So as the Swooper team sit back this Sunday afternoon, enjoying a frenetic game between the Bulldogs and Collingwood and looking forward to watching the Demons take on the Bombers after what could only be described as a week from hell for that club - perhaps we will comment on this later, but what really is left to say about all of that that has not already been covered ad-nausea?
Changing rules can be very difficult. I believe the rules committee are looking at options of how to open the game up and to at least give the supporters a game that is a pleasure to watch, however this is not the game we played at primary school (rough and tumble everyone on the ball) - and likely never will be again.
We look back over the past years where the changing of the 15 metre penalty to 50 metres has proved correct, this immediately stopped the professional free kick and players quickly responded by being very disciplined in not giving a 50 metre penalty as the end outcome was typically devastating to the team.
I have heard the rules committee are looking at dividing the ground into sections and certain players not allowed into that area, example the forward 50 metre arc would become a battle of six players,players being off side etc etc, then the game would become more confusing than it is now. Paul Roos summed this suggestion up perfectly, so let's hope that is the end of that.
This would also mean more umpires, more officials, more on the bench and in my opinion would simply "not work". I think a simple solution worth trying is to extend the 15 metre kick/marking distance to 30 metres. The 15 metre pass is like a Get out of jail pass, making the players kick further places more excitement and pressure on the kicker.
- There wouldn't be as many players around the ball.
- Players would (after their team mate has won possession) be ready to run to give their mate another option. It would eliminate many handballs around the pack.
- It would open the game up and we would see more positional field kicking (which is at a supreme level now), more actual contests one on one and I believe would be a worthwhile exercise to trial in pre-season matches next year.
- Can you imagine the carnage/relish players such as Rioli, Jack and other great tackling small forwards would have? Do you have any players in your team that put such perceived and REAL pressure on the opposition?
John "Swooper" Northey
Comments from our readers
John will begin responding when time permits, he has another top of the table clash this weekend!
This is my response to "Rule" change proposals
I think that increasing the marking distance to 30 m will just slow the game and change it into a kick and mark game; boring!!! stop, go, stop, go!!! It would also put pressure on the selection of taller marking player excluding a lot of smaller players who are able to play at all levels now. There would be less emphasis on the in and under players who may not have the amazing skills of others. For example we would probably not see the selection of great players of the type of Brett Kirk or Simon Black.
On the other hand it might result in more just under 30m kicks which will mean play-on and more packs forming.
It seems to me that we yearn for this vision of a game that was played about ten or fifteen years ago and to change "rules" in an attempt to return to the past would be like this present Federal Government and fiddle with social engineering in the name of the "good old days."
I think we fiddle with the laws of the greatest game at our peril and should just let the game evolve. At lower levels most teams do not have the running power to emulate the supreme athletes at AFL level so the rolling maul is less common and I believe that the the AFL game is already starting to set different structures with offensive/defensive spread opening up the flow of play.
Keep up the good work