The Sensible Rule Changes Required

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GhostofJimJess

Norm Smith Medallist
Jan 14, 2002
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Are we the only sport that allows the umpires/referees to coach the players during play?

More than once this weekend I’ve heard umps yelling the following:

“Get it out, get it out” when a player is on the ball.
“Let him go, let him go” when an opponent holds the bloke who’s got a free.
“Wait for my whistle” when a bloke is standing the mark or about to encroach from the side on a player is taking an angled set shot.

There’s plenty more too. Maybe they should just let them play, and penalise any infringements accordingly.
 

LordLucifer

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Mar 20, 2002
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5 things I would change back to what they were tomorrow

1) No nomination and third man up rule, its footy and any player should be able to contest a ruck knock and any number of them also.
2) Return to kicking the ball out of the goal square after a behind, exactly as it was. It has done nothing.
3) Protected zone area is just gifting goals for no reason. Remove the rule and unless you actually interfere with the player kicking the ball there is no penalty.
4) Return to paying free kicks for high tackles contact, high contact is rife in the sport and all because we decided to blame the player with the ball. Pay the free kicks for anything other than ducking Your head and force the coaches and players to change how they tackle.
5) Umpires to be instructed to ball it up once two to three players are fighting for the ball, then run in and just throw it up without delay. This applies to boundary throw ins also. With removing the Auskick nomination process this will get the game moving.

I just want to watch Australian Rules Football, I don’t care how many interchanges there are, I don’t care how many goals are scored, I only care whether my team wins or loses. The AFL have changed the sport for no reason, the supporters loved the sport as much 30-40 years ago as they do today. No rule changes were required at all. There is heaps of other rules I would change back also but as they won’t change anything the above is what I believe are just silly changes for no reason at all.
Well said, my thoughts exactly and have been for some time..

The only thing I'd add is to reduce the bench back to two thus forcing the coaches & players to become more tactical as well as hopefully forcing teams to go with more individual man-on-man duels.
 

LordLucifer

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Change the rule so if the ball touches the goal post but still goes through the middle goes then it is a goal, but if the ball touches the posts and goes through for a behind then it is a behind. If the ball touches the post and bounces back in play then it is play on.

Immediately fixes any controversy over whether the ball grazed the post.
Controversial but interesting.
 

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LordLucifer

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1: Get rid of the bounce.

2: Get rid of the boundary throw ins, boundary umpire brings it in twenty metres and throws it up and retreats to the boundary.

3: Get rid of the goal square, kick ins from behind the line and between the point posts, no play on.

4: Three interchange gates, Wing, Back third, Front third.

5: Ground split into three zones with a dotted line extended from the front and back edges of the centre square.
Four players must remain in the forward and back thirds from both teams at all times in game time creating an
8-20-8 scenario and challenging coaches to lengthen the ground to prevent separation. End zone players can be
designated with coloured interchangeable arm bands and can be interchanged through the three zone gates or
by exchanging the arm band for a resting midfielder. No full ground press and kick in zones possible, space the
final frontier.

6: Hopefully a return to the specialty players without detracting from the endurance guys.

Blunt.png
 

LordLucifer

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I have long been a fan of the team holding the ball rule.

So right now player A can be in congestion and pass it to player B who is immediately tackled. The umpire says "ball up" because player B had no time to dispose of it.

The team holding the ball rule would determine that since player A had time, and chose to pass it to a teammate who did not, then that is the prior opportunity, so if player A passes it to player B who is immediately tackled, then it is a free against that team for holding the ball.

That rule would force players to get the ball out of packs fast, and would stop all the little handballs in packs, while also decreasing the rolling maul time thing we often see. A player gets the ball in the pack their first instinct will be to get it out by whatever means necessary.
I get the theory but you don't need the Team based free, just get rid of 'prior opportunity' and pay holding the ball for a good tackle.

Also, if Player Red is tackled by Player Blue and a second Player Red stacks on top of them to force a ball-up, pay a free kick against the Red team for creating the stoppage.
 

LordLucifer

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The only time a player can use a clenched fist in a match is (a) for a defensive punch to the ball in a marking contest, or (b) when hand-balling.

If a clenched fist is used in any other circumstance then it is automatically a free kick and a referral to the tribunal.
 
