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Saturday, November 18 2017 @ 07:01 pm ACDT

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Aussies beat the heat -- and the Irish
Authored by: Brett Northey on Monday, November 13 2017 @ 11:32 am ACDT

After years of opposition to the last touch rule I think I'm on the verge of switching sides. All year there had been inconsistency but I thought it was just the odd decision here and there.

But in the AFL grand final Richmond continuously took the ball out rather than cough it up to Adelaide which had set up defensively ready. It stopped Adelaide's goals-from-turnovers which was one of their strengths all year (it reminded me of the way Clarkson's Hawthorn kept the ball out of Geelong's hands in the 2008 grand final by continuously conceding behinds, leading to a rule change). It was the biggest factor in the upset result in my opinion - Adelaide should've been 4 or 5 goals up late in the 2nd quarter and it seems unlikely Richmond could have rallied from there, but by being close they and the crowd got on a roll when they got a sniff and of course when that happened they started playing great football, the crowd was going nuts and there was no holding back the tide.

It has convinced me the umpires can't be relied on to adjudicate the rule fairly. Ironically after missing about 8 decisions against Richmond they penalised Adelaide one from one.

It's actually how many rules end up being changed in the AFL. The umpires get them wrong so often that in the end the public accept that a radical change is better than staying with the current rule. If this had been a Victorian side on the negative side of a grand final loss like that I suspect the mainstream footy media (based in Melbourne) would've screamed and the AFL would've used that to bring in the change in 2018. Instead the media was more focused on celebrating the Richmond win and having cracks at Adelaide for not bringing their best, and their captain for not being gracious enough in defeat, and for being unhappy a key player was leaving his club.

Yeah, still bitter about the whole experience.

So yes, change the rules I say, the more that can be taken out of the umpires' hands the better.

---
Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

Aussies beat the heat -- and the Irish
Authored by: Harley Vague on Monday, November 13 2017 @ 01:38 pm ACDT

If we look at the history of the ball crossing the boundary then originally it was a bounce then the ball was thrown in. In 1925 a free kick was awarded against players kicking or forcing the ball out of bounds. In 1939 the free against kicking out was rescinded. In 1969 a free kick was awarded against players kicking out on the full because fans were tired of continuous boundary play. This law was ushered in with utmost uproar but quickly dissipated as unwarranted. In 2016 the SANFL trialled a law that a player would be penalized for kicking or handballing (disposing) the ball over the boundary. The feedback from that has been positive. I haven't been able to find out when but the fullback has been penalized for kicking the ball out (untouched) for as long as I can remember.

Thus in summary by altering the laws the AFL is :
1. Reverting to an old law.
2. Reducing and simplifying the number of laws.
3. Removing most of the the need for and surrounding controversy of deliberate out-of-bounds. .
4. Encouraging play to revert to more attacking styles.
5. We aren't asking anything more of players than what the fullback is already required to do.

As for the need for a player to be footed to pick up the ball I was shocked when this was first mentioned as it was a feature of Australian Football to show one's desire by diving on the ball. However, this feature has worked well in IRS to stop the number of scrimmages. As well we have seen diving on the ball discouraged in AFL immensely with strong holding-the-ball and tripping interpretations. From a skills p.o.v. , it is more skillful the way AFL players get a ball out of congestion these days. It doesn't have the same emotional desperation of diving on the ball but IMO we are just about at the point where we could flip especially from a safety and concussion perspective.

Aussies beat the heat -- and the Irish
Authored by: Cam Homes on Thursday, November 16 2017 @ 03:05 pm ACDT

The SANFL still had the last touch rule during season 2017. Only saw two games live, and from what I saw on TV matches it looked a bit like there was some umpire discretion involved when ball went out after the ball was "touched" by player trying to mark or keep the ball in play from opposition kicks or play. (eg. would have been advantageous for "last touch" player to keep it in play.)

Didn't really hear the commentators ever discussing/commenting about any of the decisions etc. when ball went out of play "last touch" or on the full etc. Seems like there were/are no contentious issues with it.
Unlike what happens in AFL with the continual/annual rule changes to fix contentious issues brought on by the previous years rule changes. :-)