One of the best features on The Bench is the rolling lockout, and since AFL round 1 runs over 5 days, it’s probably going to be in use in your league at least for this weekend. It’s also a great chance to have a free hit using the emergency loophole.
Ben has done a great job of restricting the use of the emergency loophole and the rules are pretty strict (link here) but with some careful planning you can still take advantage of it. Here are the rules as they are written:
Positions changed after the initial round closure in anyway (ie. changes via the rolling lockout) will not be eligible for bench rotation. Even if a position is changed and then returned to the original starting line-up, the system will still record it as a change. This rule prevents a coach placing an injured player on the field to force a player off the bench (eg. the bench player had 11 tackles so I change my tackler to an injured player, forcing the bench player with 11 tackles to come into play).
The basic idea is that you have a player on the bench that plays early in the round. If he gets a good score, then leave a player that isn’t playing in the lineup. If he doesn’t, then use the rolling lockout to replace the non-player with your next best player. The rules are pretty tight so it’s not as simple as it sounds. The trick is that you must have an injured player (or two) in your starting lineup BEFORE THE START OF THE ROUND.
If that sounds overly complicated here’s a real example of what I plan on doing. I like to use tacklers for the loophole but any position will do. We had our draft on Friday night, and my two best tacklers are McGlynn and Ward. I’ve also got Aaron Black, who I suspect won’t get a game in round 1. The Swans play on Saturday and the Giants and Kangaroos both play on Sunday. So the plan is to have McGlynn on the bench and Black named as tackler. If McGlynn has a good game then I leave it all as it is and McGlynn will automatically replace Black as tacker at the end of the round. If McGlynn has a poor game then I’ll just use the rolling lockout to replace Black with Ward.
There are two really important points here. Firstly, I have a non-player (Black) and the potential replacement (Ward) playing after the man on the bench (McGlynn). And secondly, Black will be named as the tackler before the start of the round and won’t be touched unless McGlynn has a poor game.
Now this is all dependent on Black not actually getting a game which is far from certain. If Black plays then I won’t be using the loophole this week at all. By the time the next extended round comes up I’ll probably have a couple of injured players on the list to use.
In our league we’ve had issues in the past where coaches have tried to use this but added an injured player to the lineup during the round and then according to Rules the player does not get replaced by the bench and they’ve finished the round a man down. So if you’re going to try this make sure you start the round with a non-player in there from the beginning. Good luck!
One more thing to be aware of. The loop-hole rule is on by default but it can be disabled by your Competition Manager so make sure you check that start of this rule in your competition.