Ending congestion

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Bleeeeeeeeep

Norm Smith Medallist
Jul 3, 2012
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Stopping congestion is up to the coaches, they control the style of the game that is played.
This isn't a new phenomenon, its been happening since the mid 2000's.
The only way i can see congestion been reduced is by zones, i would hate to see it but that is the only way unless coaches change their mind set from stopping teams scoring to scoring more than the other team.
Extra points for scoring 100+ wont work, it's not fair. Two Melbourne teams could be playing on the same day at the same time and be playing in polar opposite conditions.
It's up to the coaches, they control how the game is played, and for the pass 10+ years it has been ordinary.
 

Ausbenito

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Sep 12, 2013
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The AFL have found their man to help end this debacle Rodney Rocket Eade was on SEN or 91.3 FM do an interview was brilliant made great sense and put forward his own ideas to beat the coaches at their own game.
Please get him involved to lead us out of the quagmire before we are permanently bogged in it make the changes lets stop with the bandaids.
 

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Outback Footy

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Umps are letting far far too much go these days. Holding the man, holding the ball, start paying the frees ffs. I dont mind the idea of last touch out of bounds frees, between the arcs at least. Not convinced by reduced numbers, reduced interchanges worth a try, but really just pay the frees, dont give a bloke a minute to get rid of the pill. Pay 50m for defenders blocking the kicker getting to the ball. Its just another slow down tactic.

Clarkos right, 69 tackles and not one free is incomprehensible.

Holding the midfilders and forwards back as they run for the ball pisses me off no end, pay those frees, GWS were doing it to the pies all night last week and theyre not alone (probably just the most blatant)
 

kickitolachie

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Unfortunately, the research and knowledge gained in recent years that has enabled coaches to throttle the game won't go away, nor will the pressure on coaches to win and therefor to use low risk tactics. To regain some of the spectacle the game used to have, the capacity of players to get to the places that allow them to has to be reduced. Their fitness can't be, nor can their skills, so the rules of the game have to me massaged to keep the coaches at bay.
1. Zones. They may help, but, the risk is creating something like Soccer's offside rule, where an umpire's judgement on where a player's feet are during the heat of a game becomes crucial and contentious. The advantage is that the necessary lines are already on the field.
2. Holding the ball. Penalizing players who try to barge through tackles unsuccessfully would seem to be necessary. Allowing players to seek a good option, rather than insisting that they dispose of the ball when tackled or give up a free was a bad change, made, as I recall when frees were given against super strong players in the Fyffe mold who, almost at the time the whistle blew, got clear. An apparent unfairness that would just have to be lived with.
3. Interchange. Tactical interchanges have to be scrapped. The return of players to the field after they have gone off was intended to allow injuries to be treated. Blood rule and concussion rule have complicated things, but giving players a rest has to be stopped. Return to the "rest" in the forward pocket.
4. Tackling players on the ground. The current technique of piling onto players on the ground to stop the ball getting out has to be stopped. Free kick against the extra player who does not stay on his feet, but tackles a pair or more already on the ground fighting to get the ball out. Difficult to enforce consistently, but worth serious consideration.
5. Reduce numbers. I think coaches may be able to work around this one and keep the game controlled, but I may be wrong.
6. Backward kicks not paid as marks. On the surface, seems sensible, but could reduce the cross ground switches that produce the few bits of attractive football that we see.
7. Increase the distance for a kick to be a mark. Again, reducing the legal passing opportunities could congest the game even more as the areas of the ground that can be reached are restricted, so that players congregate in those areas even more than they do now.
8. Shepherding players going for marks, and pushing them in the back. Two similar blights on the game that have been allowed in and should be ushered out. Umpires are well aware of both of these, but mostly let them go. Make players compete for marks or keep out of the area the ball is dropping in. Occupying space to prevent the high flyers from getting to the ball needs to be purged from the game. This would make the much lauded "intercept" mark much more difficult, and the result of marking contests much less predictable. Structured setups then become more problematical. Less structure = more open.
 

