AFL Laws of the Game 2009 Update

The following changes have been endorsed by the AFL Commission and the VCFL Rules Committee/Board and will be introduced for the 2009 season:

The VCFL Rules Committee recommended that the following AFL Laws and Interpretations be implemented for the 2009 season across all WorkSafe VCFL Leagues.

MINOR RULE CHANGES FOR THE 2009 WorkSafe VCFL Season

Recall badly “off-line” bounces (Rule change)

CHANGE: An Umpire will recall a “badly off line” field or centre bounce when in the opinion of an Umpire the bounce has resulted in it going directly to a player which gives that player a clear and distinct advantage, or has prevented players from either side from being able to contest that bounce. For the avoidance of doubt: - At a centre bounce where the ball is bounced and lands outside the larger centre circle but is still able to be contested by players from either side, the umpire will call “play on” - Where the ball is bounced and lands near the perimeter of the larger circle and is contested by only one ruckman due to his opponent electing not to contest the ball, the umpire will call “play on”

RATIONALE: Currently only “extremely” bad bounces are recalled; play on is called for badly “off-line” bounces such as the bounce going to Adam Simpson in the North Melbourne vs. Collingwood match earlier last season. This change has been made as a matter of fairness to both competing teams.

LAW BOOK: (amend) – 8.2.2(b) Bringing Football into Play When the boundary Umpire signals that the football is Out of Bounds, the field Umpire shall immediately sound a whistle to indicate that the football is out of play. When directed by the field Umpire, the boundary Umpire shall bring the football into play by throwing the football over his or her head towards the centre of the Playing Surface. The field Umpire may recall any throw in by the boundary Umpire that in his opinion does not allow any opportunity for the ball to be contested.

(new) – 11.3.6 Recalling off line bounces A field umpire may recall any bounce or throw up that in his opinion does not allow for the ball to be contested. (amend) – 17.2(g) subject to Law 11.3.6, in the instance of a poor bounce by a field Umpire; or Free kick for misconduct (Rule change) CHANGE: Introduce a ‘misconduct’ free kick for incidents such as squirting the contents of drink bottles in the face of opponents, throwing objects during play (e.g. mud, mouth guards, other players boots) and/or for unnecessarily interfering with an opponent (e.g. bumping an injured player, pulling opposition player’s shorts down).

RATIONALE: At present a player can be reported for misconduct but a free kick cannot be awarded. The introduction of this law brings the rules regarding misconduct into line with free kicks that are awarded for other reportable offences. LAW BOOK: (new) – 15.9.1(f) a Player has engaged in misconduct.

Restart of play following a stretcher (Rule change)

CHANGE: If one team has possession when play is stopped for a stretcher to enter the field, that same team will retain possession of the ball when play is restarted.

RATIONALE: At present, if play had to be stopped in this above situation it would be restarted with a bounce. If the ball is in dispute, is out of bounds, or where a goal or behind has been registered before play was stopped, it will continue to be restarted with a bounce, throw in, centre bounce or kick in (whichever restart is relevant to that situation).

LAW BOOK: (amended) – 7.3.2(d) once the injured Player has been removed from the Arena, the field umpire shall recommence play by either bouncing the football or allowing a player who had been awarded a Free Kick or a Mark at the time play was stopped, to dispose of the football as follows depending on the circumstances: (i) where the ball was in dispute at the time play was stopped, by bouncing the football; (ii) where the ball was out of bounds at the time play was stopped, by directing the boundary umpire to throw the ball in; (iii) where a Player had possession of the football at the time Play was stopped, by awarding 1. a Free Kick to the Player; (iv) where a player had been awarded a Free Kick or a Mark at the time play was stopped, by allowing the player to dispose of the football. NB: bold is the new wording to be added

All clear given but play has not recommenced (Rule change)

CHANGE: Law 12.4.2 (b) parts (i) and (ii) be amended.

RATIONALE: To make this rule consistent with other parts of the Law book in relation to free kicks and 50m penalties and where they are paid.

LAW BOOK: (amend) 12.4.2(b) Where a Free Kick is awarded to a Player after during the period when the field Umpire has signaled “All Clear” or “Touched All Clear” for a Behind to be recorded but before and the football is being brought back into play, the Free Kick shall be taken from the following positions: (i) in the case of a Free Kick being awarded to the defending Team, where the infringement occurred, or at the back line of the Centre Square or the field umpire shall award a Fifty-Metre Penalty from the kick-off line, whichever is the greater penalty against the attacking Team; or (ii) in the case of a Free Kick being awarded to the attacking Team, the centre of the Kick-Off Line, or where the infringement occurred, whichever is the greater penalty against the offending Team.

NAB CUP/CHALLENGE RULE (accepted for the 2009 Season) • Free after disposal

TRIAL: Award a 50m penalty in addition to a free kick for players who tackle or hold an opponent after the opponent has disposed of the football for the purpose of preventing them from taking part in the next act of play or being able to run on to the next contest. This trial could be evaluated following the NAB Cup and NAB Challenge to determine if it should be introduced for the 2009 Premiership Season.

RATIONALE: A trend has recently emerged where players are prepared to give away a free kick by putting an opposition player down after disposing of the ball to prevent them from running onto the next contest. Currently only a free kick is awarded and this is an insufficient deterrent.

LAW BOOK: (amend) – 15.10 FREE KICKS AFTER DISPOSAL (a) Subject to Law 15.10(b), where Prohibited Contact is made against a Player who has disposed of the football or against a Player who is Shepherding a Player who has disposed of the football, a Free Kick shall be awarded to that Player’s Team and shall be taken by a Player of that Team who is nearest to the location where the football touches the ground, a Player or crosses the Boundary Line, as the case may be. If taking the Free Kick at this location will penalise the Team awarded the Free Kick, the Free Kick shall be taken by the Player against whom and at the location where (i) Prohibited Contact was made. (b) If a field Umpire is satisfied that a Player tackles, holds or makes high contact against a Player who has disposed of the football for the purpose of preventing that Player from taking part in the next act of play or being able to run to the next contest then, if it is a greater penalty than would otherwise be provided by Law 15.10(a), the field umpire shall award a free kick and a 50 metre penalty to that Player’s team.

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