AFL reviews new interchange rules - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

AFL reviews new interchange rules

19/05/2008 06:31:42 PM Comments (0)

The AFL's assessment of new interchange rules revealed there would have been eight infringements called during the weekend's games had umpires been told to penalise sides.

The AFL on Monday conducted a review of the new rules, which were trialled in round eight, and found several clubs had infringed during their matches, which allowed sides to get used to the new rules.

A league spokesman would not provide a break down of which clubs infringed.

The AFL will press ahead with the new rules this weekend, when they come into true effect, whereby sides can be slugged with free kicks and 50-metre penalties awarded against them if they transgress.

That means clubs have just this week to get their players used to the new rules, or face the prospect of having their opponents shoot for goal if they infringe.

Under the new rules, clubs must lodge a small piece of paper with an AFL official detailing which player comes off the ground and his replacement, and players must stay inside a box on the interchange while their teammate comes off.

The changes, introduced after the drawn game in round six between North Melbourne and Sydney, where the Swans momentarily fielded 19 men, drew mixed responses from coaches last weekend.

Swans coach Paul Roos slammed the new rules as "ridiculous", saying they over-complicated the system and produced more likelihood for uneven numbers on the field.

Roos said it was embarrassing that officials had to lodge player switches on little pieces of paper with AFL stewards before the interchanges could be made.

Brisbane Lions coach Leigh Matthews agreed the new rules complicated the system, however was not as critical as his Sydney counterpart.

Collingwood's Mick Malthouse, Richmond's Terry Wallace and Geelong's Mark Thompson all admitted their sides had to get better or risk giving their opponents easy shots at goal from round nine onwards.

Sydney were fined $50,000 - half of which was suspended - for their indiscretion in round six, when debutant Jesse White ran onto the field to become the 19th man thinking a teammate had come off.

Hawthorn and Port Adelaide were also fined when they momentarily had 19 men on the field in pre-season matches.

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