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Mick queries interchange cap and laws committee

Ashley Browne  March 2, 2013 11:50 PM

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Blues coach Mick Malthouse isn't a fan of the interchange cap trial

I sincerely hope that the rules committee is governed by people who have an understanding of the modern game
THE AFL's Laws of the Game Committee needs to ensure it understands the demands of modern football.

That's the view expressed by Carlton coach Mick Malthouse after his first evening in charge with an interchange restriction.

"I sincerely hope that the rules committee is governed by people who have an understanding of the modern game," he said after Carlton's 70-point win over Fremantle at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night.

"Not by previous long-ago coaches, or long-ago players.

"I hope it is not dominated by one or two people who push their way in and around and as a consequence, feel good to be in control so therefore make it (the rotation cap) 80 because they hate it (more rotations)."

Malthouse would not name names, but those who have been on the rules committee for more than five years include former Richmond champion and coach Kevin Bartlett, umpires coach Rowan Sawers and former Carlton defender Michael Sexton.  

"It [the interchange cap] is not friendly to the players," he said. "If they want medical evidence, which they've chosen to ignore, there's a very strong link to more interchanges and less injuries.

"It's not the other way around because if you fatigue players, you get fatigue-type injuries."

Supporters of the interchange restrictions believe the constant rotations off the bench detract from the look of the game, a claim rejected by Malthouse.

"Aesthetically, what do you see? If people come and watch the game, they might see a multiple change during a 30 second break after a goal," he said.

"People at home don’t see it, while people at the ground couldn't care. Coaches get driven mad by having a reduced number.

"I don't get it."

On Friday night, Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson also took a swipe at the interchange cap trial after his team lost to the Western Bulldogs.

"It's a pretty dramatic change to go to 80," he said.

"No-one really knows what's going to happen to the game.

"Hopefully common sense will prevail and if they want to introduce a cap, then they cap it at something sensible like 120.

"Then we can see what a minor cap on interchange does to the game, rather than take it to 80.

"There's not a person in the land who knows what's going to happen to the game when that happens, and I reckon it's an enormous risk to take with what's a pretty good game we've got at the moment, just on a hunch."