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AFL introduces Laws of the Game changes for '09 season
Authored by: Niels Schønnemann on Tuesday, December 16 2008 @ 11:56 pm ACDT

Can someone explain this rule:

d) 50m penalty awarded after all clear is given but before play has re-started: A free kick to the defending team during this time will be taken where infringement occurred or 50m from the kick-off line. This change makes the rules consistent with those already in place for when a free kick is given away after a mark or free kick has been awarded.

AFL introduces Laws of the Game changes for '09 season
Authored by: Brett Northey on Wednesday, December 17 2008 @ 01:24 am ACDT

I'm not sure if I understand it either, but I'll try.

I'm guessing it's talking about a free to the defending side that is awarded after the attacking side has kicked a behind and after the all-clear has been given, so the point stays, but the free is before play re-starts.

So effectively the defending side was going to get a kick-out from the top of the goalsquare, but because of the free they get an extra 50m from there or they take it from where the infringement occurred, whichever is closer to their own goal. Not sure what the rule was previously - maybe 50m from the goalsquare but didn't include the part about where the infringement occurred? Just a guess.

So if in the centre a free is given, rather than the kickout be made from the goalsquare or goalsquare + 50m, instead it comes up to the centre. Hence making it in-line with other frees around the ground to players that didn't have the ball - if your team had the ball (a free or mark already) they get 50m extra, unless the free occurred closer to goal than the ball, then free moves up to where it occurred.

Sound right?

Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

AFL introduces Laws of the Game changes for '09 season
Authored by: Michael Christiansen on Thursday, December 18 2008 @ 08:59 am ACDT

I read it as Brett does.

btw - the free kick from the deliberate rushed behind in the NAB cup. I'm not too sure on this. More because the around the ground interpretation of deliberate out of bounds has generally provided stuff all benefit of the doubt (an area our game is often lacking in the understanding of with whom it should sit).

The AFL though continues their hate campaign with stoppages- - -however, without stoppages it reduces the need for the great variety of body types - - - we already have a pseudo last team touches out of bounds concedes a free rule interpretation. If we remove boundary throw ins - - the need for 'pure ruckmen' and the capacity for traditional 'crumbers' reduces.

The AFL has to be careful about not turning the game into just glorified circle work.

AFL introduces Laws of the Game changes for '09 season
Authored by: Brett Northey on Thursday, December 18 2008 @ 11:08 am ACDT

Yeah not a fan of the free kick for a deliberate rushed behind. You'll now see forwards not going for the ball, just trying to corral the defender into conceding a behind and thus a free kick. I much prefer a bounce down say 20 metres out.

We like to think that Australian football represents the spirit of Australia, the sense of a fair go. Several aspects of the game that are key to that have slowly been eroded and I think this is another case. If a free is paid it's very much sudden death and all comes down to a subjective opinion of an umpire as to whether the player meant to concede the point. Whereas a ball up 20 metres out gives the defending team a chance to redeem themselves, a chance to overcome what may have been a bad decision. The penalty is not as severe as a free kick and probable goal, but it would still be a strong deterent against most rushed behinds - you lose possession in your defensive end. You've conceded the point and are only 50-50 to get possession.

I believe the general public would be much more supportive of a ball up than a free, so yeah, perhaps it is just the obsession of getting rid of stoppages. Yet surely it would only mean up to 3 or 4 more per game.

And I agree there is a risk of the AFL becoming more like circle work. Some games are moreso than others, and they can be very boring to watch. We do still want contests. And speaking as someone of short stature, I totally agree that smaller body types are no longer favoured in the game. The claim that Australian football is a game for all shapes and sizes is no longer true at the elite level.

Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

AFL introduces Laws of the Game changes for '09 season
Authored by: Michael Christiansen on Friday, December 19 2008 @ 08:32 am ACDT

although, I recently compared my North Melb vs the Brisbane Broncos. The Roos had a height range of about 30cms, 173cm to 203cm. The Broncos only went up to about 192cm, with a range of about 20cms.
Maybe the days of a Paul Callery are numbered. Maybe kids are on average taller than before.

The AFL still CAN allow a reasonable height range, but, needs to ensure the importance of the height range 'extremes'.
Part of that is positional style play. Thankfully, we still have the 'small forward' as a key role (if no longer always a resting rover).
I would like to see a requirement of no 3rd man up in boundary throw ins - - allow the art of 'ruckwork' to survive around the ground.
I would like to see the IC bench restricted to perhaps 2 or 3 'free' IC players plus 1 or 2 subs. And force more on ground rotations - - that after all is footy as most of us know it (although, granted, those who grew up in the old 19th man era........it was even more extreme).