Last edited:

deanc

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Jun 13, 2014
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RUNVS said:
Change the rule so if the ball touches the goal post but still goes through the middle goes then it is a goal, but if the ball touches the posts and goes through for a behind then it is a behind. If the ball touches the post and bounces back in play then it is play on.

Immediately fixes any controversy over whether the ball grazed the post.

Controversial but interesting.

A good mate of mine has been banging on about this for years and even more so now we have this score review system.

It's really only 'controversial' because it defies tradition, but rugby and soccer have never had any issues with the ball deflecting off their posts...

The play-on off the posts if the ball returns into play could be an exciting element to the game but also a nightmare for defenders...

They could trial this is during pre-season matches but given it's a rare occurrence in games, support for or against will be difficult to determine.
 

deanc

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Jun 13, 2014
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Yojimbo said:
1: Get rid of the bounce.

2: Get rid of the boundary throw ins, boundary umpire brings it in twenty metres and throws it up and retreats to the boundary.

3: Get rid of the goal square, kick ins from behind the line and between the point posts, no play on.

4: Three interchange gates, Wing, Back third, Front third.

5: Ground split into three zones with a dotted line extended from the front and back edges of the centre square.
Four players must remain in the forward and back thirds from both teams at all times in game time creating an
8-20-8 scenario and challenging coaches to lengthen the ground to prevent separation. End zone players can be
designated with coloured interchangeable arm bands and can be interchanged through the three zone gates or
by exchanging the arm band for a resting midfielder. No full ground press and kick in zones possible, space the
final frontier.

6: Hopefully a return to the specialty players without detracting from the endurance guys.

Yojumbo, you were doing so well until point 5 - where everyone knows coloured interchangeable arm bands won't work, it has to be propeller hats:
1593758905617.png
 

Yojimbo

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That's a big joint, sorry for the tardy reply faulty connection.

Rule 1: The distance between the goals and the goal posts shall be decided upon by the Captains of the two sides playing.

Rule 2: The Captains on each side shall toss a coin for choice of goal; the side losing the toss has the kick off from the centre
point between the goals.

An excerpt from the original rules of football 1859, don't start me on the 20 yard restart for when the ball went past the goal line.

I could start a list of rule questions, but i could not be bothered needless to say i wonder what the fans of 1859 would think of the
game of today or the modern game, lot of turning in their graves me thinks.
 

wilsonmatic

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Sep 25, 2011
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1: Get rid of the bounce.

2: Get rid of the boundary throw ins, boundary umpire brings it in twenty metres and throws it up and retreats to the boundary.

3: Get rid of the goal square, kick ins from behind the line and between the point posts, no play on.

4: Three interchange gates, Wing, Back third, Front third.

5: Ground split into three zones with a dotted line extended from the front and back edges of the centre square.
Four players must remain in the forward and back thirds from both teams at all times in game time creating an
8-20-8 scenario and challenging coaches to lengthen the ground to prevent separation. End zone players can be
designated with coloured interchangeable arm bands and can be interchanged through the three zone gates or
by exchanging the arm band for a resting midfielder. No full ground press and kick in zones possible, space the
final frontier.

6: Hopefully a return to the specialty players without detracting from the endurance guys.
No, no, no, no, no, no.
 

Hoops

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Jul 30, 2004
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Should we get rid of the off the ball free taken from the greater advantage of where the incident occurred or where the ball is. Just have it from the incident unless the team infringed has the ball from a mark or free then pay 50m
 

LOZWILDA

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Umpiring standard to be improved by penalising umpires for mistakes.
No out of bounds- FREE kick against last player to touch the ball.
Protect the head by penalizing the player not protecting themselves.
Any kick backwards is play on.
If you don't dispose of the football correctly- FREE against.
Holding the man if the player does not have the ball.
If you bump a player and you are not watching the ball- FREE against.
Clean our game up. It looks more and more like Rugby every year.
Getting hard to watch the poor, inconsistent, biased, unaccountable umpiring.

Do Geelong train their players to play dangerous footy? They seem to go for the ball head down low and toward the oncoming opposition, drawing FREE kicks from gulable umpires. I now refer to them as the Ducks.


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Lavender Bushranger

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Aug 25, 2005
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Personnally, I still think that congestion can be fixed by implementing sensible alteratiins, as opposed to major rule changes.

I still get bamboozled when people talk about penalising teams for kicking backwards or chipping it around.

