Norm Smith Medallist
- Aug 25, 2005
- AFL Club
- Gold Coast
I hate the idea of changing fundamental aspects of the game in order to manufacture an outcome, however as outrageous as reducing the amount of players on the ground seems - 18 players on the ground is not really all that fundamental.I know it's a very unpopular opinion but I have warmed to it. That is for teams to have 16 players on the field instead of 18.
This will make it much harder to defend zones and encourage more 1 on 1 contests.
I know Richmond would curently suffer from such a change with the way, but like any team they will learn to adjust to it over time.
In 1899 they reduced players from 20 to 18 on a field no longer than 182m.
In 1946 they first introduced the interchange - but if a player came off they couldn't come back on
In 1973 the centre diamond came in with four players only allowed in - two years later it became a centre square. Basically zones were introduced.
Somewhere along the line, footy was played for years at Waverley on a ground 200m long with 4 on the bench amnd no limit on interchange!
16 on the ground actually kind of makes sense given the pattern of rule changes relating to decreasing ground sizes and player number over the years.
Messing with that aspect of the game has happened fairly regularly over the past 150 odd years.