NAB Challenge games go far and wide
The NAB Challenge will again be played at regional and suburban venues across the country, as well as some of the game’s most iconic grounds.
Those hosting NAB Challenge matches for the first time include Mackay in North Queensland, Mount Barker in WA’s Great Southern region, Unley Oval in the eastern suburbs of Adelaide and Playford Alive Oval in Adelaide’s north.
Cities and towns enjoying another taste of NAB Challenge action include Joondalup (WA), Mandurah (WA), Shepparton (Vic), Wangaratta (Vic), Blacktown (NSW) and Wagga Wagga (NSW).
Some Victorian clubs will play at Craigieburn in Melbourne’s northern suburbs and Beaconsfield in Melbourne’s south-east.
The two New South Wales clubs will battle it out against each other under lights at Drummoyne Oval and the two Queensland clubs will go head-to-head at the Moreton Bay Central Sports Complex.
All 18 teams will play three games – two in the first three weeks and one in the fourth week.
For the first time, all 27 matches are being exclusively broadcast live by Fox Footy and, in addition, every match will be made available live to fans via the AFL Live App.
Nine points awarded for goals kicked from outside the 50m arc. This is called a supergoal.
A player awarded a 50m penalty which takes them inside the 50m area can elect either to kick from outside 50 for nine points or kick from inside 50 for six points.
Longer breaks between quarters, if the weather requires.
Interchange: Rounds one and two – eight interchange and unlimited rotations per team (no substitutes). Round three – six interchange and cap of 90 rotations per team (no substitutes).
Time-on/off: Rounds one and two – no time-on/off in first 15 minutes of each quarter unless a goal is scored or there is a major undue delay. The final five minutes of each quarter reverts to normal time-on/off scenarios. Round three – 20 minutes plus normal time-on/off scenarios.
New trials for 2016
The line of the mark: An adjustment to the line of the mark, except when a player takes a mark or receives a free kick within the forward 50, will be trialled.
Protected area: The protected area described in Law 16.1.2 will be modified by increasing the lateral width. The width will be increased from 5m to either 8m or 10m. To determine the final width and facilitate its introduction, the options will be discussed and tested with clubs during the pre-season and the NAB Challenge. It will be 10m for at least the first two weeks of the NAB Challenge.
Dangerous tackles: Dangerous tackling techniques will be further discouraged by a stricter interpretation of free kicks for lifting, slinging, driving or rotating tackles with excessive force.
Deliberate out of bounds: A stricter interpretation of deliberate out of bounds will be applied in 2016, based on a player not showing enough intent to keep the ball in play.
Supergoal king Taylor Walker in action during the 2015 NAB Challenge. Picture: AFL Media