News Holding the Ball rule change for 2022 Announced

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Football Operations Department Contact to Club Football Departments - Time Delay and Holding the Ball

The AFL has today written to Club General Managers of Football and Senior Coaches outlining tighter interpretations of existing rules relating to Time Delay and Holding the Ball ahead of the 2022 Toyota AFL Premiership Season.

This follows in-depth game analysis across the course of the 2021 season and comes after meetings with each AFL Club led by Executive General Manager Football Operations Andrew Dillon and General Manager Football Brad Scott held across November and December last year.

In summary, the 2022 Toyota AFL Premiership Season will see the following:

Time Delay
  • In 2022, Umpires will be less lenient towards Players who deliberately delay the play. A Free Kick or 50-Metre Penalty will be awarded under existing Law 19.2 (f).
  • In 2022, Umpires will no longer give a warning to Players who deliberately engage in Time Wasting and a Free Kick will be awarded under existing Law 18.13 (d).
Holding the Ball
  • In 2022, Umpires will be less lenient towards Players who have had Prior Opportunity and do not immediatelyand Correctly Dispose of the Football when they are Legally Tackled under existing Law 18.6.2.
    • In 2022, a Free Kick will be awarded against a Player who ducks their head prior to being Legally Tackled and does not immediately and Correctly Dispose of the Football. Umpire cues for Prior Opportunity includes: evading, fending, ducking, has a prior option (i.e. goes to handball / kick and decides not to), is balanced and steady, is awarded a mark or free-kick, or drives their head.
AFL Executive General Manager Andrew Dillon said the league looked forward to 2022 being a year of consolidation on the field despite the constantly changing environment off the field as a result of the pandemic.

“Firstly, I want to acknowledge the dedication of everyone in the football community in supporting the 2022 NAB AFL Women’s Competition,” Mr Dillon said.

“We are proud to have had the NAB AFLW Competition kick off the football calendar strongly and welcome fans back to games in 2022. To see the standard of footy on display in the openings rounds and the emerging talent making an immediate impact on the competition is very exciting for football and highlights the continued progression of AFLW.

“In the last week, players from AFL men’s programs returned to the training track and those players, along with fans across the country, are excited for the AFL season to commence in a couple of months.

“We are looking forward to 2022 being a year of consolidation and, as such, want to reinforce there would be no material rule changes introduced for the men’s competition this season. Following meetings with each of the 18 AFL Clubs across November and December last year, we have worked closely as a Football Operations and Umpiring Department to tighten up on the interpretations of existing rules relating to Time Delay and Holding the Ball.

“In relation to time delay, there will be less leniency towards players who delay play and, secondly, with holding the ball there will be less leniency towards players who have had prior opportunity and do not immediately dispose of the football.

“The tightening up of these existing rules comes after the Game Analysis team, made up of AFL and AFL Club staff, identified trends in the way the game was being played and umpired in the AFL and aims to deliver a game that is played and umpired in line with the spirit and intention that is consistent with the Laws of Australian Football.

“AFL umpires have also resumed training and we commend their commitment and professionalism as we worked through these interpretations as a collective. Last year, AFL umpires took part in over 500 club visits across the pre-season period which was beneficial to both players and umpires. We will continue that connection between AFL umpires and AFL Clubs in the lead up to games in 2022.”

The AFL’s Game Analysis Team will continue to analyse data, insights and identify trends that are shaping the way the game is played in the AFL and AFLW competitions.

The rules, as written in the Laws of Australian Football and referred to above, can be found below:

TIME DELAY
The wording of the law refers to where a field Umpire is of the opinion that a Player is unnecessarily causing a delay in play.

19.1 Spirit and Intention
After a Mark or Free Kick has been awarded to a Player, a Fifty-Metre Penalty will be awarded against the opposing Team which delays or impedes the play, or behaves in an unsportsmanlike manner.

19.2 When Imposed
Where a field Umpire has awarded a Mark or Free Kick to a Player, or a Player is preparing to bring or bringing the football back into play after a Behind is scored, a Fifty-Metre Penalty in favour of that Player will be awarded if the field Umpire is of the opinion that any Player or Official from the opposing Team:
(f) engages in any conduct which delays or impedes the play; or

18.13 Other
A field Umpire shall award a Free Kick against a Player who:
(d) engages in Time Wasting

HOLDING THE BALL

18.6.1 Spirit and Intention
The Player who has Possession of the Football will be provided an opportunity to dispose of the football before rewarding an opponent for a Legal Tackle.

18.6.2 Free Kicks - Holding the Ball: Prior Opportunity
Where a Player in Possession of the Football has had Prior Opportunity, a field Umpire shall award a Free Kick if that Player does not Correctly Dispose of the football immediately when they are Legally Tackled.
 

