Shaun Higgins gives away a second 50-metre penalty against Port Adelaide.Source: FOX SPORTS AFL greats have called on the league to scrap its new 50-metre penalty rule, with the new rule labelled a “disgrace”.
Under the AFL’s new rules, umpires have been told to be stricter on players delaying the enforcement of the 50-metre penalty, with a new rule also allowing players to play on during the advancement of the penalty.
Across Saturday’s game, there were four “100-metre penalties” paid as a result of the new rule. That included two incidents in the game between North Melbourne and Port Adelaide.
Former Port Adelaide midfielder Kane Cornes says the AFL must scrap the rule to avoid embarrassment in the home and away season.
“The new 50-metre penalty rule must be scrapped before Round 1 to avoid the AFL embarrassing themselves when the sides run out for premiership points in a fortnight’s time,” Cornes wrote on the SEN website.
New rule a 'disgrace'
The specifics of the rule change state umpires will be:
— Stricter on the infringing player, allowing the Player with the ball to advance The Mark by 50 metres without the infringing player delaying the game.
— In addition, the Player with the Football will be able to play on during the advancement of the 50-Metre Penalty.
North Melbourne’s Shaun Higgins was penalised with a 100-metre penalty — giving away a 50-metre penalty for arriving late to a marking contest with Port Adelaide’s Darcy Byrne-Jones, before giving away another for infringing on the Power player.
“What’s Higgins supposed to do?” Fox Footy analyst David King asked on commentary.
“He’s running next to him. The umpire says don’t impede him — he’s not impeding him there, he’s next to him, he’s three metres away.
“How can that be 50 metres? That’s a disgrace.
“You’re already in it (the zone around the player) to start with because you’ve just given the 50 away.”
Former Swans midfielder Jude Bolton said on Twitter he despised the new rule.
“I despise the 50m rule at the present. #100m #NoNeed,” he wrote.
Cornes wrote the “farce” would be a concern for AFL House this week.
“After two weeks of pre-season footy, the majority of the new rules look to be having a positive impact but the 50 metre farce would be a major concern for the heavy hitters at AFL House this week,” he wrote.
Cornes said the 100-metre penalties had the potential to seriously cost teams.
“A 50-metre penalty is already too harsh a penalty, now we are going to see repeat 100m indiscretions which will cost teams dearly,” Cornes wrote.
“This is the worst rule the AFL has introduced since the dreaded sub rule.”
In our 150th year in which we are commemorating the history of our great club, and re-introducing the classic and timeless 90’s bounding roo jumper into our rotation, I would be utteraly gobsmacked and ashamed if North were to go down the same route. What a disgusting guernsey.