Archaeologists from the University of Melbourne have discovered a long forgotten Australian football rule known as ‘incorrect disposal’ while excavating a site in suburban Melbourne.
“It’s an extraordinary find,” said the team leader Dr Erin Fitzgerald.
“We’d heard rumours of such a rule existing but its exact wording was lost to us.”
The rule, written in an ancient text that is months, if not years old states:
When the football is in play, a Free Kick shall be awarded against a Player who hands the football to another Player or throws the football.
Former AFL umpire Ray McMartin said there had always been apocryphal stories about umpires paying free kicks for breaches of the rule in the distant past.
“I’ve never seen it paid myself but old Jack Thompson said he once saw it paid against University.”
“I always had my doubts though, I mean if this was a rule they’d be paying it every few minutes in the modern game.”
AFL umpires chief Wayne Campbell said the rule was technically still on the books but the league had no plans of enforcing it.
“We’re not that interested in old rules unless it’s tinkering with them.”
“The league is focused on introducing silly new rules that make umpires’ jobs harder and confuse fans.”