NEAFL Rule Updates for 2017

07.02.17 16:16

NT Thunder has been advised by the NEAFL that there is a number of alterations to the Laws of the Game that have been introduced in the AFL for 2017, please see below for those that will be adopted by the NEAFL:

3rd Man Up In Ruck Contests
A law has been added to prohibit 3rd man up at ball ups and throw-ins, with stoppage restarts to be contested by two nominated rucks.
After analysis of third-man up contests over the past two seasons, it was determined there was no discernible advantage to the game when this tactic was used. Additionally, the extra player(s) contesting the ruck can create difficulties with umpiring at stoppages. The Law change also supports the recruitment of tall players with a specific skill set, with injury to ruckmen another factor considered.  At the Laws Summit and through subsequent discussions, it is clear that clubs are equally divided in their support of this change.
The AFL has come to the position this change will be of benefit to the game, and given the support from half of the AFL clubs and the AFLPA, determined to introduce it for 2017.

Deliberate Rushed Behinds
A stricter interpretation to deliberate rushed behinds was endorsed.
The following factors will be considered by the umpire when determining whether to pay a free kick:

  • Whether the player had prior opportunity to dispose of the ball
  • The distance of the player from the Goal or Behind Line
  • The degree of pressure being applied to the player

High Tackles
The NEAFL has adopted the simplified interpretation of player actions that draw high contact as follows:

  • In the opinion of the Umpire where a tackle is reasonably applied and the ball carrier is responsible for the high contact via a shrug, duck, arm lift or similar action, play on should be called.
  • In these instances, the primary assessment will be the reasonableness of the tackling action, where the following considerations will apply:
    • The starting point of the tackle
    • The degree of force
    •  The nature of the tackle

Note, there has been no change to the assessment of actions where a player drives head first into a tackle. This will continue to be deemed as prior opportunity.

Other Matters
The following other Laws of the Game matters were endorsed:

  • An amendment to the wording of the Deliberate Out of Bounds rule (Law 15.6.1), to better reflect the changes made for the 2016 season.
  • A clarification to the operation of the 10m protected area for 2017, where players should avoid entering the protected area in a manner which impacts or could impact the kicker, particularly once the kicker has established a set position.
  • To monitor correct/incorrect disposal and its adjudication as per discussions at the Laws Summit.