Consolaçao

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Unfortunately, the research and knowledge gained in recent years that has enabled coaches to throttle the game won't go away, nor will the pressure on coaches to win and therefor to use low risk tactics. To regain some of the spectacle the game used to have, the capacity of players to get to the places that allow them to has to be reduced. Their fitness can't be, nor can their skills, so the rules of the game have to me massaged to keep the coaches at bay.
1. Zones. They may help, but, the risk is creating something like Soccer's offside rule, where an umpire's judgement on where a player's feet are during the heat of a game becomes crucial and contentious. The advantage is that the necessary lines are already on the field.
2. Holding the ball. Penalizing players who try to barge through tackles unsuccessfully would seem to be necessary. Allowing players to seek a good option, rather than insisting that they dispose of the ball when tackled or give up a free was a bad change, made, as I recall when frees were given against super strong players in the Fyffe mold who, almost at the time the whistle blew, got clear. An apparent unfairness that would just have to be lived with.
3. Interchange. Tactical interchanges have to be scrapped. The return of players to the field after they have gone off was intended to allow injuries to be treated. Blood rule and concussion rule have complicated things, but giving players a rest has to be stopped. Return to the "rest" in the forward pocket.
4. Tackling players on the ground. The current technique of piling onto players on the ground to stop the ball getting out has to be stopped. Free kick against the extra player who does not stay on his feet, but tackles a pair or more already on the ground fighting to get the ball out. Difficult to enforce consistently, but worth serious consideration.
5. Reduce numbers. I think coaches may be able to work around this one and keep the game controlled, but I may be wrong.
6. Backward kicks not paid as marks. On the surface, seems sensible, but could reduce the cross ground switches that produce the few bits of attractive football that we see.
7. Increase the distance for a kick to be a mark. Again, reducing the legal passing opportunities could congest the game even more as the areas of the ground that can be reached are restricted, so that players congregate in those areas even more than they do now.
8. Shepherding players going for marks, and pushing them in the back. Two similar blights on the game that have been allowed in and should be ushered out. Umpires are well aware of both of these, but mostly let them go. Make players compete for marks or keep out of the area the ball is dropping in. Occupying space to prevent the high flyers from getting to the ball needs to be purged from the game. This would make the much lauded "intercept" mark much more difficult, and the result of marking contests much less predictable. Structured setups then become more problematical. Less structure = more open.
I like 3,4,5,8

I think the answer is staring us in the face - there's just not enough space out there. Would love to see 16 a side, and I'd love to see a return to the way it used to be with just a handful of interchanges allowed per match.

Not convinced about #2. All this would do is disincentivise going for the ball. I can't see how it would open the game up. You'd still have crazy numbers around the ball, so knocking the ball into space just wouldn't happen. It'd just be pinging around a pack because everyone would be afraid to actually take possession.
I think the game is already too easy from the perspective of a defensive-minded player. Coaches have realised that a game plan based around relentless defensive pressure across the ground pays off (look at Richmond). I know it contrasts somewhat with what Alistair Clarkson said, but I feel it's too easy right now to play hyper-defensively and not give away a free kick. Ultimately this incentivises teams to take a defensive approach to the game, so we have to deal with watching the best players routinely 'tagged' out of games by (usually) hack footballers using borderline illegal tactics. The gang tackling of players the moment they receive the ball is also a legitimate modern tactic. My view is we need to find a way to incentivise attacking football by punishing those who engage in relentlessly negative, defensive-minded tactics, not rewarding them further by allowing a greater opportunity to get a HTB free.
 

kickitolachie

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A start has been made by reverting to traditional interpretation of holding the ball. It didn't take much. The insistence on a full 15 m for kicks, while not something I had on my list, is also an improvement. Neither have broken the stranglehold that defensive tactics have on the game. These alterations have to be maintained and not overcome by the calls to give the guy with the ball more time. More is required. The next change should be one of
Removal of tactical interchange : injury or umpire direction only.
Reduction to 16 on the field.
Use the field marking in place already to delineate zones enforced at every stoppage.
It may be that eventually, all 3 have to occur to open the game, but try them one at a time.
 

sprockets

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The improved umpiring on HTB is a great improvement. They have to keep the game moving
Couldn't agree more. Gerard H was on about them penalising the guy going for the ball but if the guy taps it on he won't be penalised. If he taps it to a player from his own team he's 'invented' a new skill.
 

