AFL considers behind-play loading - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

AFL considers behind-play loading

Guy Hand 13/04/2011 06:03:09 PM Comments (0)

The AFL is set to target off-the-ball thuggery and is considering harsher penalties for behind-the-play incidents.

Suggestions Gold Coast defender Campbell Brown got off lightly with a two-week ban for his elbow to Western Bulldogs midfielder Callan Ward's head have prompted the league to consider re-introducing a tribunal loading for incidents which happen behind the play.

Brown did receive a four-week ban all up, with a high hit on Barry Hall adding to the Ward penalty.

AFL football operations manager Adrian Anderson said the league could revisit increasing suspensions for incidents which happen behind-the-play.

The loading was discontinued in 2007.

"We used to have behind play as a separate category but it wasn't working as well as we'd like because often you'd get a double loading for intentional, and behind play, and it would be relatively minor," Anderson told Melbourne radio station Triple M.

"It was over-weighting things behind play.

"He (Brown) was a little bit perhaps fortunate in that (the match review panel) gave him the benefit of the doubt about whether he intended to strike him in the head like that, because he wasn't looking."

But Anderson said the game had been cleaned up significantly as shown by the lack of similar incidents in recent seasons.

"Those sorts of incidents are very rare in our game these days," he said.

"The conduct of the players on field by and large is exceptional, and the amount of suspensions in the last five or six years from those sorts of incidents has really dropped."

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