Thompson welcomes AFL rule changes - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Thompson welcomes AFL rule changes

By Roger Vaughan 25/03/2009 06:11:37 PM Comments (0)

Geelong coach Mark Thompson has welcomed the AFL's emphasis on making the game attractive to watch, saying the latest rule changes work well.

He adds as long as teams adapt negative tactics, the league will try to counter them.

The AFL have taken the unusual step of introducing two new rule changes for the 2009 season immediately after trialling them in the NAB Cup.

Previously, the league has waited a year between introducing a rule change in the pre-season and then making it permanent.

Only last Friday, the league announced umpires can now award a free kick for a deliberately-rushed behind.

Also, a player who deliberately tries to impede an opponent after disposal, as a way of stopping that player from running to the next contest, will concede a 50m penalty.

"If we as coaches keep coming up with tactics to make the game unfashionable, not pleasant to see ... then the AFL will keep turning up rules to make us make it more fashionable and quick, free-flowing, athletic, skilful," Thompson said.

"I haven't got a problem with any of that, I don't care if coaches have these negative tactics and the AFL change the rules.

"We just adapt and move on, the game is still a pretty game to watch."

Thompson admits the Cats will probably not score so freely this season as teams work on zones and other defensive strategies, but is comfortable that his team will cope.

"We mightn't score as much, but ... we might be able to still score more than our opposition," he said.

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