Shepelle blamed the baggage handlers, Hirdy blamed Dank, Dank blamed ASADA/WADA or the WIGGLES? and Kevin Barlett has blamed the AFL commission.
In the past ten years there’s been an enormous development in the way the game we view today. The grounds are superior, players are full time athletes and the weekends fixtures are solely to please Channel 7, not you or I wanting to head to the Royal before a match at the MCG on a Saturday arvo.
Having some spare time last Friday night (as the game between Collingwood and Richmond was awful) I dug up the changes in rules that effectively have been developed purportedly to improve the way the Australian Rules Football is played.
At first these all seemed reasonable however once you start considering the consequences it could be argued KB and his merry men (and women, just in case there are any on that committee) must also wear some of the responsibility.
Since the implementation of the interchange sub in 2011 there has been an increase of 50% in the number of players gathering 25 or more possessions each week and a 84% in the number of players making 5 tackles or more each week, the majority however as a result of the changes to the interchange cap last year.
My understand of the interchange cap was to improve the spectacle of the game by reduce congestion on the field?
WRONG.. todays game is much like an under 9’s match at your local ground on a Saturday morning.
My view on why this is happening is quite evident.
Midfields now rest in the forward line, Swan, Cotchin, Rockliff, Watson, Fyfe and Bartel have all been seen standing at full forward. This means Forwards such as Buddy, Jack, Cloke, Pav have all pushed up the ground to provide these midfielders with a rest. This creates the ability for the ball to be transitioned into the opponents forward line quickly as players are fitter than ever before they are able to get to the contest where a resting midfielder is located putting a higher number of players in that area.
Whilst I’m taking aim at a legend of the game I find it completely ironic its only until Kevin leaves the AFL inner rules sanctum to take aim at those running the show.
Personally I see no other way but to reduce the number of players on the field, certainly we don’t want to start turning our game into a netball field, the sub rule in soccer is one that would suit and we don’t want entire line ups changed like an American football match.
Its unfortunate that in its current format we’re unlikely to see the scenario of a 100 goal a season full forward (not unless GWS can revolutionise the game with Patton, Cameron and Boyd) but here’s hoping