If the AFL gave you a magic wand to change only one rule to improve the game, what would it be?
It would have to be something radical to make a decent improvement.
Here’s my rule change:
I’m sick of seeing flood defence with both teams inside 50. There’s just too much traffic to be constructive. Great attacking play running the length of the field can be defeated simply by numbers. That’s not how it should be.
The tactic is also used to manage and preserve a winning margin, which is against the spirit of the game.
The solution is the adoption of a quasi-netball rule, restricting the number of players in certain zones of the field.
Let’s say for example the number of players inside 50 at any time is restricted to six or eight from each team. Teams self-regulate by designating the principal inside-50 players, but can rotate players at will. More than eight players inside 50 at any time is a free kick.
This will result in fewer mass migrations in defence, reduced distances covered by players, less injury, more contested possession among fewer players, increased one-on-one contests, much greater scoring opportunities, and lead to new defensive tactics to protect a winning margin other than flooding the 50 – with obvious benefits to the team chasing the score.
A similar rule applies inside the square to assist with clearances, so why not inside 50?
So, one simple rule change to change the game – not more than eight players from each team inside 50.
What’s your rule?