Duckimus Prime

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- Additional premiership points for scoring 100+. Self-explanatory really. You give yourself a much better chance of finals or top-4 if you gain an additional 1 or 2 premiership points for scoring 100+, hopefully encouraging coaches to develop attacking game plans.
Marvel and its roof makes this a completely unfair addition. Not having to deal with rain and adverse conditions greatly helps scoring.
 

workhorse

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Marvel and its roof makes this a completely unfair addition. Not having to deal with rain and adverse conditions greatly helps scoring.
I don't disagree with the sentiment but I think you may find the notion that Marvel stadium is a "fast deck" and promotes high-scoring affairs is actually a myth. Marvel Stadium's dimensions make it a lot easier to defend and, without having stats in front of me, I believe the difference in scoring in comparison to other grounds is absolutely negligible.

Weather is a luck of the draw, anyway. Do the Lions get an unfair advantage because in Brisbane there are, on average, half the amount of rainy days during winter in comparison to Melbourne, or even Perth? The same question can be asked about teams that get to play the bottom side twice a year when others don't. I think in the end the ladder works itself out pretty well. How often do the best teams not make it to the prelim final weekend?

In saying all of that, I'm not sure a bonus point is the answer to promoting high-scoring. Coaches are still risk-averse and will chose the safe option of trying to win more low-scoring, dour affairs, then risk losing games in shoot-outs.
 

bitadash

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Thoughts on a middle of the road zoning solution? Its effectively how the set up in the 80's/90's anyway.

1. Halve the oval with a center-line boundary to boundary.
2. At every stoppage all forwards and all opposing defenders need to be in their related half.
3. As soon as open play resumes free to go anywhere.
4. 4 boundary umps to enforce this.
5. 5 seconds only to allow for players to get back to position while the umpire resets the ball up/throw in (usually takes that anyway).
6. Free kick to opposition if one player is in wrong half at time of ball up. If both aren't - wait again till reset has occurred.

As I play still, I feel like this would be a happy medium rather than strict zoning in play, and in keeping with how the game is (and has been) played. It still allows for full ground movement, you just have to work your ass off to get back once the stoppage occurs.

A few other outcomes might be:
Enhanced forward and defensive crafts.
Definitely would redefined tactics.
Center-line structures at the ball-up/throw in could spread the entire width of the ground as teams look to stretch the field.
The midfield role would be reinvigorated with more space and reward for clean disposal - thus better delivery and aesthetic of the game.
1v1 battles would be imperative. (there might even be the return of the hulking FF).
 
Last edited:

Duckimus Prime

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I don't disagree with the sentiment but I think you may find the notion that Marvel stadium is a "fast deck" and promotes high-scoring affairs is actually a myth. Marvel Stadium's dimensions make it a lot easier to defend and, without having stats in front of me, I believe the difference in scoring in comparison to other grounds is absolutely negligible.
Its not a matter of Marvel as a fast deck compared to other grounds. Its Marvel, with its roof closed guarantees that the clubs playing there will not have to play in a downpour. I can guarantee you that games played in heavy rain are lower scoring than those played in perfect conditions.
 

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workhorse

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Its not a matter of Marvel as a fast deck compared to other grounds. Its Marvel, with its roof closed guarantees that the clubs playing there will not have to play in a downpour. I can guarantee you that games played in heavy rain are lower scoring than those played in perfect conditions.
Fair point, although I'd argue it's just another case of variance that is present at all games throughout the season. How many games a year are played in a downpour? A Friday Night game in July at the G is much more likely to be extremely dewy thus lower scoring, compared to a Saturday afternoon game at Adelaide Oval. Where do you draw the line with weather? Wind affects games much more at smaller ground like Geelong, Hobart, Canberra and Ballarat compared to the Gabba, MCG etc. I'd be interested to know how many games a year at Etihad would have been rain affected if they were played at the MCG. I think it would be lower than we think.

