Tread carefully on AFL changes: Dogs coach

By Jason Phelan, Jason Phelan is a Roar Guru

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    Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge has warned the AFL to tread carefully in its bid to revitalise the game.

    AFL footy boss Steve Hocking is canvassing opinions and will look to potentially implement rule changes at the end of the season aimed at increasing scoring and reducing congestion.

    Tweaks as subtle as reducing the cap on interchanges and limiting runners – to radical shifts like introducing zones and cutting the number of players on the field – have been put forward.

    Beveridge hopes the league will take a softly, softly approach if it does anything at all.

    “We’ve got to identify the main reasons for (congestion) and not make drastic changes that may not work and might send the game into spiral or freefall in other areas,” Beveridge said.

    “It’s a difficult one to debate dramatic change because our game is so pure.

    “Obviously there’s some talking points around scoring and congestion, but there’s some quite cosmetic changes we can make by simply throwing the ball up a bit quicker.

    “(That) means you don’t nominate a ruckman and it’s a team’s obligation to make sure they only have one (ruckman) if they want to maintain that rule.”

    Hocking has already met industry heavyweights Leigh Matthews, Gerard Healy, Malcolm Blight, Mike Sheahan and Gerard Whateley as he undertakes his health check of the game.

    It continued when league boss Gillon McLachlan hosted a Monday dinner for senior coaches at his house.

    While the AFL is casting the net wide as it looks for answers, Beveridge believes some of the game’s issues are of their own doing.

    “There are things currently in the game through the broadcast (requirements) and the umpires not moving the game on quick enough that encourage and entice congestion,” he said.

    “There will always be times when there’s a lot of numbers in certain areas, but I’d make the cosmetic changes and see how it affects us.

    “Let’s not be too dramatic.

    “I’m not for some of the remedies that people are discussing because I think you can just make really simple adjustments and things can change.”

    The AFL will tweak a key aspect of the game during rounds 13 and 14 when it revisits its experiment with four field umpires.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (6)

    • June 14th 2018 @ 10:15am
      Aligee said | June 14th 2018 @ 10:15am | ! Report

      Oh for christs sake, we know the reason why congestion exists.

      increased fitness, the continual need for numbers at the contest and high interchange numbers which help coaches achieve that.

      • June 14th 2018 @ 1:50pm
        truetigerfan said | June 14th 2018 @ 1:50pm | ! Report

        Reckon he’s well aware of the causes of congestion. Time for everyone to calm down before rash, ill considered solutions are put in place. he’d have better insight than you or I.

        • June 14th 2018 @ 6:00pm
          BigAl said | June 14th 2018 @ 6:00pm | ! Report

          Luke Beveridge ! – he’s a coach right – aren’t they the ones who got us into this ?

          • June 14th 2018 @ 6:49pm
            truetigerfan said | June 14th 2018 @ 6:49pm | ! Report

            A premiership coach, actually. Don’t blame him. Yep. Coaches over the last 30 odd years are all to blame for the ‘bad look of the game’. Them and all the bloody previous rule changes. He knows that. Yet there is wisdom in his words!

          • June 17th 2018 @ 6:05pm
            Tricky said | June 17th 2018 @ 6:05pm | ! Report

            Coaches want to win and I’d argue they’d want to win by scoring rather than creating congestion. If the umpires are instructed to move the game on more quickly then the congestion will ease dramatically.

    • June 17th 2018 @ 6:01pm
      Tricky said | June 17th 2018 @ 6:01pm | ! Report

      “There are things currently in the game through the broadcast (requirements) and the umpires not moving the game on quick enough that encourage and entice congestion,” he said.

      This! Thank you Bevo, this statement pretty much sums it up.

      The umpires not moving the game on quick enough, and here are some examples:

      When there is no prior and a player is wrapped up, don’t wait for a wrestling match I don’t want to watch wwe. Blow the whistle immediately and ball it up immediately – don’t wait for traffic to arrive.

      When a player is tackled with prior and doesn’t dispose of immediately or disposes incorrectly, blow the whistle immediately and pay the free.

      When there is a boundary throw in, don’t wait for ruck noms, throw it straight away. As Bevo said the onus should be on the teams to have a ruckman ready.

      All of these situations that are umpired currently in this way entice congestion.

      Don’t entice congestion. Time to grow up AFL.

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