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WATCH: Dons' 19th man sprints from field

Dons almost caught with 19 on the field Essendon had 19 players on the field prior to the start of last quarter against Geelong

THE AFL has moved to clear up any confusion surrounding a potential 19th man on the field during the round nine clash between Essendon and Geelong at the MCG on Saturday.

With players from both teams in position and awaiting the siren to start the final term, Essendon's Mark Baguley sprinted from the Bombers' half-forward line to the interchange bench.

Baguley left the field because the Bombers had 19 players on the ground.

If this situation was to occur at some lower levels, there is the potential for the team with too many players on the field to have their score completely wiped, however, this rule does not apply at AFL level.

In the AFL, prior to the start of each quarter, the interchange steward informs the emergency umpire that there are four players on the bench.

If the emergency umpire doesn't have that information, he instructs the field umpire to wait. 

At the start of the third quarter of Saturday's game, emergency umpire Justin Schmitt told the field umpires to not bounce the ball until Essendon got its extra player (Baguley) off the field.

The moment: John Worsfold reacts as Kyle Langford calls to Mark Baguley. Picture: AFL Photos