Anyway, I'm not a huge fan of the bonus point proposal as I don't think it'll change how the coaches approach the game, so we are on the same page, really :thumbsu:
 

Dogsbestfriend

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I'm with Bucks.... get rid of the prior opportunity rule.

This will break up congestion because all players will adjust their game when they know that if they're caught with the ball or don't dispose of it legally with a kick or handball they'll give away a free. And what happens when there's a free ? Players spread.

With this rule gone players should be encouraged to take on the tackler and try to baulk or whip away the tacklers hands because they know with certainty
if they can get a kick or handball out they'll be right. The ball will be moved on quicker even by tapping it to advantage to outsmart the waiting tackler.

Umpires won't have to interpret if a player had enough "time" to dispose of the ball so there will be more consistency in adjudicating decisions.
Even if a player is grabbed by the jumper and swung around, they still have the opportunity to either kick or handball.
So for the umpires its simple its either holding the man, holding the ball, or dropping the ball (incorrect disposal).

Obviously like now if two or three players are grabbing the ball then its a ball up stoppage.

Coaches can't coach players to hold onto the ball and not let it spill out so as to create a stoppage.
Coaches want stoppages because it gives them control in setting up their 18 man zone defence which slows the game down.
The game will be less predictable for coaches and players with some disposals being under pressure.

If there are less stoppages then players don't get as much of a rest which should lead to less congestion and so no need to bring in all these other silly rule changes like reducing interchange rotations or zones or reducing players on the field or play on when kicking backwards play etc.

Rant over.
 

Duckimus Prime

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Fair point, although I'd argue it's just another case of variance that is present at all games throughout the season. How many games a year are played in a downpour? A Friday Night game in July at the G is much more likely to be extremely dewy thus lower scoring, compared to a Saturday afternoon game at Adelaide Oval. Where do you draw the line with weather? Wind affects games much more at smaller ground like Geelong, Hobart, Canberra and Ballarat compared to the Gabba, MCG etc. I'd be interested to know how many games a year at Etihad would have been rain affected if they were played at the MCG. I think it would be lower than we think.
You've listed a whole bunch of things that may possibly occur at grounds. They're guaranteed to not occur at Marvel. Thats the difference.
 

bitadash

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I'm with Bucks.... get rid of the prior opportunity rule.

This will break up congestion because all players will adjust their game when they know that if they're caught with the ball or don't dispose of it legally with a kick or handball they'll give away a free. And what happens when there's a free ? Players spread.

With this rule gone players should be encouraged to take on the tackler and try to baulk or whip away the tacklers hands because they know with certainty
if they can get a kick or handball out they'll be right. The ball will be moved on quicker even by tapping it to advantage to outsmart the waiting tackler.

Umpires won't have to interpret if a player had enough "time" to dispose of the ball so there will be more consistency in adjudicating decisions.
Even if a player is grabbed by the jumper and swung around, they still have the opportunity to either kick or handball.
So for the umpires its simple its either holding the man, holding the ball, or dropping the ball (incorrect disposal).

Obviously like now if two or three players are grabbing the ball then its a ball up stoppage.

Coaches can't coach players to hold onto the ball and not let it spill out so as to create a stoppage.
Coaches want stoppages because it gives them control in setting up their 18 man zone defence which slows the game down.
The game will be less predictable for coaches and players with some disposals being under pressure.

If there are less stoppages then players don't get as much of a rest which should lead to less congestion and so no need to bring in all these other silly rule changes like reducing interchange rotations or zones or reducing players on the field or play on when kicking backwards play etc.

Rant over.

I respectfully disagree. Slapping and tapping should not be commonplace 'possessions' or tactics. The opposite should occur, where mids can take on the game to get clean disposals and clearances by taking on their opponents not fairying the ball around like volleyball. The key is to reducing numbers around a stoppage.
There are no issues with center bounces, because the numbers are restricted. Post bounce is where it gets ugly
 

Dogsbestfriend

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I respectfully disagree. Slapping and tapping should not be commonplace 'possessions' or tactics. The opposite should occur, where mids can take on the game to get clean disposals and clearances by taking on their opponents not fairying the ball around like volleyball. The key is to reducing numbers around a stoppage.
There are no issues with center bounces, because the numbers are restricted. Post bounce is where it gets ugly
And that’s ok we all have differing opinions on what might get the game moving faster and reduce congestion.

