WE ASKED for your take on one of the most contentious rules early in season 2017 - the 'deliberate out of bounds' interpretation.

One thing fans and the AFL agree on: the rule is required. 74 per cent of you say the game needs a 'deliberate out of bounds rule'.

Discouraging negative play is overwhelmingly cited as the main reason.

Speaking on Wednesday, Demon Jordan Lewis said umpires' stricter interpretation of the rule in 2017 had "become a little bit ridiculous".

In general, you agreed.

Just 13 per cent of you believe the current rule is working fine

A majority say the rule is OK but there are too many howlers, suggesting time is required to let players and umpires adjust to a common sense interpretation.

Over in South Australia, the SANFL has had success with a 'last possession' rule, penalising players for kicking or handballing out of bounds.

We asked whether this was the way forward.

31 per cent of you agreed, with 9 per cent favouring an even simpler 'last touch' rule. However a majority favoured neither alternative.

Under a hypothetical 'last touch' rule, the game would see more free kicks and far fewer boundary throw-ins. This may discourage teams from fielding traditional ruckmen.

You were clear that this can't be allowed to happen. 

Here we present a selection of your views on how the 'deliberate out of bounds' rule should be handled.

Maintain the contest and keep our game unique

Football is the greatest contest on any playing field in the world. Maintain the contest! Ensure the contest for the ball is right up to (and even over the boundary) without fear of who touched it last.

Who wants to see players appealing with outstretched arms (as is already the case) as they escort the ball over the line just because the opposition were the last to touch it? Or see the ball being deliberately played into an opponent's body to bounce it out of bounds?

Other sports already do that. Keep our game unique.  

- Roland Kerspien, Sorrento WA

'The rule definitely needs to stay'

Too many players do deliberately put the ball out of bounds.

The worst part of this rule is watching the players throw their arms up in the air before the ball has even gone out. Watching players lag and not try to keep the ball in for the chance of a free kick is a bad look, too.

Basic common sense needs to come into play. We have an oddly shaped ball. If players had the chance to chase it down or collect the ball before it goes out of play, then these kicks should not be penalised.

- Tiana Moore, Heathridge WA

Common sense needs to prevail

They have the right idea with the rule. I think it has made the game better to watch. Everyone just needs to be on the same page. There is too much inconsistency in the interpretation.

I don't believe the rule itself needs to be improved, just the interpretation. Common sense needs to prevail. If a player grabs the ball in congestion, under huge pressure and slams it on the boot and the ball bounces at right angles out of bounds, this isn't deliberate.

If there is no option up forward of the play and the ball is kicked towards the boundary, this should be penalised.

The rule is OK and I think the umpires will eventually become more consistent as time goes by. Leave it the way it is.

- Josh Croft, Perth WA

The whole concept of 'not trying to keep it in' is wrong

Educate umpires on the difference between deliberately kicking the ball at, or in the general vicinity of the boundary in the hope of it going out of bounds, compared to kicking the ball long or miskicking the ball and having it accidentally go out of play against the player's intentions.

Not hard to figure out. The whole concept of 'not trying to keep it in' is wrong.

- Matthew Chatwin, Launceston Tas

If a player has an option to attempt to keep it in, they should be penalised

Keep the wording as 'not working to keep the ball in', and penalise players for shepherding the ball over the line. Allow the kick up the line for distance. If a player has an option to attempt to keep it in, they should be penalised. For instance, waiting for a tackle to take them out should be deliberate or holding the ball.

The wording of the current interpretation is good; use it literally.

- Tash Hazell, Port Kennedy WA

When it's obviously deliberate, pay the free

If it looks obviously deliberate, and there was no other way it could be brought in, then pay the free.

If there is ANY chance the player was intending to clear it from defence, or had a skill error, or (most importantly) if an opposition player shephards it out while having the opportunity to play the ball, throw it in.

- Simon Kwasnycia, Canberra ACT

'The only problem with the rule is the interpretation'

Umpires need to more show more common sense when making a determination. I am often amazed that a player will be penalised when they have made a clearance kick and the ball may travel 30+ metres and roll out of bounds, yet a player can intentionally push the ball out of play when they are within a meter of the line and no penalty applies when their sole intention was to take the ball out of bounds.

- Andrew Nicholson, Worongary Qld

The umps will get better with time 

Like anything new, it needs time to develop. The umps with time will get better at officiating the rule.

The rule is doing exactly what we want it to do but the umps have got a few wrong.

Kicks out of congestion, under pressure and just straight shanks are what the public wants fixed.

Players who deliberately stop chasing the ball and place their hands in the air claiming a deliberate should [also] be penalised because in a sense they are not doing everything to keep the ball in play, and wanting an easy free kick.

- Brendon Adams, Perth WA

Eliminate ambiguity with 'last possession'

'Last possession' is the only way to make adjudication consistent, fair and logical.

Ruckmen will still contest ball-ups and remaining throwins. Their role will be preserved with a 'last clean possesion' rule (not to be confused with 'last touch').

- Chris Wardle, Richmond Vic

Last clean kick should be penalised

The rule should be anything off the boot that goes out of bounds without being touched by another player should be penalised.

This will allow defensive players to still use the boundary to spoil or get out of trouble, but stop them gaining excessive metres to do so. It also makes the rule black and white.

- Paul Malbon, Melbourne Vic

Reduce howlers and go for 'last possession'

The rule needs to be simplified in order to improve the flow and pace of the game and to help reduce controversial calls. Trying to explain the rules of footy to my American friends can be quite a task.  

If we could implement a last posession rule, I believe it would improve the quality of our sport.

- Nick Glamann, Sierra Vista, Arizona US

Anything to encourage corridor play is what we should be aiming for

The last possession rule makes sense to me. However it needs to be in combination with any deliberate intention to get the ball over the line. I don't like defenders blatantly spoiling / punching the ball out of bounds and getting away with it (for example).

Anything to encourage corridor play is what we should be aiming for. The best matches are played at the MCG's wide expanses.

- Peter James, Coffs Harbour, Australia

Listen to a bite-sized clip from AFL Exchange

In this extract from round seven's podcast, Essendon's James Kelly joins Matt Thompson and Peter Ryan to discuss whether it's time to bring in the 'last possession' rule. 

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