Australian Football League

Over the past few years the AFL has begun implementing a ridiculous amount of new rules and interpretations. These new rules are not all bad but many are poorly thought through, fail to achieve their objectives and negatively impact the game that we all love.

An example would be the rule relating to a player who dives on the football or drags the football into himself. All this rule has done is created a situation where the defensive player's number one goal is to hold the football in so he is rewarded with a free kick. In essence, this penalizes the player making a legitimate attempt to get the football and not only rewards, but encourages the tackling player to keep the ball from spilling clear of the contest. This rule goes against both the spirit of the game (rewarding and protecting the player who’s focus in the ball) as well as the purpose for which it was created, that being to keep the ball moving and reduce stoppages. The removal of this rule would see fewer stoppages and fewer frustrated players and fans. This rule achieves nothing positive. I have many more examples, as Im sure you do, of rules that have been implemented that do not achieve their purpose and erode the quality of our great game.

My biggest concern is just what this game will look like in 20 years if the rules continue to be changed at the current rate. Only three or four new rules or interpretations each year and we're looking at 70 or 80 new rules by 2030. Will our kids and our kids kids get to watch the game we know and love or will it have morphed into some kind of hybrid soccer / basketball combination that satisfies the AFLs goals of being very fast, very safe and very marketable?

In the near future, maybe we will see a reduced number of players on the ground to reduce the number of contests and collisions. Perhaps like netball, players wont be allowed out of their particular ‘zone’. A limited number of players within the 50m arc at kick ins? The banning of heavy bumps and recklessly flying into packs for a mark as the risk of head injuries is too great. These are potential changes that I fear the rules committee may see as ‘opportunities’ to legitimize their existence.

I love the sport of AFL and want it to remain the fair, tough, unique, exciting and entertaining spectacle it has been for over 150 years. I am asking for a call to arms. Please sign this petition so that we can bring an end to the endless stream of knee-jerk rule changes.

We, the undersigned AFL supporters, club members and lovers of our great game, call on the AFL to curtail the reckless rule introductions and interpretations passed by the Rules Committee and AFL Commission.

We want the players, coaches, clubs and fans to have more input into the passing of new rules as well as a slower rule passing process with much greater transparency and public sharing of information.

The current situation of seemingly endless rule changes with negative effects on the sport is unacceptable.

GoPetition respects your privacy.

The No More Unnecessary AFL Rule Changes! petition to Australian Football League was written by Glenn Thompson and is in the category Sports at GoPetition.