I don’t think it would lead to much tapping around of the ball as it is now players get caught with no prior opportunity what only 3 or 4 times a quarter.

Its just what I get peeved about that causes unnecessary stoppages is players know they have no prior opportunity just before they take possession and also know full well they are going to get tackled so they pretend to make a genuine attempt as instructed by their coaches and it always ends in a ball up.
And to me this slows the game down and leads to congestion.

Get rid of that fony rule I say.
 

sprockets

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I respectfully disagree. Slapping and tapping should not be commonplace 'possessions' or tactics. The opposite should occur, where mids can take on the game to get clean disposals and clearances by taking on their opponents not fairying the ball around like volleyball. The key is to reducing numbers around a stoppage.
There are no issues with center bounces, because the numbers are restricted. Post bounce is where it gets ugly
Nah, players can still have their clean disposals and clearances, your argument isn't relevant to someone being tackled and a stoppage occurring. If you can dispose of the ball you should. It's only when they're going to be tackled that they should tap it on. Some of them (eg, Richmond) already do.
 

BigVic

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I have seen the new 3 v 3 in the 50 discussed here on BigFooty a few years ago in the rules section solving congestion and increasing scoring. Will be interesting to watch the VFL
 

bitadash

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Thoughts on a middle of the road zoning solution? Its effectively how the set up in the 80's/90's anyway.

1. Halve the oval with a center-line boundary to boundary.
2. At every stoppage all forwards and all opposing defenders need to be in their related half.
3. As soon as open play resumes free to go anywhere.
4. 4 boundary umps to enforce this.
5. 5 seconds only to allow for players to get back to position while the umpire resets the ball up/throw in (usually takes that anyway).
6. Free kick to opposition if one player is in wrong half at time of ball up. If both aren't - wait again till reset has occurred.

As I play still, I feel like this would be a happy medium rather than strict zoning in play, and in keeping with how the game is (and has been) played. It still allows for full ground movement, you just have to work your ass off to get back once the stoppage occurs.

A few other outcomes might be:
Enhanced forward and defensive crafts.
Definitely would redefined tactics.
Center-line structures at the ball-up/throw in could spread the entire width of the ground as teams look to stretch the field.
The midfield role would be reinvigorated with more space and reward for clean disposal - thus better delivery and aesthetic of the game.
1v1 battles would be imperative. (there might even be the return of the hulking FF).
Just gonna bump this, have campaigned this on a few forums with the 3v3 in the 50 a clear option I have presented also.

The VFL is going to be fascinating to watch. It will be a great litmus test for the elite game. Fingers crossed the structured set up returns footy to some thing close to game I first fell in love with.

My prediction - a forward will kick 70+ goals for the first time in nearly a decade
 

Mitchell Madness

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This will have the opposite effect.

First off, players are coached to take the safe option.
Pushing players further back will just encourage more zoning, and more stop-start footy

Less interchange will see slower play for the majority of the game, as players conserve energy
 

bitadash

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This will have the opposite effect.

First off, players are coached to take the safe option.
Pushing players further back will just encourage more zoning, and more stop-start footy

Less interchange will see slower play for the majority of the game, as players conserve energy
Except 6 players will never get back to either defensive zone. It will revert to more 1v1's. Smart coaches and players will adapt their positioning accordingly.
 

DamianBis

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Just gonna bump this, have campaigned this on a few forums with the 3v3 in the 50 a clear option I have presented also.

The VFL is going to be fascinating to watch. It will be a great litmus test for the elite game. Fingers crossed the structured set up returns footy to some thing close to game I first fell in love with.

My prediction - a forward will kick 70+ goals for the first time in nearly a decade
I think it's going to be horrible. If there's a stoppage just outside your defensive 50 you have your forwards slowly enter the forward 50 so your players have time to set up your defensive zone.

The only way it would work as intended is if they ditch the part of the rule where they wait for the 3v3 in the zone to ball it up. And it's just an instant free kick if it's thrown and you don't have 3 players in each arc.
 

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