As part of some modifications to the laws of the game implemented for the 2021 Season, the league can confirm the following Rule changes for Season 2021:
Changes to the laws of the Game
The following two rules are changes to the Laws of the Game, having been introduced this year at AFL Level and across community football. Both rules will be implemented in all AFL Outer East Competitions.
AFL Outer East will review the ‘Player Standing the Mark’ rule over the 2021 season to assess its viability at community level in future years.
AFL Outer East
AFL Outer East received the following rule change request from clubs in season 2021. The following change was voted on by clubs, with 95% of clubs supporting the change.
The rationale for this change was due to the variation in ground sizes across the region which makes the 50m penalty more significant at some venues. A move to 25m provides greater consistency of outcome of penalties, ensuring that the consequence of the new Player Standing the mark rule is minimised. The league and our participating clubs agreed upon the fact that a 50 metre penalty was too great for such breaches.
This change has been implemented to ensure greater consistency across all AFL Outer East competitions, as there were five variations of distance penalties prior to the 2021 season. Moving forward, all competition outside of Under 9’s will have the same penalty, ensuring this is much more manageable for umpires and clubs.
Junior Rule Change
The following rule change will be implemented in Junior Football in 2021:
In 2021, all junior grades (including the Saturday U17’s) and and Women’s competitions, the last possession will be utilised. This rule will also apply for the whole of field play.
Any ball that is touched or in dispute when it crosses the line will be balled up 15 metres inside the boundary line by the field umpire.
A free kick shall be awarded against a Player who:
a) Kicks or handballs the football over the boundary Line without the football being touched by another player;
i) For the purposes of defining a kick, a kick shall be an intentional action, not accidental. When the ball comes off the foot or lower leg of a player without the intent of the player being to kick the ball, it will be deemed accidental contact and will not be determined as a kick by the umpire and therefore will result in a boundary throw in or ball up 15 meters in from the boundary line if no Boundary umpire is present.
b) Where a player who does not have possession stops the football being touched by an opposition player by shepherding the ball across the boundary line where the ball could have otherwise been touched by the player being blocked, then the umpire will not award a free kick but will instead order a boundary throw in or ball up.