AFL commission to consider rule changes

AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan and his team will consider changes to the AFL's rulebook. Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

The AFL commission will have plenty to think about after the league's competition committee decided to recommend a raft of rule changes and interpretations.

The commission will vote on 6-6-6 positioning at centre bounces and the extended goal square, which were trialled over the last few weeks in three VFL games.

There are eight rule interpretations, including hot-button topics such as holding the ball, ruck nominations and the protected area.

The competition committee also proposes a crack down on team runners and water carriers.

The commission will discuss the proposals at its next meeting on the day of the Brownlow Medal, with any changes made official by next month. "It's the commission's decision from here," said AFL football operations manager Steve Hocking.

"It's been pretty obvious -- the main things have been the 6-6-6 centre bounce set up (and) the goalsquare."

The main aim of 6-6-6 -- which sees teams having six players in each of their defensive and forward arcs and six in the midfield at each centre bounce -- and the larger goalsquare, is to reduce congestion.

Hocking said scoring was up 15 percent across the three trial games and tackling went down by 14 percent.

"As far as midfielders go (with 6-6-6), there was more time - seconds longer - for decision making," Hocking said.

"If we showed you the vision, you'd be surprised with the difference it makes - that person coming off the square is no longer there.

"How do we prise the game open and have risk v reward? We want to see more volatile space."

The 6-6-6 rule means the two wingmen must start each centre bounce on the edge of the centre square, plus at least one player must be in the goal square.

The eight rule interpretations are part of a project where the competition committee hopes to halve the size of the game's rule book over the next 12 months.

But Hocking said the controversial ruck nomination process is likely to stay "unless you have something you can throw at me that blows us away".

The competition committee also wants to crack down on incorrect disposal under the holding the ball rule.

"The player who's actually contesting the ball, that person has to be protected, definitely," Hocking said.

"Incorrect disposal is the issue we have ... that's crept into the game.

"We're not going to sit idle and let players throw the ball "

There will be tighter restrictions on team runners and water carriers, with the committee keen to keep them off the ground during play.

The AFL commission will have plenty to think about after the league's competition committee decided to recommend a raft of rule changes and interpretations.

The commission will vote on 6-6-6 positioning at centre bounces and the extended goal square, which were trialled over the last few weeks in three VFL games.

There are eight rule interpretations, including hot-button topics such as holding the ball, ruck nominations and the protected area.

The competition committee also proposes a crack down on team runners and water carriers.

The commission will discuss the proposals at its next meeting on the day of the Brownlow Medal, with any changes made official by next month. "It's the commission's decision from here," said AFL football operations manager Steve Hocking.

"It's been pretty obvious -- the main things have been the 6-6-6 centre bounce set up (and) the goalsquare."

The main aim of 6-6-6 -- which sees teams having six players in each of their defensive and forward arcs and six in the midfield at each centre bounce - and the larger goalsquare, is to reduce congestion.

Hocking said scoring was up 15 per cent across the three trial games and tackling went down by 14 per cent.

"As far as midfielders go (with 6-6-6), there was more time -- seconds longer -- for decision making," Hocking said.

"If we showed you the vision, you'd be surprised with the difference it makes - that person coming off the square is no longer there.

"How do we prise the game open and have risk vs. reward? We want to see more volatile space."

The 6-6-6 rule means the two wingmen must start each centre bounce on the edge of the centre square, plus at least one player must be in the goal square.

The eight rule interpretations are part of a project where the competition committee hopes to halve the size of the game's rule book over the next 12 months.

But Hocking said the controversial ruck nomination process is likely to stay "unless you have something you can throw at me that blows us away".

The competition committee also wants to crack down on incorrect disposal under the holding the ball rule.

"The player who's actually contesting the ball, that person has to be protected, definitely," Hocking said.

"Incorrect disposal is the issue we have ... that's crept into the game.

"We're not going to sit idle and let players throw the ball "

There will be tighter restrictions on team runners and water carriers, with the committee keen to keep them off the ground during play.