With the pre season competition there are always some new controversial rule changes, I’m going through and rating each one and deciding if it will work in the season proper.
1. Behind the Umpire is a No Go Zone
Rule: There will be a zone behind the umpire that players are not permitted to enter in order to protect umpires from being injured/colliding with players
I fail to see the difference between this and the normal season, players are expected to keep out of the way of the umpire this rule comes up from time to time but then drifts away, I wouldn’t be expecting to see to much change this year.
2. Rushed Behinds results in free kick
Rule: A free kick will be awarded from the spot where the behind was rushed from.
You cannot let two games (Joel Bowden rushing the ball over the line from a kick in, in the dying minutes of a game and the Grand Final where Hawthorn rushed so many behinds) from last year change the rule completely, If Hawthorn had of lost the Grand Final by a few points people would be saying that it was their own fault for rushing so many points. I think the rule should stay as is but if you really disliked Bowden’s tactics perhaps it should be a free kick if you rush it directly from a kick in but in general play it should be acceptable.
3. No Touching After Disposed of the Ball
Rule: Automatic free kick and 50m penalty if a player tackles, holds or makes high contact to an opponent after they dispose of the ball.
Hitting a player after he has disposed of the ball should be penalised however I think a down field free kick is sufficient in these cases.
4. Substitute Players
Rule: During the preseason there are eight interchange players and two of these are designated as ‘substitutes’. Substitutes can be brought onto the field at any time however the player a substitute replaces can take no further part in the game.
Good format for the pre-season competition so we can see the best players playing for half a game or so however I could not see it working in the season proper, 4 interchange players is enough and injuries are part of the game.
5. Distance for a kick to be awarded a mark at 20m instead of 15m.
Rule: Kicks must travel 20 meters rather then 15 meters to be awarded a mark.
People are whinging about the handball overtaking the kick and we wonder why, it has gone from 10 to 15 and now to 20 meters, leave it at 15.
6. No mark paid if the ball is kicked backwards in the defensive half of the ground
Rule: A line is drawn straight across the ground and if you are in your defensive half of the ground a mark is not paid if the ball travels backwards.
Again good for the pre-season competition however not suited to the season proper, if you don’t want teams chipping the ball around, ditch the zone and play man on man.
7. Ball to be thrown up around the ground
Rule: Ball is thrown up instead of bouncing for ruck contests around the ground.
Common sense finally prevails. Introduce it and stop the bad bounces that cause so much controversy, the bounce is an important part of the game and I never want to see it banished but leave it for the centre square after a goal or to start a quarter.
8. Umpire able to recall the centre bounce if it favours one team to much
Rule: Umpire can recall centre bounce if it is not deemed to be fair.
Again common sense wins out, pretty much the same explanation as above the classic example being Collingwood vs. North Melbourne last year where a bad bounce changed the result of a match, if it’s a shocker then bring it back.
As you can see from above I think why fix something that isn’t broken? Common sense rules should be changed but all in all the game needs to be left alone.
I would welcome any comments you may have on the subjects.