The Riverina and Farrer Leagues will adopt six of the nine rule changes being brought in at AFL level next year.
The rules were discussed at this week’s AFL Riverina senior competition meeting planning for 2019.
The leagues decided against bringing in the ‘traditional’ playing positions at centre bounces (which would require six players in each 50m arc, including one in each goalsquare).
Nor will they adopt the changes to 50m penalties (which would allow players to play on while the penalty is measured out, and ensure the infringing player does not delay the mark being advanced).
They also decided against the rule tightly restricting access of runners and water carriers entry to the playing arena to after goal and before a re-start.
However, the following rule changes will apply:
- Players can play on from the goalsquare without kicking to themselves and the man on the mark will be 10 metres back, not five.
- When defenders mark within nine metres of their own goal line, the man on the mark will be in line with the top of the goalsquare
- Players cannot set up behind the umpire at centre bounces
- After-the-siren kicks for goal can be snaps or check-sides
- Hands-in-the-back rule allows players to protect their position in marking contest but not push opponent
- Ruckman who takes direct possession of ball from bounce, throw-up or throw-in will no longer be regarded as having had prior opportunity.
Also at the meeting, the leagues tightened the ruling on players’ eligibility for finals, no longer allowing footballers to accrue two games in one day by featuring in reserve grade and first grade. Only the first grade game will count.
However, there were no changes to under 17.5 finals qualification, with the Riverina and Farrer maintaining their differences.
In the Riverina League, players are eligible if they’ve played four games at the club in any grade during the season.
In the Farrer League, they must have featured in four under 17.5 games during the season to qualify for finals.
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