The AFL has announced nine law changes that will implemented into the game in the 2019 season.
General Manager of Operations Steve Hocking informed all football stakeholders on the decisions made on Thursday afternoon.
The following amendments will be made to the game from next season:
- 6-6-6 starting positions at centre bounces: six players from each team to be inside the 50-metre arcs, four inside the centre square and one each of the wings. Minimum of one player from each team inside the goal square.
- Kick-ins: Player no longer needs to kick to himself to play on. Man on the mark to be positioned 10 metres from top of goal square.
- Defenders that take a mark or win a free kick within nine metres of their own goal will be given space to dispose of the ball with the player on the mark brought back in line with the top of the goal square.
- Runners and water carriers: runners only permitted on after a goal and leave before play recommences and water carriers can't enter play during live play.
- Umpire contact: players will be prohibited from setting up behind the field umpire at centre bounces.
- 50-metre penalty: the player with the football will be able to play on while advancing towards the new mark and if the player who infringes falls behind the player taking the penalty they will not be allowed to man the mark.
- Kicking for a goal post-siren: player awarded a mark or free kick once play has ended will now be able to kick across the body using a snap or banana kick. The player must dispose of the football in line with the man on the mark and the goal.
- Hands in the back rule: It has been abolished with the player allowed to place his hands on an opponent's back to protect their position in a marking contest but not to push the player in the back.
- Prior opportunity in ruck contests: a ruckman who takes possession of the ball from a throw-up or throw-in will not be regarded as having prior opportunity.
The 18-metre goal square idea that was tested in a number of different matches has been abandoned.
IMAGE: The Australian