The AFL wishes to advise the AFL Commission has today approved recommendations, led by General Manager Football Operations Steve Hocking, and General Counsel Andrew Dillon, to amend the AFL Tribunal Guidelines relating to sections 4.2(B) Impact (Potential to Cause Injury) and 4.3(E)(3) Rough Conduct (Dangerous Tackles), effective immediately.

AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan said the league had identified an area in the AFL’s Tribunal Guidelines that required an urgent amendment to ensure that the potential of a dangerous tackle to cause injury can be taken into account by the MRO when grading the consequence of an incident and it had moved to immediately make that change.
“After reviewing the decision and the current adjudicating framework in place, the Match Review Officer’s findings were appropriate, however, it has become obvious that the framework in which the MRO works relating to dangerous tackles requires strengthening,” Mr. McLachlan said.
“We want to be clear; protection of the head is our highest priority and we want all players at all levels and age groups to better understand that these tackles shouldn't be part of our game.
“Dangerous tackles have the potential to cause head injuries, and it is essential that this is taken into account when assessing an incident under the AFL Tribunal guidelines.”   
AFL Tribunal Guideline section 4.2(B) Impact (Potential to Cause Injury) has been amended as follows to broaden its application:

  • "Any dangerous tackle" to replace references to "spear tackle" and "driving an opponent into the ground when his arms are pinned."

AFL Tribunal Guideline section 4.3(E)(3) Rough Conduct (Dangerous Tackles) has been amended as follows to include a scenario where a single arm rather than both arms are pinned in a tackle creating vulnerability:

  • The Player being tackled is in a vulnerable position (i.e. arm(s) pinned) with little opportunity to protect himself.

The $1000 sanction to Hawthorn player Shaun Burgoyne for engaging in Rough Conduct remains in place and he is available for selection this week.

00:41 Mins
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