THE COACHES will get their way … sort of.
After Richmond's Damien Hardwick led the charge in calling for the VFL to abolish significant anti-density rules implemented for the upcoming 2021 season, labelling the new regulations "laughable", the League will agree to minor alterations ahead of the new campaign.
The AFL wrote to all 22 VFL clubs on Wednesday afternoon, informing them that the strict new rules had been softened and will now only be implemented for boundary throw-ins.
Previously, players had to be in their zones for boundary throw-ins and for all kick-ins.
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In addition, each team will now only be required to have two players inside the 50m arc for such stoppages, rather than three, while no players will be required in the goalsquare.
Teams will be given 12 seconds to reset to the adjusted positions, otherwise a free-kick will be awarded at the point of the stoppage.
The alterations to the anti-density rules will come into effect for this weekend's VFL practice matches and are expected to remain for the VFL season-opener on April 16 and beyond.
Hardwick had been the strongest in his criticism of the new VFL rules on Sunday afternoon, describing them as "laughable" and saying they made the game "nothing like the AFL".
North Melbourne coach David Noble said the rules took "too long to reset", Carlton coach David Teague said it made the VFL "a different game" and "very hard", while Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge said it was a "spanner in the works" and questioned whether it would allow younger players to prepare themselves for the rigours of AFL football.
The VFL season will begin with Frankston's clash against Coburg on Friday 16 April.
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