AFL Football Operations Manager Simon Lethlean has announced new changes to the ruck rules, to fix issues caused by previous changes, which were brought in to address flaws in an even earlier set of rule changes, which addressed some problem everyone has now forgotten about.
“To be fair, I’ve inherited a mess people created to fix something that wasn’t even an issue for more than one hundred years. Yet in the space of what? Five years, it’s now an embarrassing debacle.”
“So, we need to fix it and this new set of rules regarding ruck contests that provide simple, common sense solutions.”
Under the new ruck rules, at each stoppage:
- A player from each team will nominate as the ruckman for that stoppage
- Each player nominating must then be seconded by a teammate to be considered eligible
- If there is no seconder, the player with the best kicking efficiency in third quarters in games held in round 14, will be selected
- In the event of a tie in this scenario, the player who laid the most tackles in the JLT Series will be chosen
- If numerous players from the same team nominate, a first past the post voting system will be enacted, with eligible voters being, players, club members, media representatives in attendance and a Twitter poll.
- Upon a player being selected, either by vote or by running unopposed, each nominated ruckman must present their credentials to a panel of ruck contest committee officials before the ball up can commence
- Credentials will involve a new Cert IV in Rucking from an accredited education institution, which is a six-month course
- Upon the committee issuing each nominated ruckman with their ‘license to contest’, a ball up will then commence, following each ruckman donning an ‘Official AFL Ruckman’ vest
- The third man up rule has also been tweaked, with any player able to apply to the Third Man Up Authority for a permit for ‘a non-compliant ruck contest.’ These will be allocated based on a further process which is likely to follow the blind auditions on The Voice
- At the next stoppage, the process will be repeated, even if the same players from each side nominate
Mr Lethlean said the new process is only expected to add two days to every game.
“The only way to defeat pointless bureaucracy is with even greater pointless bureaucracy.”
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