Teams don't do this for a laugh. They do it 'cause the opposition has a zone in place, and are waiting for them to give them the ball back by kicking long up the field.

Penalising teams for taking their time to work through a zone defence (or a flood) is just ludicrous. It's encouraging teams to simply flood their defence as they know the opposition has no choice but to kick it long.

Crazy talk.

It needs to be the opposite.

The flooding of stoppages, zones and the D50 is what needs to be discouraged. That's what causes congestion.


Simple adjustments will help...

No runners. The coach's influence needs to be reduced. If it's reduced, holes open up in defensive structures and the attacking team can move forward.

Pinging blokes for Incorrect Disposal. We need to encourage quick kicks out of packs and stoppages. If players know the ball will thrown onto the boot and hacked out of a stoppage or out of a lack situation, they'll sag off. So as soon as a pack looks to be forming - players will spread as they will anticipate a quick kick. Right now, it's the opposite. As soon as a pack or stoppage forms they all get drawn in because they know that the only way it comes out is by hand.
The AFL threw Incorrect Disposal out the window in order to 'keep the game flowing', but the deadshits making these decisions didn't think it through.

I guarantee you:

If a player gets pinged for not genuinely trying to dispose of the ball when tackled (which is what they've cracked down on now) and get pinged for Incorrect Disposal they will start throwing it on their boot more and more. Which in turn, will discourage 30 players descending on every pack and stoppage.

Congestion will ease, and the game will open up.
 

Back One Out

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Man AFL people are dumb.

We've just seen how simple it is to enact change without sweeping changes that compromise the game itself.

The NRL introdcued significant change, without actually changing any rules or introducing any new ones!

Well played.

But to be fair...it's really not that hard.

There are a bunch of alterations or adjustments that could be made in the AFL which would make huge changes - without needing to dream up any sh*t new rules!


Gerard Whateley was talking about it last night, and I agree with him to a degree.
His jist was along the lines of 'just make the rule changes and don't try to engage everyone and make them all happy - just do it.'

That's completely wrong in the sense that you need to understand what the Problem Statement is. To do that, you generally need input from a bunch of stakeholders.

I believe this is a core problem with the AFL's plight and their approach to the game.

What is the actual problem with the game?

If you ask 10 people down the street what a perfect game of AFL footy is, you'll get a bunch of different answers. So what is it exactly that you're trying to make the game look like? I don't think the AFL know. They're like Homer Simpson designing the car for Herb - they're taking a scattergun approach to it and trying to address all these little problems with changes. The issue there is that most of the changes end up countering other ones, and you don't really know which ones were effective amd which weren't!

They need to first understand exactly what it is they're trying to achieve.

What's the Problem Statement? Then what's the solution?


The 6-6-6 rule is just dog sh*t. Not becuase it fu**s with the integrity of the game in the sense that it's a major change that basically has introduced zones to AFL footy - but because it didn't work!
It facilitated close finishes and teams rolling the dice to score quickly out of the centre, which was cool - but to my knowledge, that was never the Problem Statement?

So here we are again. Trying to fix the game. Scoring is still low. The game still looks putrid.


But anyway, I digress...

There are three things that need to change, and they aren't new rules and they aren't going to rip out the heart of the game. My personal view is that the rolling maul is a major problem, and the lack of one on one contests is the other. Low scoring doesn't me, and I don't particularly love high scoring shootouts. It's the contest I love, and the art of football on an individual level. Great players are what makes the game entertaining - not 'well drilled teams'.

1) No runners. Let's be honest, coaches wrecked the game. Limit their interference.
Let tired players make decisions on their feet. The art of football will come back, and older players will have more value.

2) Enforce players creeping over the mark. The 'protected zone' is nonsense, it's not the issue. I see probably 10 times each game where a player seemingly doesn't get back off his mark quick enough to take his kick, so he has to reset. It stops the flow. Whereas in reality the opposition player has crept over the mark. It's a ploy, and umpires ignore it for some reason.

3) Enforce Holding the Man/Not in Possession in packs.
You're not allowed to tackle a bloke that doesn't have the ball.
In a pack, only one guy can have it - so WTF are there 5 guys in there? One guy has it, one is tackling him. If anyone tackles or stacks on then they, in 90% of cases, be either tackling a bloke that is not possession, or pushing someone in the back.
For some reason, the umpires allow it. I don't know why. But the 'stacks on' is the main factor in the rolling mail.


