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What breaks down a modern defence and ‘beats congestion’ is speed. The players we salivate over the most are those who have the power and speed to break away from the contest and set up plays. These players can’t keep doing this constantly. After doing that too many times in a short period they lose that ability. Increase the amount of rotations, they can have shorter bursts, but most importantly they are able to break every contest they attend, rather than just those for the first 5min of their stint.

From 2009 to 2013 average scores were between 90 and 93. There had been the slightest of downward trends since the late 90s - scores dipping from mid-high 90s to low 90s.
Then some bright spark at AFL house decided to cap interchanges and average scores suddenly dipped to 86.88 in 2014. The highest we’ve been since then was 89.1 in 2017. There was a dip in 2018 which lead to absolute crisis talks and a host of new rules specifically designed to increase scoring. Which, predictably, failed, and 2019 was the lowest scoring season since 1967.

There is zero evidence to suggest that reducing interchange will increase scoring - the opposite effect is closer to the truth. Ever since the AFL has started trying to increase scoring, all they’ve done is reduce it. The best way to beat congestion is not to actually try to beat it, it’s to give the coaches the tools to beat it. The coaches who are the most switched on football minds in the country, and probably the only people who truly knows what goes on in their own heads. One of those tools is the interchange.
Get it into your head, it's not about scoring, it's about making the game a better spectacle.
 

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harrythetiger

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Get it into your head, it's not about scoring, it's about making the game a better spectacle.
Then I reckon it’s a perfectly fine spectacle exactly as it is. Whenever we get to go back to games again, get a seat up high for a game and watch the way the players set up. See the way they move as a response to the position of the ball, opposition players and the game state. It’s wonderful to watch and I wish our media would highlight these things far more than they currently do as it goes a lot further to deciding the game than whether their ‘key player’ gets 25 disposals and a goal.
 

nick1408

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Clarkson followed up the comment ‘if we don’t go 16 a side we really need to look at how tackling and holding the ball is officiated’

that is his go to and the 16 was a quote to get attention. Not that 16 a side isn’t worth a trial
I actually think this is more likely to stop congestion. By the umpires holding back on blowing the whistle it allows more players to get to the contest - regardless of fitness level, interchange caps or any of the other rule changes the AFL has introduced. Blow the whistle quicker, pay more holding the ball decisions and allow the players to spread instead of coming into effect a gang-tackle.

I have no statistical evidence for the above, it's simply my opinion.
 

shaqsuns

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What breaks down a modern defence and ‘beats congestion’ is speed. The players we salivate over the most are those who have the power and speed to break away from the contest and set up plays. These players can’t keep doing this constantly. After doing that too many times in a short period they lose that ability. Increase the amount of rotations, they can have shorter bursts, but most importantly they are able to break every contest they attend, rather than just those for the first 5min of their stint.

From 2009 to 2013 average scores were between 90 and 93. There had been the slightest of downward trends since the late 90s - scores dipping from mid-high 90s to low 90s.
Then some bright spark at AFL house decided to cap interchanges and average scores suddenly dipped to 86.88 in 2014. The highest we’ve been since then was 89.1 in 2017. There was a dip in 2018 which lead to absolute crisis talks and a host of new rules specifically designed to increase scoring. Which, predictably, failed, and 2019 was the lowest scoring season since 1967.

There is zero evidence to suggest that reducing interchange will increase scoring - the opposite effect is closer to the truth. Ever since the AFL has started trying to increase scoring, all they’ve done is reduce it. The best way to beat congestion is not to actually try to beat it, it’s to give the coaches the tools to beat it. The coaches who are the most switched on football minds in the country, and probably the only people who truly knows what goes on in their own heads. One of those tools is the interchange.
I don’t know if this has been articulated very well but the average interchanged spiked from 60 interchanges a game, to over well over 100 interchanges per game in 2008 and now a club can do 90 interchanges with 12 more during the break, Any reductions that wasn’t under 60 wasn’t ever going to change that state of the game much.

