AFL club officials want rule changes - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

AFL club officials want rule changes

By Roger Vaughan, Sam Lienert and Adam Cooper 25/07/2010 06:11:41 PM Comments (0)

Fremantle coach Mark Harvey has joined furious North Melbourne officials in calling for an overhaul of the AFL rules governing late changes to teams.

Dockers midfielder David Mundy was a late withdrawal from the team that the Western Bulldogs thrashed by 82 points on Sunday at Etihad Stadium.

The night before, North star Daniel Wells was ruled out only a few minutes before the first bounce against Essendon at the same ground because he injured a quad muscle during the warm-up.

Rather than risk a fine by bringing a player from outside their three listed emergencies, North went with ruckman David Hale despite his appearance in the VFL earlier that afternoon.

North chairman James Brayshaw and coach Brad Scott are annoyed that league officials, including football administration manager Rod Austin, could not give them an immediate answer on whether their club would face a hefty fine if they did not play Hale.

Complicating the situation, their other two emergencies had already come into the side as late replacements before the Wells injury.

"They took 10 minutes to work it out, The answer was 'we'll call you back'," Scott said post-match.

Brayshaw said on Channel Nine it was "staggering" the league could not give North an immediate answer.

But the AFL has defended the game officials involved, saying North knew the rules.

"What they'd asked was whether they'd still be likely to face a sanction for going outside their listed emergencies - obviously the match manager can't answer that question, that's a football admin question," an AFL spokesman said.

"Rod (was contacted) - North know the rules, you're likely to face a sanction, the response was you'd be likely to, yes.

Fremantle were not facing a fine on Sunday because Paul Hasleby, a listed emergency, took Mundy's spot." Still, Harvey had sympathy for what happened to North.

"The interesting part of it about now, when you saw what the Kangaroos went through last night, is how many players we take beyond our 22," Harvey said.

"It puts a lot of pressure on sides - warm-ups go for 25 minutes now, effectively, and what we've tended to see is a lot of players who have run into trouble during warm-ups.

"It's whether we need to put the lists in an hour-and-a-half before the game.

"That needs to be discussed because it's happening a lot, (where) players do warm-ups and there has to be a late change."

Hasleby was originally ruled out of Sunday's game because of soreness, but Harvey said he was the only emergency that Fremantle brought across because of his experience and his local Perth team had the bye.

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