AFL to review out-of-bound rule - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

AFL to review out-of-bound rule

By Chris Lines 16/07/2003 06:46:09 PM Comments (0)

The AFL has bowed to fierce criticism of the deliberate out-of-bounds rule, conceding it will review the contentious law at the end of the 2003 season.

The league's Laws of the Game committee met and talked at length about the way it was being enforced and interpreted by umpires in recent weeks.

The crackdown, which had seen some players penalised despite the ball travelling more than 40 metres before going out, was described by Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse as "disgraceful" and "ridiculous".

Several members of the committee appealed for a re-think of the rule at season's end, including a maximum length of kick, handball or tap that could be adjudged as deliberate out of bounds.

In the meantime, the committee has urged umpires to crack down on holding and blocking tactics for the remainder of this season.

The use of checking and screens inside the forward 50 and particularly at stop-plays had increased markedly over the past two seasons.

The AFL will also review the 2003 ruck rules at season's end, especially the contentious rule that discouraged ruckmen from grabbing the ball in the contest, with anyone tackled in such a case deemed to be holding the ball.

However the committee was satisfied with the rule preventing ruckmen crossing the centre line at a bounce, and that would remain.

One definite change for next year's premiership season will be the introduction of a 50 metre centre square as used successfully in the 2003 Wizard Cup, with evidence it cut down on congestion and secondary bounces.

Experimental Wizard Cup laws such as the nine-point goal and three-point rushed behind would remain restricted to the pre-season competition.

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