There. That's all I've got. Well for now, any way.
tl;dr
 

Finn Jim

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I will propose some rules of my own, because why not rant on a football forum to no-one in particular.

1. I don't like the back to the 9 thing. A mark is the point of the mark, if you don't like it don't mark the footy there.

2. If we must have this 9 thing, draw a d*** line on the ground at 9m, and pay 50 against any bloke who steps over it.

3. Bring back 15m penalties, or introduce 25? I think a lot of the post mark/free baloney is particularly because umps don't believe it warrants 50 so they can't call it.

4. Something about advantage rubs me the wrong way. Advantage should be paid where it develops in spite of the infraction, not because everybody stopped from the whistle (because defenders get 50 against if they do anything else about it) and one bloke runs on and kicks the ball. It should be like soccer, either quick organic advantage or back for the free. Not rugby union where you get to play on forever until you fail, and then go back.

5. Set shots for goal should be treated as any other field kick. Mark, back up, move it on, play on. Not instantly but not 30 seconds either.
 

flyinghi64

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Buckley on 360 last night was pretty good, as usual, and made a good point about prior opportunity when being tackled.
Scrap it.
Get rid of as much grey area as possible.
If you choose to collect the ball because you mark it, are in the clear, feel you can break a tackle, think you can get rid of it before getting tackled, great go for it. if you get tackled and don't dispose of the ball 100% correctly YOU ARE GONE.

You choose to collect the ball instead of tapping, kicking, punching it on then get tackled straight away then free kick if you don't dispose of it correctly.
 

Fadge

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Buckley on 360 last night was pretty good, as usual, and made a good point about prior opportunity when being tackled.
Scrap it.
Get rid of as much grey area as possible.
If you choose to collect the ball because you mark it, are in the clear, feel you can break a tackle, think you can get rid of it before getting tackled, great go for it. if you get tackled and don't dispose of the ball 100% correctly YOU ARE GONE.

You choose to collect the ball instead of tapping, kicking, punching it on then get tackled straight away then free kick if you don't dispose of it correctly.
Is prior opportunity really that difficult to adjudicate?
 

Thistle

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It really frustrates me when players who signal for a kick at goal use up their 30 seconds but then don't have a shot. They should have a free kick paid against them.
 

GhostofJimJess

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It really frustrates me when players who signal for a kick at goal use up their 30 seconds but then don't have a shot. They should have a free kick paid against them.
Maybe it should be a "team 30 seconds" for that passage of play? If a player signals for a shot at goal and clearly passes it, that resulting mark to a teammate is not allowed 30?
 

GhostofJimJess

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4. Something about advantage rubs me the wrong way. Advantage should be paid where it develops in spite of the infraction, not because everybody stopped from the whistle (because defenders get 50 against if they do anything else about it) and one bloke runs on and kicks the ball. It should be like soccer, either quick organic advantage or back for the free. Not rugby union where you get to play on forever until you fail, and then go back.
Yeah it's got ridiculous now. Hockey and soccer do this rule really well, where the umpire just signals with his arms whose free it is until the outcome of this immediate incident is determined, and reserves use of the whistle only to stop play entirely. Players would adjust to this really quickly.
 

Lavender Bushranger

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The AFL need to decide, and then communicate it to the fans (and players obviously!) what the fu** is going on. What is the plan here with their adjudication of 'holding the ball' and 'incorrect disposal'?

I'm in the camp that despises seeing blokes throw the ball. It's simply against the essence of the sport.

You need to either kick it legally, or handball it legally. Full stop.

If it's held to you, then it's not your fault. You shouldn't be penalised for that. That's just a ball up.

But even if you have prior, you still should have to dispose of it correctly. I simply don't understand why they don't adjudicate it this way.

Outcome of allowing them to throw it or drop? Ball comes out obviously, but it's still in the vicinity of the pack. So the maul continues.

Outcome of pinging guys for Incorrect Disposal? They'll either throw it on their boot quickly which will clear the congestion, or they'll get a free kick against them - which also clears the congestion.

If the tackler holds the ball to you - ball up. Prior or not. Whether you make stupid childish 'attempts to get rid of it' or not. They're holding it to you! Why do you get penalised for that anyway??

Basically, prior opportunity should be replaced with 'held to you'.

If it's held to you, ball up.

If it's not, you must get rid of it legally.
 

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