I personally believe with all the science around concussions and head traumas the AFL will need to eliminate majority of the tackling in the game, so they will need to spread the game out whether they like it or not.
There’s only two ways of doing that that I can think of without using zones, 1) change the holding the ball rule, 2) reduce the interchange to a very low number (let’s say 0) to fatigue players and reduce the chance of high speed collisions.


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nick1408

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The problem I see with reducing interchange is drafting will change to pure endurance machines who can get to every contest to apply pressure (let's face it, that's what has been proven to work forever) at the expense of football skills ("We can teach them how to kick").

We have far more knowledge about tactics now. I just don't see football ever returning to what we had up until the late 90's. It isn't a bad thing. We don't see the 2-3-5 formation in soccer anymore and for good reason - it no longer works. Instead of going back in time I think we just need to embrace the future. Football isn't worse - it's just different.
 

kickitolachie

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Football looks OK on TV, but live its awful. Congestion is the reason, and congestion is, as many have said, coach generated. Coaches want control, and congested play gives it to them.

Player fitness cannot be reduced, nor can the higher skill level of the average modern player compared to the average player of 30 years ago. (The best players are no better than their equivalents from days of yore), and no effort to reduce congestion can look here for answers.

Numbers on the field might have an effect, but I'm not convinced of this.

The holding the ball rule offers the best easy answer as I see it. Forget prior opportunity. If a player is caught with the ball and doesn't immediately dispose of it legally, then it should be a free kick. No rule change needed. Just have the umpires enforce what the rule says.

Interchange does need to be removed as a tactical weapon for coaches. Replacement and return only for blood rules and concussion tests (ie the umpire directed replacements. Otherwise, replacement is irreversible. Allow more reserves so that a like for like replacement is possible, but once a player is off, he is off.
 

Wolftone

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Congestion is pretty easy to fix actually.

1. No nominating a ruck. In fact ball up whether there are rucks there or not.

2. As someone suggested reward free kicks for incorrect disposal and HTB. Stop allowing the throw.

3. Penalise players who hold the ball to players who are on the ground over the ball. They only do this for two reasons, one to get a free and two to get a ball up and keep the ball in the area. If they are holding the ball to another player they are technically in control of the ball and if tackled should be penalised for HTB

4. The coaches have for a long time treated the game like a game of Under 9's by using the flood and other congestion and highly negative tactics. Solution. Ban the flood. If any side has more than 12 players in the forward line a free is awarded to the opposition. If both teams have more than 12 players then the ball is returned to the centre square and bounced immediately. It does not matter if players are ready or not. If any side breaks the flooding rule 3 times in a row without the other side breaking it then free and 50 metres will be awarded to the opposition. Basically a goal line kick.

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kickitolachie

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A suggestion I have heard, (not my own) was to allow a player and his tackler to go to ground, as a tackle plays out, but any additional player that loses his feet as they pile onto the engaged pair is immediately penalized. It made sense to me, as the main reason extra players collapse onto ones on the ground is to stop the ball getting out. (Or to injure someone unable to protect himself). If there are only two on the ground with the ball, the umpire can easily see which one is holding it and ping him. If it is not clear, then bounce. This would get the ball moving at least to some extent.
 

Hawk_francais

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The answer to this problem must be a simple one. The fact that our game is so complicated and over-officiated is part of the problem. The umpires have to run in every 15-20 seconds to throw the ball up, they probably finish the game with more touches than half the players. It's actually very boring, when much of that time could be spent watching players with the ball.

