Australian Football League

At the commencement of the 2007 season, the AFL Rules Committee made a change to the interpretation of the rule relating to the positioning of a player's hands in the back of an opponent.

They decreed that any form of contact made by the hand in the back of another player, whether to push or just position in a marking contest, was to be penalised with a free kick.

This was a change from the last twenty years, when a free kick was only awarded for a visible and forceful push in the back of an opponent.

The justification for the rule change was to ensure a fairer contest and promote the scoring ability of forwards.

We, the undersigned, call on the Australian Football League, and its Rules Committee, to scrap the new interpretation of the hands-in-the-back rule, and return the interpretation to its original meaning - i.e. the accepted meaning of this rule for the past twenty seasons whereby only a push in the back incurs a penalty.

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The Hands in the back rule petition to Australian Football League was written by J Smith and is in the category Sports at GoPetition.