The orientation of the `diamond' was changed to a `square' because the point of the diamond ( particularly on the smaller suburban grounds) pushed the outer key forward (chf ) position too far back and caused extra congestion in the forward line as no player could enter the area until after the ball had been bounced, same as today.
Quite a few coaches and commentators of the time lamented that it was making the key outer attacking position redundant.
The `diamond' was brought in along with a couple of other rule changes to reduce the number of players at centre bounce downs, ie before coaches could just send multiple players into the centre to protect a lead and you would end up with continued ball ups with virtually no clean clearances and often very unattractive football, but orientated as a `diamond' it only moved that congestion further up the field.
I am old enough to have played ( or more to the point tried to play ) suburban footy under the `diamond' system, and I am surprised that an old campaigner like Ford Fairlane doesn't remember it, unless of course he is only a middle aged campaigner masquerading as a golden oldie.
I remember as a little kid watching the highlights of VFL games on Sunday afternoons and hearing Lou Richards commentate.
When someone scored a goal he would often say "that's full points".
Now to my young, untrained ears, not familiar with this strange Victorian accent, it sounded to me like he was saying "that's four points", so for a couple of years I laboured under the impression that in Victoria they only got four points for a goal and not six like in SA.
It was initially implemented by Allen Aylett so teams could bank 2 of the points (1 for a draw) as a form of ‘September Superannuation’ that could be called upon in years hence for a rainy day.
Upon ascending to the top job Ross Oakley felt this may unduly benefit losing Preliminary Finalists Fitzroy, scuppering his dreams of rationalisation via merger, and so scrapped the scheme, leaving the extra points on the ladder to much Brunswick chagrin. I made all that up #pallets
It's fairly easy to see from that pic how far the point of the `diamond' encroached on the forward line, particularly on the shorter grounds.
The `diamond' was gone by the time South Melbourne were relocated to Sydney, but you can only imagine the chaos it could have caused there because at the time the 50 metre line on the SCG was only about 45 metres from the goal line.