The interchange is not the answer. Coaches who use it to streamline their offense will soon be countered by those who use it effectively to create stoppages. I'm convinced we need a rule change that makes stoppages impossible to manufacture. #noprioropportunity #getridofit
 

footyfan1978

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A suggestion I have heard, (not my own) was to allow a player and his tackler to go to ground, as a tackle plays out, but any additional player that loses his feet as they pile onto the engaged pair is immediately penalized. It made sense to me, as the main reason extra players collapse onto ones on the ground is to stop the ball getting out. (Or to injure someone unable to protect himself). If there are only two on the ground with the ball, the umpire can easily see which one is holding it and ping him. If it is not clear, then bounce. This would get the ball moving at least to some extent.
News flash. The umpires used to have a saying the players all understood.."It's mine"

It basically meant, you guys are not making any headway here and it will get congested soon, so I am going to ball it up before a big pack makes it even worse and more congested. They basically did that every time two or three players contested the ball on the ground and no clear clearance going to result after a second or two. So in essence the umpires made sure the ball kept in motion way more often, rather than be in dispute on the ground for long. For some reason this umpire fraternity direction went out of the game some time about 20 years ago. It happened so gradually I certainly did not notice it until last year when I looked at some games from the mid 80's and even earlier and saw how quick umpires were to both ping guys for tackles that were not clear legal ones (which was what I was looking for) and then I also noticed how often in situations where nobody was holding the ball and nobody did an illegal tackle that they still did not tolerate the ball being in dispute for very long on the ground and then would blow the whilst and say "it's mine". Meaning they going to ball it up and players just understood this was part of umpires role for the game.

It is one of the things the umpiring should be getting back to at it's core. I got no idea why that directional way of umpiring has gone out of the game that kept the game in flow.
 

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The solution? Also simple. Get rid of the "prior opportunity" ruling.

There should be no such thing. If you're caught with the ball in a legal tackle, then it's holding the ball, and a free kick to your opponent.
I had intended on putting up a reply when Bunk originally started this thread but for some reason never did.

I'm actually surprised that this has gone on so long because what he has written there is a total no-brainer IMO.

It is no coincidence that the number of stoppages has increased after this stupid "prior opportunity" rule was brought in. I have never ever understood what the benefit of having it was in the first place.

Players apply a textbook tackle and nothing happens, its total bollocks !!

Stiff sh*t if a player gets a hot handball under pressure and gets immediately pinned, that's his team-mates fault for giving it to him under pressure.
 

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LordLucifer

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The answer to this problem must be a simple one. The fact that our game is so complicated and over-officiated is part of the problem. The umpires have to run in every 15-20 seconds to throw the ball up, they probably finish the game with more touches than half the players. It's actually very boring, when much of that time could be spent watching players with the ball.

The interchange is not the answer. Coaches who use it to streamline their offense will soon be countered by those who use it effectively to create stoppages. I'm convinced we need a rule change that makes stoppages impossible to manufacture. #noprioropportunity #getridofit
Get rid of the 'prior opportunity' rule and reduce the number of players on the bench down to two and then watch what happens, it will dramatically change the game for the better.
 
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Hawk_francais

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Get rid of the 'prior opportunity' rule and reduce the number of payers on the bench down to two and then watch what happens, it will dramatically change the game for the better.
I don't understand the interchange discussion. I see having fresher players as a good thing. If they're going to cut down the length of the game (which I'm totally opposed to), then obviously an interchange cut could be on the cards.

Can we agree that the main issue with the game is that players don't have space to execute their skills properly? If we agree on that, I see that the interchange, game length, 6-6-6, last touch rule are all oblique approaches to the problem.

Clarkson says it's simple, put less players on the ground, which is kind of correct, it is the quickest fix to creating more space. But it still ignores the central problem i.e. it's advantageous to have as many players as you can spare within spitting distance of the ball. It means you either have a chance to take possession, or you have a good chance of engineering a stoppage. By taking away that second option, it forces teams to set up for a stoppage win or loss, we won't see the ball 'locked in'. Field position has to be maintained or your team will get screwed fast if they lose possession.

TL;DR I'm for leaving the interchange, I think we want to see fresh players executing skills, we just want to take away the incentive to abandon field position in order to crowd around the ball.
 

