AFL warned not to mess with interchange - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

AFL warned not to mess with interchange

By Guy Hand 17/05/2006 06:45:02 PM Comments (0)

Three of the AFL's most experienced coaches have warned the league to leave the interchange rule alone.

News Limited newspapers reported the AFL had employed an expert to investigate the speed of games, and he was foreshadowing dramatic interchange restrictions for next season.

Exercise science professor Kevin Norton recommends restricting coaches to 30 changes per match, rather than the current 50 to 60 per game, which he believes would be enough to fatigue players and slow down the game.

But the Western Bulldogs' Rodney Eade, Essendon's Kevin Sheedy and Carlton's Denis Pagan all say the AFL shouldn't tinker with the unlimited interchange rule, saying it could lead to more injuries.

Eade said restricting the number of interchanges could lead to players taking legal action because of injuries sustained if they were unable to be replaced.

"We've got duty of care to the players' health as coaches ... do we get more injuries?" Eade said.

"The AFL would have to think their way through that a fair bit.

"I'd hate to think that down the track some player would want to sue a club or sue a coach or sue the AFL because they've got a tight hamstring and we've got to leave him out there because we haven't got an interchange left."

Rugby league employs a maximum of 12 interchanges per match, with teams having to choose between continuing with one less player or the injured party playing on while injured after the interchanges have been exhausted.

Sheedy said he'd be wary of any interchange limitation, especially after just introducing a new kick-in rule after a behind which resulted in the ball returning to play faster.

"If they're going to actually adjust how many moves you're allowed to do on the bench, it's starting to get to a restraint of trade if we don't have the flexibility we want to, so I'd be very careful of doing that," Sheedy said.

"We don't think they should be fiddling around with it to be quite honest."

Pagan, who has regularly questioned the wisdom of making sundry changes to the game, urged the AFL not to alter another rule.

"I'm a great traditionalist and there have been some good changes and some not-so-good changes," Pagan said.

"Let's just leave our game alone. It's the best spectator sport in the world.

"The most important thing is we want to stop injuries occurring.

"That's the most important issue for administrators of AFL football at the present stage."

AFL football operations general manager Adrian Anderson said Dr Norton's comments were not authorised by the league and it should not be taken as read that the league would implement them.

"The research being undertaken by Dr Norton is still work in progress and the Laws of the Game Committee is yet to see the results of this work," he said.

"When we receive the research, the findings will be considered."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news