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Dec 9, 2006
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The stand rule did make the game better in 2021. It was more entertaining to watch, and a bit less congestion and teams locking the ball in their forward 70.
Lol, of course it did. Scoring went backwards fyi. It achieved nothing. But hey, if you like aus kick. Good for you.
 

RUNVS

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Lol, of course it did. Scoring went backwards fyi. It achieved nothing. But hey, if you like aus kick. Good for you.

At least the ball was moving which is better than the rolling maul we were getting prior to the stand rule. Improvements need to be made but overall I think the stand rule at least helped a bit.
 

HairyO

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Football Operations Department Contact to Club Football Departments - Time Delay and Holding the Ball

The AFL has today written to Club General Managers of Football and Senior Coaches outlining tighter interpretations of existing rules relating to Time Delay and Holding the Ball ahead of the 2022 Toyota AFL Premiership Season.

This follows in-depth game analysis across the course of the 2021 season and comes after meetings with each AFL Club led by Executive General Manager Football Operations Andrew Dillon and General Manager Football Brad Scott held across November and December last year.

In summary, the 2022 Toyota AFL Premiership Season will see the following:

Time Delay
  • In 2022, Umpires will be less lenient towards Players who deliberately delay the play. A Free Kick or 50-Metre Penalty will be awarded under existing Law 19.2 (f).
  • In 2022, Umpires will no longer give a warning to Players who deliberately engage in Time Wasting and a Free Kick will be awarded under existing Law 18.13 (d).
Holding the Ball
  • In 2022, Umpires will be less lenient towards Players who have had Prior Opportunity and do not immediatelyand Correctly Dispose of the Football when they are Legally Tackled under existing Law 18.6.2.
    • In 2022, a Free Kick will be awarded against a Player who ducks their head prior to being Legally Tackled and does not immediately and Correctly Dispose of the Football. Umpire cues for Prior Opportunity includes: evading, fending, ducking, has a prior option (i.e. goes to handball / kick and decides not to), is balanced and steady, is awarded a mark or free-kick, or drives their head.

I dont even care about "immediately" I just care about "correctly".

Give the player a 2 count but they must handball or kick cleanly. The rolling maul with dropped or thrown balls has been a blight.

If they actually get this right I wouldnt even care about the awful STAND !! rule.
 

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HairyO

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And injuries occur. Players tackled and then the tackle goes on and on. They twist to get the player on the ground and that's when knees and ankles get injured.

Or concussions because the frustrated tackler slams the ball carrier in to the ground. Then the idiot umpire pays a dangerous tackle free even though they are at fault for not blowing their whistle sooner.
 

Art Vandelay_

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Lol, of course it did. Scoring went backwards fyi. It achieved nothing. But hey, if you like aus kick. Good for you.
The lack of self awareness that 3 flags were won with a hack it forward and chase after the footy (Auskick is essence) game plan.

If the stand rule helped mitigate that blight on the game, then good.
 

Kwality

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To be honest the only way I think the AFL can properly fix the game is going down to 15 or 16 a side, these sort of rule changes they have brought in the last decade are just slowly the decline in scoring and how the ball moves, not fixing it. Having 4 to 6 fewer players on the field would fix the game.
:thumbsu: :thumbsu:

Its 22 players per side now with interchange. It was once 18 players without interchange.
 
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The lack of self awareness that 3 flags were won with a hack it forward and chase after the footy (Auskick is essence) game plan.

If the stand rule helped mitigate that blight on the game, then good.
Lol, my comments weren’t about the team I support. Yet a Geelong supporter wants to derail the thread talking about you know who. Talk about lacking a self awareness.
My point stands. It was bought in to increase scoring. Scoring decreased. It’s a big fail.
 

Taylor

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That action of asking the umpire who the ball is going to when there is only one opponent anywhere near and that person is screaming for the ball - it's a good tactic to buy more time before giving the ball back, but hopefully they call that out.
 
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At least the ball was moving which is better than the rolling maul we were getting prior to the stand rule. Improvements need to be made but overall I think the stand rule at least helped a bit.
Tigers brand wasn’t a roving maul. We just played fast direct footy to beat it.
 

Art Vandelay_

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Lol, my comments weren’t about the team I support. Yet a Geelong supporter wants to derail the thread talking about you know who. Talk about lacking a self awareness.
My point stands. It was bought in to increase scoring. Scoring decreased. It’s a big fail.
1 year is a small sample size, and scoring could have been down for other factors also.
You labelled it derogatively as a change that promoted auskick, just pointing out that auskick is what we had.
 

citizen-erased

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Interesting.
I like that HTB is getting less lenient. Proof will be what standard is set and the consistency throughout the season. But like the intent. Same with time wasting.

Glad stand gets another season stop richm....i mean develop. It made encroachment 50s a lot less ambiguous.
 

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