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Does anyone have access to the stats for scoring per quarter?

Is it higher / lower in the first quarter when everyone is fresh and does it go up or down as the game goes on? This might give some insight into whether being tired has a positive or negative effect on scoring.
 

Hawk_francais

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As I thought. Only seen football with 4 interchange players and heavy rotations that followed that has been a major reason for even more congestion.
Interchange just has nothing to do with the main issue, i.e. stoppages. It does have an partial influence, namely that if players were too tired to all flood forward or back depending on a stoppage outcome, then they wouldn't do it as effectively, and scoring might go up. Decreasing or eliminating the interchange doesn't change the ability for sides to essentially press the time out button, and have a stoppage. With less interchange we might even see the problem worsen. It's another oblique approach to solving the problem - when a far more direct one exists: take away the stoppages (which no prior opportunity basically will).

It's what I mean when I say "I don't understand the interchange discussion". You don't have to patronise me.
 

deanc

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A suggestion I have heard, (not my own) was to allow a player and his tackler to go to ground, as a tackle plays out, but any additional player that loses his feet as they pile onto the engaged pair is immediately penalized. It made sense to me, as the main reason extra players collapse onto ones on the ground is to stop the ball getting out. (Or to injure someone unable to protect himself). If there are only two on the ground with the ball, the umpire can easily see which one is holding it and ping him. If it is not clear, then bounce. This would get the ball moving at least to some extent.

It was Daniel Hartford after the AFLW season last year who suggested a rule be introduced to stop the women just piling on at stoppages (which he said was often due to their inexperience and/or keenness to be involved in play, but was also potential for unnecessary injuries) whereas the umpire only allows 'one tackler per ball player'.
Given the speed of the men's game I'm not convinced this could be 'fairly adjudicated', but it would definitely reduce the deliberate pile-on from extra players to stop the ball getting out - and if only 2 players are involved then the old ploy of 'dragging the ball in and then pretending to try and handball it out' would be easy for the umps to make a call on...
 
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footyfan1978

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Interchange just has nothing to do with the main issue,

It's what I mean when I say "I don't understand the interchange discussion". You don't have to patronise me.
The fact you do not even understand the main issue explains all.
The title of thread is congestion.
You are confused but thanks for elaborating how confused you are.
When we fix the interchange problem and more things I pointed out umpires can do, as they used to, the congestion issue will be nothing like it is now in big chunks of games.
 

kickitolachie

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The unfortunate reality of the congestion problem is that the coaches don't want it solved. Fast flowing open games are beyond their interference, and so they coach for congestion. Any change that meets a stone wall from the coaches would probably be good for the game. The bloated staffs that have the time to work on every little activity of the players are also a solid contributors to onfield congestion. Get rid of them and interchange for tactical purposes and a good start will have been made.
In the end though. the rules will always be playing catch up with the coaches determined to undermine their effects and keep the game congested and controlled.
 

Hawk_francais

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The fact you do not even understand the main issue explains all.
The title of thread is congestion.
You are confused but thanks for elaborating how confused you are.
When we fix the interchange problem and more things I pointed out umpires can do, as they used to, the congestion issue will be nothing like it is now in big chunks of games.
When talk about congestion, rolling mauls, players unable to break free and execute skills properly etc., we're talking about stoppage situations. We're not talking about interchange.

Good luck to you.
 

footyfan1978

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When talk about congestion, rolling mauls, players unable to break free and execute skills properly etc., we're talking about stoppage situations. We're not talking about interchange.

Good luck to you.
Plenty of us are. Especially those of us that actually know what we are talking about with interchanges changing from how it was set up to be used when 2 were on the bench to the way it has ended up going in a direction it was never intended to be used, after it doubled in size to 4 on bench.
If you played in it and also observed the changes you would get it.
Good luck with the blinkers on.
 

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