Hawks trial AFL rule changes at Etihad

By Roger Vaughan,

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    Hawthorn have played a secret scratch match at Etihad Stadium so the AFL could trial potential rule changes.

    The league invited the Hawks to hold the training session at the venue on Saturday over their bye weekend and the scratch match also involved AFL umpires.

    It is rare for clubs to train at Etihad Stadium and the session was only revealed on Tuesday.

    Hawthorn usually train at their Waverley Park headquarters, which is open to the public.

    The AFL football operations manager Steve Hocking was among top league officials who watched the session, which was filmed for more analysis.

    Congestion is a big concern in the game and one solution being touted is starting positions for players at centre bounces.

    One of the experiments during Saturday’s scratch match was having three or four players from either team starting inside the 50m arc at centre bounces.

    League officials also used AFL players to experiment with the rules during the pre-season and there could more trials before the end of the season.

    Hocking has indicated that any rule changes for next season will most likely be announced in early October.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (14)

    • Roar Guru

      June 13th 2018 @ 7:50am
      Cat said | June 13th 2018 @ 7:50am | ! Report

      #freekickhawthorn

    • Roar Guru

      June 13th 2018 @ 7:57am
      Peter the Scribe said | June 13th 2018 @ 7:57am | ! Report

      Anyone else find this weird that a clandestine meeting and subsequent trial was organised with one club? Did the other clubs know about this or is Clarko already running the comp now?

      • June 13th 2018 @ 10:14am
        Kris said | June 13th 2018 @ 10:14am | ! Report

        It is commonplace.

    • Roar Guru

      June 13th 2018 @ 9:36am
      Paul D said | June 13th 2018 @ 9:36am | ! Report

      • Roar Guru

        June 13th 2018 @ 10:34am
        Peter the Scribe said | June 13th 2018 @ 10:34am | ! Report

        But is it always Hawthorn? Remember a few weeks back the laptop cafe meeting with Clarko and Gill?

      • June 13th 2018 @ 12:21pm
        Bruce said | June 13th 2018 @ 12:21pm | ! Report

        Wow. That should not be allowed. Impossible for the umps not to sympathise when one of their “mates” gets tackled hard. What a joke.

    • June 13th 2018 @ 10:23am
      Kris said | June 13th 2018 @ 10:23am | ! Report

      If the AFL drags their heals on this for long enough they will have a generation of players who have already played under these ‘rules’ in the elite junior comps. So that could be a positive at least.

      Basically the ‘guideline’ is that at every stoppage a club must have 2 players in the forward 50 and another 3 forward of centre.

      It is only a guideline, the umpires will pay a freekick if a team repeatedly ignores it and ignores a few warnings. It is sort of in the category on intimidatory bowling or running on the pitch in cricket. Basically a free kick will be paid when an umpire loses patience.

      So it works as a ‘guideline’ in comps where the results don’t really matter. Making it work as a ‘rule’ under the white heat of AFL where every decision is looked at 10 times won’t work.

      Essentially the problem is imagine you have some play on a half forward flank, everyone has moved somewhere and are within 60m of the ball. Then there is a stoppage. 5 sets of blokes need to turn around and run the other way and get back within the 3 seconds before the ump is ready to ball up. None of them will get back in time. Is that a free kick, against whom?

      We introduce ANOTHER controversial area where we have the panel shows talking about why this one in the first quarter was paid and this other one in the 3rd quarter wasn’t.

      You also have absurd cases where one of the 5 forwards or defenders is going to the bench (ideal time to make a change with the ball locked in the other 50). You don’t have 5 forwards because the 5th bloke is on the wing heading to the interchange gates.

      • Roar Guru

        June 13th 2018 @ 10:37am
        Peter the Scribe said | June 13th 2018 @ 10:37am | ! Report

        Gill Maclachlan basically ratified the 6 x 6 x 6 rule at each centre bounce for 2019 this morning on SEN. This is one rule that will come in and he said others may be announced in October. Your point about filtering down the footy ranks is a good one. Congestion is happening in suburban footy, some junior coaches are doing whatever it takes to win games. Congestion is ugly, destructive and ruining the AFL brand. Change is coming, it is just a matter of how much change.

        • June 13th 2018 @ 11:46am
          Kris said | June 13th 2018 @ 11:46am | ! Report

          It is actually filtering UP, not down. The kids drafted in the last 2-3 years have all played under these rules already.

    • June 13th 2018 @ 11:15am
      BigAl said | June 13th 2018 @ 11:15am | ! Report

      That idea, as you point out can’t possibly work. I like the sound of what I hear they’ve been doing in WAFL Colts for some time – 2 players in the back and forward 50 at all times !

    • June 13th 2018 @ 4:01pm
      Tlux said | June 13th 2018 @ 4:01pm | ! Report

      I’ve got another rule idea to avoid congestion around the ball.

      At a centre bounce, both teams have 4 players each inside the square (like present) but nobody else can enter the square until the ball has been cleared out by these 8 players. The clearance can be by kick, hand ball or by running it out.

      If a stoppage happens before the ball is cleared, the rule remains in place with 4 on 4. A free kick would end the rule with players allowed to enter/go anywhere on the field.

      I think this would create more one-on-one contests against star players (you would put your best players in the square at restarts), it would showcase the ruckman more and force teams to spread out, ready for the clearance.

      • Roar Guru

        June 13th 2018 @ 4:32pm
        Peter the Scribe said | June 13th 2018 @ 4:32pm | ! Report

        Tlux-I like it. Good one.

      • June 13th 2018 @ 8:48pm
        BigAl said | June 13th 2018 @ 8:48pm | ! Report

        Excellent idea – I have suggested it before also.

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