Main content

New rules likely to be trialled this season

Gill 'thinking about' rule-change trials this season AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan says zoning and other significant rules might be tested in the latter rounds this year

THE AFL is considering trialling major rule changes in up to three games for premiership points before this season is over.

However, the League is yet to consult with clubs that would potentially be involved in any in-season trials. 

AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan has revealed conversations at League headquarters in recent days have identified possible games which will have no bearing on the finals in which trials could take place.

"Certainly thinking about it," McLachlan told SEN radio on Wednesday morning.  

"I can tell you that there's three fixtures on consecutive weekends that I don't think will have any bearing on the eight, as we stand today ... we've got another couple of weeks to play.

CHANGE COMING Rule tweaks will come in next season

"I know enough to know there's fixtures available to do it and we're certainly discussing whether that's appropriate, and the emerging view is that I think it is."

McLachlan said trials in the season-proper would have significant benefits. 

"You get to see it in real time, in a game, with four points, with a win and loss on the end of it."

And the League chief insists if the competing clubs agreed he couldn't see "any way that there can be a risk to the integrity of the competition".

COMMENT The one thing rules trials must not affect

An AFL spokesperson confirmed to AFL.com.au that it has not had detailed discussions with the clubs who are in the mix to be involved if the trials go ahead.

The League also confirmed it is looking at finding games where the ladder position cannot change and that clubs cannot move up or down based on the result in the rule trial match.

There has been widespread surprise at the AFL proposal since McLachlan's comments, with AFL greats Matthew Lloyd, Cameron Ling and Leigh Matthews all questioning the move.

However, Adelaide forward Josh Jenkins has voiced his support for the trial during the season.

 

The AFL's Competition Committee meeting will take place in Melbourne on Wednesdaym afternoon, with the possibility of the rule trial set to be discussed with some of the game's biggest names, including Geelong star Patrick Dangerfield, Collingwood president Eddie McGuire and coaches Brad Scott (North Melbourne) and Chris Fagan (Brisbane).

Possible rule changes  

  • Starting positions – six forward, six centre, six back
  • A bigger goal square 
  • Reducing interchange rotations

Possible trial games

R21 – Fremantle v Carlton
R22 – Gold Coast v Brisbane 
R22 – Carlton v Western Bulldogs
R23 – St Kilda v North Melbourne
R23 – Carlton v Adelaide